Finding Happiness with Migraines

Living with migraine disease isn’t only about dealing with pain, nausea, fatigue, and other physical symptoms. It’s also about handling the accompanying emotional and mental challenges.

In my new e-book, Finding Happiness with Migraines: A Do-It-Yourself Guide, I offer tips on how to create a daily life filled with joy, appreciation, and confidence – even in the midst of a migraine. Readers will learn:

  • Which yoga poses can help with a migraine attack;
  • Why you should throw away your daily migraine journal;
  • How do-it-yourself therapy can create positive change;
  • Techniques to connect with your body and intuition; and
  • How to fight the fear, isolation, and anger that so often accompany the disease.

I’m excited to finally have the opportunity to share the wisdom and insights I’ve gleaned from six years of chronic, often “intractable” migraine. I hope you find it worthwhile! The book is available on both Kindle and Nook, or as a PDF. Find out more here:


Coping (or Not) without Medication

I’m about at the end of my rope.

For the past three weeks, I’ve had a migraine almost every single day. If it’s not there when I get up in the morning, it’s there by 3 p.m. By 6, I can barely eat dinner with my family. All I want to do is crawl in bed and sleep. But, I can’t.

Even if I’m able to make it to bed (instead of trying to power through one more project), the pain is too intense to sleep. So, I watch a dimly lit movie or TV show on my iPad (very quietly), until I get exhausted enough to fall asleep in spite of the pain.

I can’t read. I can’t spend time with my husband or my daughter. I can’t think. I can’t do anything, except survive the migraine and hope it’s gone by the time I wake up.

I’m trying to stay grateful. What I’m experiencing now isn’t as bad as what I went through in 2008. I don’t have one every day, and it’s not a constant level 7. But, I fear it’s getting there. The migraines are coming closer together, and I’m terrified that I’ll be locked in that old cycle once again.

Worse, because my husband and I are still trying to have a baby, there’s little the doctors will do to help. It’s been almost a year since I went off birth control and quit most of my migraine medications, and we’re not pregnant yet. If the doctors won’t help now, how will I possibly make it through the months of pregnancy and breastfeeding – whenever they finally arrive?

I feel like I’ve tried everything, but there must be some medications or treatments out there that have passed me by. Does anyone have any suggestions? I haven’t tried Midrin, though I’ve heard there’s a manufacturer down here in Texas who is making an equivalent now. Have any of you tried it? Did any of you take it while you were trying to conceive?

Difficulties of Coping Featured on Popular NY Times Blog

It isn’t often that migraines get the attention of one of the biggest newspapers in the country. A few days ago, however, the NY Times posted an article on its popular health blog (“Well”) about the wide-spread prevalence of migraine disease and the difficulties migraineurs face.

A combination of statistics and patient stories makes the article a pretty good read. While we migraineurs likely won’t find out anything we didn’t already know, I did feel slightly validated while reading it. Maybe now more people will understand that a migraine isn’t just a bad headache.

Read “Migraine Miseries Push Patients to Ways of Coping” here.

Thanks to Kathleen Hogg over at The Chronic Pain Journal for letting me know about the article!

Grief and the Search for Whatever Lies Beyond

Through three and a half months of the migraine that just will not go away the hardest thing for me to face is that I’m depressed.

Hard to believe that that’s what I have the hardest time handling in the face of ten different medications, numerous side effects, IVs, injections, blood tests, an MRI, specialists, and of course – the chronic (now – official) intractable pain. 

It’s not so strange though: in the depths of migraine madness I can no longer seem to reconcile the image of who I am with the person I’ve lately become. The person I remember is chipper. Outgoing. Optimistic. She laughs. The person staring back at me, tries.

It’s hard to do or be any of those things when every morning is accompanied by a relentless, pulsating nightmare of confusion, nausea, and pain.

I’m exhausted. And angry. Frustrated about the many – simple – things I’ve had to give up to the monster in my head for the sake of a peace I still haven’t found. Music. Lights. Singing. Yoga. Red wine. Beer. More than one margarita at a time. Running on Saturday mornings around the Lake with my SO. Chocolate. These are things I loved. 

But most of all, I feel guilty. 

Guilty because my disease could be so much worse than it is, and I should feel grateful that I’m not faced with one of hundreds of ailments that people all around the world struggle honorably with daily.

Guilty because I can’t pull myself up and shake myself off and be the chipper, bubbly personality every day that I (and those who love me) know, love, and depend on. 

For those who know, however, It’s difficult to function in the usual manner in a state of constant, severe pain. It’s not so easy to “manage” when all energies feel drained by mid-day.

What do you do when you can’t get out of your head because your head won’t stop screaming?