January 23, 2008

I Suffer From Migraines - And It Really Sucks

Many of you know that I suffer from Migraines. In fact, I had another one today. This is something that I remember even as a child, although I didn't know they were migraines at that time. It was just horrible.

Years ago, while I was still teaching, my migraines had come to a point where I could not function AT ALL! Luckily, I had an assistant that was amazing and could help me. Problem was, they would last for days and nothing helped.

I couldn't stand light, most smells, was nauseous, and was in so much pain physically. I remember missing work, and just laying in my bedroom floor thinking, I hate to say, that I would rather die then to go on with this pain.

At that time, I was trying to find a neurologist that could see me, but most had a three month wait. Can you believe that? I was in agony! I needed to see someone NOW!

When the migraine finally started to subside, I went back to school and luckily had much support from not only the director but from my student's parents as well. I worked at an amazing private school, and was totally dedicated to my job. It was rare that I left to go home before 5:00/5:30. But I didn't mind. I wanted my students to have the best experience and learn in a fun environment. I left no stone unturned. But, I was also single at the time and only had my cats and dog to worry about.

One of my student's mom approached me about my condition. Her husband was in the medical field and they knew an amazing neurologist, gave me her name and number and had told her in advance about me. I was so relieved. Of course, I immediately called, and they immediately fit me in. I had lots of great connections when I taught.

So, here is my message to all of you. My neurologists, my angel sent from God (I am not kidding) told me to keep a journal of everything that I ate and smelled. Now, I am sure that many of you have been told this, and yes, it is a huge pain in the butt, but IT WORKS! And, I was so desperate that I didn't care too much.

For only one month, I kept track of everything, including my sleeping habits and other environmental things. I had a little notebook with me at all times so I wouldn't miss a thing. Now, I know that I can't eat peanut butter, Reece cups (and always eat on days I have to take my migraine medicine), which I love, milky way bars, salami, some types of black licorice, certain types of alcohol (believe it or not I get a worse hangover from beer then vodka, not that I drink that often). I also know the smell of hickory, cigars, pipes (which I love the smell of) and other things just trigger those migraines. Naturally, stress, lack of sleep, crying, and that wonderful time of month always bring a huge migraine.

Knowing these things helps me control the migraine instead of it controlling me. I also take preventative medicine on a daily basis and when I do get a migraine I have medicine I can take. The only one that has worked for me is Zomig. I can't live without it and it usually works within an hour. Granted, there are some crazy side effects, like my throat tightens, I get hot flashes, and my skin hurts (hard to explain) but I would much rather have these side effects then a migraine.

I also see my neurologists every few months. I have been seeing her now for, gosh, about ten years. I just love her. She really changed my life.

Now, for some of you, I know it is hard to get in with a neurologists, but you really should. You definitely need to keep a journal like I did. That in itself helped me a huge deal.

For some of you, like my sister, you haven't found an answer and you will remain in my prayers. I really suggest that you go to different specialists and try to find the culprit. If you know of something else that helps your migraines, please leave a comment on this post so others can take your advice.

I really feel bad, when I am able to pop this one pill and be cured. My sister has many medical problems and the doctors have just not been able to find an answer for her. She has had many illnesses, including chronic fatigue (which would really cause a migraine) and also has Lyme's disease among other major problems. Her name is Beth, so please keep her in your prayers. It is very hard, because she lives in North Carolina, and I am in Tennessee. My sister and I used to be together all of the time. I was devastated when she moved and so wish she could move closer so that we, her family, could help. I also miss hanging out with her though and wish she could be with my girls more. They just love their Aunt Beth. I am fortunate and live just minutes away from my parents. They are awesome and are just the most helpful wonderful people, and also dear friends to me that I actually like to hang out with. I wouldn't have said that in high school though. LOL! Love you mom and dad!

So, if this helps just one person out there, I have done my job. May you find peace and health, no matter what ails you.


Flea Market Queen said...

So sorry about your migraines...
I can't imagine, I get constant sinus headaches but they are just an inconveinence!
I wish you the best...

Carolyn said...

Hey Rhonda !
Hope the migraines are gone today for you girlfriend ! ;o)
I only have bad headaches , as i call them , sometimes i cannot stand bright lights , but in no way as bad as yours .
i`m glad you got it " sorted " , and can control it , in a way , to make it a little more managable .

And i will say prayers for Beth


Sherry said...

I'm glad you have such a good neurologist. When my son started having these (quite badly at age 12) he saw a pediatric neurologist who determined that his are hormone, stress and sleep related..and she was right. He just uses Advil -- takes 3 when it starts and 2 every 4 hours and that seems to work for him. She did say that teenage boys tend to outgrow these so here's hoping (he had one yesterday -- day before exams started -- no surprise!).

wanderlustandpixiedust said...

Hey, I wound up with a pretty fierce headache myself about 2 hours after reading your post yesterday. I've seen a neurologist and an allergist before but I think that it's time to see them again. I get so many headaches. They come on suddenly and somethimes last for days.

I think your on to something about scents and smells. I've suspected the same myself for some time. I think that I will start keeping a log of some sort too. Thanks Rhonda!

Just posted some photo's of Priscilla's BEAUTIFUL swap book, come on over and check em out!

catieann said...

oh how great that you were able to find some triggers for your migraines. I have never experienced one but my sister has had some over the years and hers were mostly stress related and hormonal. She has had them under control for years now. I am sorry for your sister Beth and others out there who don't have anything to help.
I understand chronic pain big time so my prayers and heart goes out to all of you in that state.