Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Heal Your Headache, a Migraine Journey

I haven't talked much here about migraines. I don't talk much about them in my day-to-day life, either. When the neighbors notice that I haven't been around much, Jim knows to tell them I've got a cold or something....I don't want to be known as that poor lady who has those awful headaches. But I've been struggling with migraine my whole adult life. At one time or another, it has ruined Christmases, vacations, and keeps us from planning outings more than a couple of days ahead. I have the best husband in the world, and if I said I wanted to go to Venice with some friends, he'd make sure I had everything I needed. I don't go, though, because it's bad lying in a hotel room in some fun destination, staring into the black haze. At least now, I can go to bed and deal with it in the darkness of my bedroom. The real hell was teaching and counseling through the blinding pain. Yeah, those were the worst of times.

I've run the gamut of doctors and specialists, enough to make me extremely cynical toward the medical profession. I've gone to emergency rooms in the middle of the night, where they knocked me out with drugs, and I woke up with the migraine. I've studied migraines voraciously. I read books, scour the net, and try every remedy that friends, family and strangers mention, no matter how far fetched. Some said that when I went through menopause, the migraines would stop. Ah! Now there was a light at the end of my tunnel. Well, I've done menopause, and the migraines didn't change. I don't want to know how much money I've spent chasing this elusive dream of a migraine-free life.

On an average, I have a migraine every two weeks, and they usually last 1-3 days, but there was a time when my migraine journal showed me with migraine 70% of the time. It varies. Just after Thanksgiving, though, when I usually decorate with gay abandon, inside and out, for Christmas, I got a killer migraine. Yes, they come in varying degrees, too. This one lasted 14 days, and when it was over, Christmas had been sucked from me. I didn't want to decorate or shop. Then it took another 3 days to stop wobbling around like an old lady. Hush! I am not an old lady, but I'm getting older, and it takes longer to recover from the ordeal. Lately I've been taking Axert, one of the Triptans. They rarely end the migraine but take the edge off, sometimes. I'm afraid of Triptans. When I was giving myself Sumatriptan injections, I felt as if it would stop my heart. I would sit on the edge of the bed, inject it into my thigh, and fall backwards into near unconsciousness, first telling Jim to keep an eye on me to see if I were breathing.

I recently discovered Pinterest. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. It's like getting a stack of new magazines each day in 101 subjects, the number of Boards I currently have. My latest Board is titled Migraine. I'm coming out of the closet a bit. And that's how I stumbled onto Dr. David Buchholz's book and ordered it from Amazon.com. By the time it arrived, I had come to think this was more wasted dollars. The book has hundreds of glowing reviews, but it also has some loud detractors in reviews and blogs who have called him an arrogant jerk who looks down on his patients and readers. So, I opened its pages with much skepticism. When he said that I would have to get off my Triptans, completely, I wrote smart alecky comments in the margins. (I carry on a conversation with most of my books, in ink.) But then, I settled into it and grudgingly admitted he was making sense. And then I decided to follow the program, and that's why I'm blogging. I first dedicated myself to 4 months, but today I read a girl's blog who didn't see results for 8 months. Hey, if I get results, I'm in for the rest of my life. I plan to share this journey on my blog.

In between, I'll still blog about whatever catches my attention, but I hope blogging my experiences, whether the David Buchhuolz program works or not, will help some other migraineurs (still now sure if I like that word). It's not an easy program. The diet lists each an every one of my favorite foods, but I remind myself that no food is worth the agony of a migraine. Yes, he is a doctor, but he seems to have left the herd behind. And yes, he's making money off his book, but his program is geared toward getting migraine sufferers to the point of being self sufficient, not making lifelong dependents on meds and office calls. We'll see.
Wishing you Blessings and pain-free Holidays,

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