Anyone who knows me, knows that I've dealt with migraines for a long time. For awhile, I just figured they were my lot in life. And really, they were okay. I got them once a month. I would take an Excedrin Migraine and pass out, then when I'd wake up, I'd feel better. It went on that way for awhile. I tried dietary and lifestyle changes Then Luke was born and they got worse, but not too much worse. Then Tommy was born and they got worse, way worse. I was missing work, left and right. Excedrin Migraine didn't even begin to touch them. Stupidly, I still figured it was my lot in life and soldiered through. I tried chiropractic care and that really did work for awhile, but then they came back, with a vengeance.
I'm stubborn to a fault, so it took awhile before I admitted that this shouldn't be my lot in life. It took a few bad incidents this fall, where I had migraines that lasted 48 hours before I admitted that something wasn't right. I was missing too much work. More importantly, I was missing too much of my childrens' lives.
So, I finally, FINALLY shut up with all of my "lot in life" crap and called a specialist. Only the specialist I called was so very special that I had to apply to be his patient. Luckily for me my head was busted enough that he totally wanted me for a patient, but unluckily for me, there are apparently a lot of busted heads out there because although I called in January, the earliest they could get me in was... June. I know. But hey, I've been having migraines since I was 15. The wait from January to June seemed like NOTHING.
The office called last week and said they had a cancellation and could get me in a week early, if I was interested. Unbroken head a week early? Sign me up! Anyone who follows me on twitter knows that I was 800 kinds of nervous for about 800 stupid reasons, first and foremost being that I was absolutely terrified that the doctor was going to make me have an MRI. Remember a year and a half ago when I had to go in the MRI with Tommy? And I kind of alluded to the fact that, oh hey, this was awful? Well, it was AWFUL. So awful that I hope to never, ever have an MRI. In fact, if something should happen that I need an MRI, maybe just take me out back and shoot me instead. And yes, I'm aware that having an MRI done by yourself is probably very different than going into an MRI on your stomach while trying to calm down your panicked 15 month old who you really, really hope doesn't have a brain tumor. Logically, I get this. Illogically, I want nothing to do with an MRI ever again.
Luckily, the doctor put me through a series of physical tests that determined that it's not a tumah, so I don't need an MRI. EXHALE. Anyway, long story short, this neurologist was awesome. We had a great discussion on the genetic connections between migraines and epilepsy and he explained that the brain at the start of a seizure is the same as the brain at the start of a migraine, which I find very interesting. He also brought to light some connections between distance running and migraines, which explains why I've had some nasty migraines after running longer (for me) distances. This doesn't mean that I have to stop running, he just wants me to ease off the distance for awhile. He put me on a daily preventative and gave me a prescription abortive for any breakthrough migraines. There is, of course, no guarantee that it will work or that I won't have a whole slew of side effects that make it not worthwhile, but I have hope and faith that if this doesn't work, we will find something that will. I can't tell you how amazing that makes me feel. For a long time now, I've woken up every morning, every SINGLE morning, and immediately ran through the way I felt to see if I had any signs of an impending migraine looming. Do you know how awful it is to have that on your mind first thing every morning? I look forward to a day when I can just wake up and greet the day.
Don't be stubborn like me. If you're dealing with some sort of chronic issue, don't suffer. It's not worth it. If you have migraines, you don't have to deal with them. You shouldn't have to deal with them. When the doctor asked me to rate the pain of a my migraines, I went the English teacher route and told him that I've had two kids without any pain meds and would much rather go through childbirth than have a migraine. That is absolutely true--that's how bad they are for me. How ridiculous to suffer through that on a sometimes weekly basis. Here's hoping for a less painful future!