Age 34, Columbus, Texas
Favorite Migraine Book: Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson. It’s not a Migraine book, but it is a motivational self-help book that has changed my outlook on life and everything about it, including how I handle my migraines.
Best Migraine Friend: My dog Sweet Pea who passed away in November 2016
Weirdest Migraine Symptom: Twitching eyebrows
Most Predictable Trigger: The heat and direct sunlight
Most Amusing Pain Distraction: Music
Most Useless Treatment Tried: Eating a banana
How and when did you first get diagnosed with Migraine? Any specific type?
I don’t remember how old I was when I was officially diagnosed, but I don’t have a single memory of a time in my life without Migraine being a part of my daily life. Up until recently, I only suffered from Chronic Migraine but in the last 2 years my migraines have decided to go down a different path, and now I experience Migraine with aura and borderline migralepsy with TMJ.
What lifestyle changes have you made to help prevent Migraine attacks?
In the summer months, I do not go outside much at all during the day, since heat immediately makes my head feel like it’s exploding. And, since I live in Texas, the summer usually ends up being at least half of the year if not longer.
I also switch my entire schedule to avoid the heat and sunlight. I sleep during the day and live my life at night. I also avoid any loud noises with the exception of my music. Certain songs have a particular beat that eases the throbbing in my head and keeps my mind on something other than the pain, so some days I play the same song or two on repeat endlessly.
What was the turning point in your Migraine Journey?
I’m not sure if I have reached a turning point yet. I have just accepted this as my life and try to still live my life to the fullest. This is the only hand I have been dealt, and I just try to play it as best as I can.
Who has been the biggest help to you on your Migraine Journey, and how?
My family all have been a huge help, even though I am the first in our family to have Migraine, and no one knows the pain I deal with personally. They all go above and beyond to ease my pain or to help me prevent a migraine from starting.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about Migraine during your Journey?
That even with a diagnosis of a specific type of Migraine they can still be so unpredictable, and there is no way to absolutely know what triggers one, how intense it will be, or how long it will last.
What’s your advice to someone else living with Migraine?
Find a way to get out of the pain, at least temporarily. I listen to music and lose myself in the songs so I don’t feel the pain for as long as the music plays. Don’t let migraines be the boss in your life.
What’s the next step on your Migraine Journey?
I hope to find better relief from the pain and find some clinical trials or other ways to contribute to the research for better treatments and, hopefully, a cure. Maybe I can help someone suffer less or not at all.
Helpful Resources from this Journey
- Managing Light Sensitivity and Migraine (Migraine World Summit talk by Dr. Kathleen Digre)
- Summer Migraines: How to Enjoy the Season with Less Pain (Article)
- Get a Migraine When It’s Hot? How to Prevent It (Article)
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