The Curse of the Chronic Migraine

BY Lee Block


Through this blog, I promote strength, empowerment, moving forward and a brighter future. I try to bring out positivity and show you all that life after divorce can and will be better, even though there are bumps along the road and even though it isn’t always easy. But, even when you get to that positive place, problems still exist and my latest problem has been the curse of the chronic migraine.

I try to keep my personal issues off this blog. I don’t know why. I guess it’s because it has been ingrained in my head that branding should be put before personalization, but because I want you all to know that the person behind the writing is real and has real problems, I am going to be starting to personalize more. I hope that is okay with you. If not, sorry to see you go!

The Migraine Begins

In October of 2010 it started with a headache that wouldn’t go away. I have never had headaches, but nothing would help this particular headache. After two months, of terrible pain, where by 5 pm every evening and 12 – 15 Advil later, I could barely function, I was finally convinced to go to the emergency clinic to a cat scan. I know, it seems extreme, doesn’t it? But, I am in surgical menopause, and the HRT’s can cause blood clots, so there was a risk factor of an aneurism.

Needless to say, no aneurism, and I was pumped up full of IV drugs and sent home completely doped up and told I would feel great in the morning. In the morning, my head hurt worse. After a full work up at the Internist, an MRI was scheduled and an appointment was made with a Neurologist, who specializes in migraines.

The Myth of the Diet

When you have a migraine, everyone you know will give you advice on how to handle it, from what to do, to what to read, and I tried everything. I had needles stuck in me and took herbal horse pills. I had a chiropractor crack my neck and back daily while shoving natural remedies down my throat. I would have seen a witch doctor if it would have just stopped the pain in my head.

I knew that I would have to go on a “migraine diet”, which would entail taking out all good things to see what triggers the migraine, which was odd to me, since mine never stopped once it had begun. So, I was on a mission and I cleansed my kitchen of all processed food, wheat, sugar and additives. We are an all natural home. My kids still complain about what they can eat and roll their eyes at me when I hand them a carrot stick.

The bright side to this diet is that I have lost the 10 pounds I gained from being in menopause and the 10 pounds I gained from having children. The downside is I still have a migraine, and the only left to cut out of my diet is food.

The Myth of Hormones

Everyone says that one of the main things that cause migraines are hormones. Too many and you get migraines, too few and you get migraines, onset of menopause and you get migraines, onset of menses and you get migraines. Seems reasonable to me, as I have been in menopause for 4 years now and on HRT’s for almost that long, and had discussed this with my Gynecologist as perhaps being a factor for the migraines.

She said, go off the hormones, it won’t hurt to take a hormone holiday. Of course, it doesn’t hurt anyone but me, as the hot flashes started to come on every 3 – 5 minutes and I once again turned into Sybil with at least 15 different personalities that would show up at the drop of a hat. There was not bright side to the hormone holiday, I sat in a pool of sweat for two months and had a migraine. I did keep the deodorant companies in business, so I guess there was a bright side for them.

The Myth of Botox

Botox is supposed to be the cure all for the chronic migraine. All I can say to that is really? I am a fan of Botox. I admit it. I am 45 and don’t believe in wrinkles and have been using it cosmetically for the past two years, so having it in my forehead for the migraines and then another 40 shots in my head, neck and back didn’t bother me in the least, if it works. But, it hasn’t yet.

The bright side is my insurance is now paying for my forehead to be wrinkle free, the downside is that I still have constant migraines.

The Myth of The Migraine

Whether or not migraines or real, I don’t know. But I do know that I have a constant pain in my head that is distracting and often times debilitating. I will tell you that I have learned to live with it, because I can’t seem to get rid of it. I will tell you that I have learned that it is what it is and until I find the source of it I have learned to not questions the whys of it, but to just accept it because I can’t change it.

Life throws you all kinds of things in your path to test you and this is one of my tests, and one way or another I will pass. I don’t have a choice. I have two children to live for, a coaching business I love, a family I love, friends I am lucky to have, a community I am proud to be a part of and the truth is I am blessed in so many other ways.

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