I am writing this for others out there who suffer with horrible head pain. I am so incredibly thankful and humbled that my pain is gone that I can barely explain it.
I’m compelled, motivated, called, to help others find their way out.
This is my migraine story and I hope and pray there is something here that helps you.
I remember the moment that I first felt the stabbing pain of what I was to learn much later, is called a migraine headache.
I was eleven years old. It was an extremely hot August day, and my task was to bring everyone in my family ice water. We were doing yard work. I went in our kitchen and decided to get fancy with pretty glasses and a tray. When everything was ready I walked back outside and that’s when it hit me.
I dropped everything and to this day have such a sharp mental picture of our yellow glasses on the green grass, the ice cubes and stifling heat.
The rest of the day is not as clear of a memory to me. I think I went inside and fell asleep. But for whatever reason I always will remember those blades of grass and the ice cubes so vividly.
That was the beginning of my long relationship. A lot of painful memories of …..well, pain, and always missing out on things. In high school and college it was missing out on what my friends were doing.
Since the beginning of our marriage my husband has been with me through all of it. He made sure there was no noise or extra light. If you suffer from migraines, you know what I’m referring to with the noise and light.
When the pain would climb up to horrible and I knew for sure that this was it – I wasn’t going to survive or come out on the other side of this – my husband was always there to tell me I would survive, just like I did each and every time. Sounds dramatic and I laugh to myself when I remember saying that. But at the same time, I also remember what caused me to say it.
Fast forward through seventeen years of migraines! By this time we have 4 beautiful children. That would be a separate book in itself what the migraines did through all four of the pregnancies, so maybe one day I’ll get to that! What I’ll focus on here is the night I decided to stop depending on over the counter pain medication for these events.
By the way, throughout all of this, I never used prescription drugs. I seriously considered it but, looking back, I think I was afraid of the side effects. I guess my thinking back then was, I was already such a mess, how could I add more to it.
Back to my story. It was a Sunday afternoon. My husband was out of town and there it was –
the sickening beginning of migraine that I knew so well.
I don’t know what was different about this time compared to all of the others but I remember I had had enough of it. I felt tired, not necessarily physically tired, just an incredible aggravation and annoyance that here I was, about to go through this, yet again.
I was mad! Over the years I had read different things here and there about the side effects of over the counter pain meds, and was, of course, aware that this at least existed. For whatever reason, this particular night I was mad about that, too.
My thinking was why should I continue to take this stuff. It never helps anyway except maybe it took the edge off. It would take away the sharpness of the pain, maybe the pain wouldn’t reach those incredible heights if I took it early enough in advance.
But that night it became incredibly clear to me that it wasn’t healing me; it was numbing me so I wouldn’t feel.
That night I decided I would feel it. I even wanted to. I wanted the migraine to bring everything it had and I was going to fight back.
Why??? Where were these thoughts coming from? I had been afraid of the pain for so long. I remember I literally decided that, no matter what happened, I wasn’t going to be afraid anymore. I don’t know how else to describe this part except to say that I somehow felt ready to do a battle, which sounds so funny I know. I threw away all the pain medication I had, got a glass of water, and gave the kids permission to watch a movie. I walked to my room to lay down, be still and wait for it to leave. I threw up once and then made three additional trips to the bathroom. This was nothing new for me, just the usual migraine happenings. I was completely empty.
My mind was so clear! I was in pain but I always thought that the pain was what made me feel so foggy. This was new and different. I noticed that once I was empty (I’m talking about my digestive tract), the pain was lighter. It was there but not intense in a panicking life-threatening way.
What’s the connection between being empty and pain?
After years of studying, I have the answer to this question with a clear understanding. I learned that the intensity of these migraines was under my control. If I was stuffed with food close to the time when a migraine was expected, look out! Unbearable, off the charts pain. When I fast, flood myself with water, I have either no pain at all, or some dizziness and a pain level of maybe between 2-4, on a scale of 0-10.
What about you? Have you ever noticed a correlation between pain and physical emptiness? I would love to hear your comments.
In my next post I will discuss what happened next, and what I’ve done to make sure migraine headaches are no longer a part of my life. I have solid information to share with you about how to beat the pain once and for all. The main goal of what I’m sharing is to show that there’s hope! It doesn’t have to go on for the rest of your life:)