Headaches, specifically migraines, are my thing. I can remember being strapped in a car seat with my head bursting, too young to even communicate I was hurting. Bright lights quickly triggered headache for me, the color red reminds me of blood pulsing being my eye sockets. In the midst of a migraine, I have real thoughts of cracking my skull open to relieve the pressure. And that scares me. Because during some of those bad times, if Thom wasn’t around to remind me I’ll get through this, I’m afraid I would hurt myself. This is a very real, life long, trial for me. But before you plan an intervention, there has been some improvement along the way.
In college, after a spell of 2 ER runs with unmanageable head pain, I knew I had to do something. I had heard of this book that could shed some light on migraine triggers. I’ve since lent it out and never got it back, or I’d tell you the title. Anyway, it talked about thresholds and the different triggers for headaches. I’ll get to the point. I was always at my threshold, so any little trigger would send me into a migraine. All the different migraine drugs I had taken were making it so my blood vessels actually relied on the drugs to shrink them down instead of taking care of the little “aches”. When the barometric pressure outside dropped, my head would immediately surge, no warning. A stressful day in the studio, lack of sleep and bright lights would inevitably end in a migraine. Caffeine was weakening my blood vessel reflexes as well…Excedrin specifically would sometimes work, but because of the caffeine in it, would make me need more and more of it often to really work. I was working against my body to the point where there were no minor headaches anymore; they were all migraines. I had to back off my threshold so that there was room for life to fluctuate without blowing the top off.
I got off all drugs. Detox all the way. No more caffeine and nothing but Tylenol, water and a dark room during headaches. I went through 2 weeks of hell, my body was freaking out. But then, my life changed. It’s as if I could feel my body flush out the last remnants of all those pills. You couldn’t pay me to touch caffeine now, and again, it really has changed my life. I can actually have normal headaches now. Sure the migraines still come along (especially during pregnancy), but not nearly as often. And Thom has learned the pressure points in my head, neck and back that tremendously help during the migraines. I had underestimated the drug of hope. Ahh, sweet change, sweet improvement.
I continue to pray for complete freedom from migraines. And am thankful for the changes that provide hope along the way.