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Migraine Management

Let me start by clearing up a misconception. Comparing a migraine to a headache is like comparing an amputation to a hangnail. It may be in the same general area, but that is where the similarities end.

I have had people ask me if I have anything to help this affliction. My answer is, yes and no. I have developed a management system that worked for me, or at least made it so I could function if I absolutely had to.

(I feel that I should mention that prescription medication ALWAYS made me even sicker, and almost always resulted in a rebound attack. Didn't seem like a solution to me.)

I would always get a warning, the aura or flashing lights in my vision that let me know an attack was underway. At that point life as I had planned it was over. I would take some of my herbal pain reliever, make a cup of strong black tea as caffeine is helpful then, and head into my bathroom.

I would run the water in the sink as hot as I could stand it, and immerse my hands in past the wrists. I would open up the drain just enough so that I could keep the hot water running and maintain the depth that I needed. At first I also put a hot towel around my neck, replacing it when it cooled. Eventually I learned that that was not strictly necessary.

And then I waited it out. Trying to not panic, knowing the agony that was in store. It didn't seem to matter how severe the attack was, it would take about 30 minutes for my vision to clear. That kind of treatment is called an abortant, it stops the full attack, but I was almost always left feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. But at least I wasn't bedridden for three days, and it would avoid the unpleasantness of vomiting while it felt like the top of my head was being hacked off. Nice, eh?

And that is how I lived for many years, never knowing when an attack would come or how long I would be incapacitated. It sucked. And then, they started to come more and more often. I tried everything that I could think of. Diet changes. Massage. Chiropractic. Acupuncture. Meditations. Positive thinking. And still they increased. When they reached three or more times a week I told my daughters that if I could not find a way to rid myself of them, when the youngest turned 18 I was checking out, as my quality of life was nonexistent.

I was still working full time, being an involved single parent, moved to a beautiful acreage, started my business, and as the severity and frequency of the attacks increased I began to just put in time. I did not want to live like that. I was afraid to go to far from home in case of an attack. I felt severely handicapped, although I would have argued if someone else had called me that!

Then I made a new friend who was also afflicted. She gave me the name of a woman in Okotoks, Alberta saying that this woman could help me. I was unconvinced, but had absolutely nothing to lose. So I made an appointment to see her, and again because I had nothing to lose I continued to see her. I had one more attack a week after we started, but it presented so completely differently from any other that I knew something was happening, something was shifting. I saw her weekly for about six weeks. I am now over seven months free. I haven't gone seven months without an attack in more than 20 years. It is absolutely because of this Okotoks woman's work that I am free. I am almost at the point where I feel some confidence that I am forever free, and that will come as time passes.

If anyone is interested in who this woman is and what it is she does, just email me and I will give you her contact information. Really, what have you got to lose?