Where do I start? I've been writing monthly SharePosts for HealthCentral's Migraine community since April, 2010. I was asked to share my experience with chronic Migraines while working with a Migraine specialist toward better Migraine management and improved quality of life. My assignment for writing monthly SharePosts has come to an end. Now one year and eight months later, I am writing my last official SharePost.
So where do I start? That is hard to summarize in one SharePost, but I'll do what I can. First of all, I originally visited HealthCentral's Migraine community searching for answers and support. I felt like I was the only one going through this struggle. Just today while visiting the website, I saw a SharePost from another Migraineur titled “Am I Alone?” Those words resonated with me because that is how I felt. No one wants to feel like they're suffering with something that no one else has to deal with. I was talking with the people in my life and everyone was saying, “I’ve never heard of anyone having a Migraine every single day.” But I was. So when I found this website, I was so relieved to know I wasn’t alone. And you are not alone either!
I have shared my journey in the hope that my words would encourage others. Feeling hopeful is so very important when you are dealing with a chronic illness. I'm much more hopeful than I was in the early days of my Migraine journey. Since that first SharePost, I've been actively pursuing treatment for my chronic Migraines. Currently I am seeing my Migraine specialist (not the same one that I started with in April 2010) every three months. I am also seeing a medical hypnotist every two weeks.
The medical hypnotist is helping me identify areas of stress in my life and teaching me how to “let go” of those things that are stressful to me. I can’t explain it as well as I would like, and I'm not saying that every Migraineur would benefit from seeing a medical hypnotist. For me, I'm happy with this new doctor (she is actually a PhD not an MD). I am seeing progress. The main thing I've noticed is I have a greater overall sense of peace. And I'm happy to share that I no longer have a Migraine every day. I still have bad days, but I'm having some good days! I do still have daily pain but some days even that is minimal. It’s all about progress.
So my advice to you is this. Remain hopeful. Search for the support that you need and deserve. Do not settle for mediocre treatment of your Migraines. Although there is no cure for Migraine disease, you can get better. There are good doctors out there, and your treatment doesn’t have to be limited to your Migraine specialist. I think it's very important to find a good Migraine specialist. Notice I didn’t say neurologist. My experience with a neurologist was not good at all. But there are treatments and other types of doctors that can complement the treatment you are getting from your Migraine specialist. I personally do consult my Migraine specialist before I try anything new. In the early days, I'd just try stuff, but not anymore. I'm very careful about what “new” things I will try. You just have to trust your instinct and keep fighting for your own personal treatment. I understand that's very hard to do when you're having daily Migraines, but it's necessary. Also, recognize that each of us respond differently to different treatments and medications. For example, some people do really well with Topamax. I'm not one of those people. Some people say that acupuncture has helped them. I tried it. It didn’t help me. We are all unique, and our Migraine journeys are our own.