Today I’m celebrating being exactly 202 days migraine-free and I’m loving it! I’ve had my ups and downs with falling off the proverbial “sugar wagon” and did have a few attacks very early on in my pregnancy and only one attack soon after my labor. Without those hormonally-induced attacks, I’ve been virtually migraine-free for 949 days! Or 2 years, 7 months and 3 days. Also known as, a very long time.
Several days ago as I posted this ketogenic victory of mine and I had several other sufferers begin to discuss their need for something other than medications that hadn’t helped them. Hearing medications like Midren, Topomax and the like made me cringe and remember the nightmares I endured while ‘testing’ myself on those and countless other meds. I’m not against medications at all, HOWEVER, when someone is suffering awful pains that many doctors simply and ignorantly refer to as a bad ‘headache’, then proceed give us medications that torture us even more….it just creates folks like me who will branch out, do research and come out ahead of the common consensus. Which until recently, had not received much attention at all.
Prior to beginning keto, I’d spent 14 years of my life with chronic migraines with aura at least 3-4 times per week. Unbearable head-pounding pain, throwing up profusely, severe nausea and severe sensitivity to all my senses; light, sound, taste, touch and smell. Not to mention my anxiety at being in a near constant state of panic at little flickers of light. When I thought I’d see a little twinkle or become dizzy, my family would stop and be silent, waiting on me to confirm if one of my awful attacks was imminent. For goodness sake, my children were well-trained in mobilizing into “migraine mode” with me by shutting off all tv’s, lights, phones and the like, while escorting me to a dark place to comfortably lay down as I wasn’t able to see properly. My heart aches just thinking of how they needed to became instantaneous, responsible adults in order to help their father assist their mother while I was about to endure yet another round of awful hours or days long attack. The painful minutes felt like hours to me and I’d cry. I’d cry not just because of the pain, but for our kids and the life I wasn’t able to live with them.
The reality is that today I’m sitting here, not even thinking of where my meds are and that is quite baffling to me. I never thought I’d live without my attacks and for years my greatest hope was that when I reached menopause that MAYBE the attacks would lessen. I can’t believe that was my hope, but those that still suffer all have that one string they are still holding on to. Hope is the only thing we migraineurs carry. If we don’t have hope, well there’s a reason the suicide rate for use is dramatically higher than the norm. And this blog, that my husband encourages me to write, is to instill hope that perhaps one day other migraineurs will find their own healing.
Whether it is the ketogenic way of eating, vegan, gluten-free or something else that will put your brain back into a healthy state, keep your neurologist informed. We need our neuros and the medications that work, but do keep them abreast of your findings! I’ve found that my neurologists, even if they’re in the dark, are very much interested in what can possibly help their patients. And THAT’S wonderful! Doing self-experimentation along with your neurologist only further helps future migraineurs and their families. We’re embarking on a new generation of sufferers and our stories, both successes and failures, need to be put out there for neuros to study and educate others.
As I said before, don’t lose hope and anything is possible. Please don’t quit if keto doesn’t work for you as there are many other avenues to venture down on this tough journey. Just know that our neurological disorder is like a lock and you need to find the key that unlocks it. Do NOT give up. Never stop trying to heal yourself and begin living again.