I just went over three weeks without migraines. That’s the longest I’ve gone since I was in graduate school. My longest streak was actually four weeks while I was writing my thesis in the spring of 2014, go figure! The past three weeks haven’t been easy, and there have been a lot of changes. But it’s been amazing to have over three solid weeks without migraines.
I can’t help but wonder what changed, why I had this sudden pain-free streak.
Maybe it was cutting out avocados, bananas, butter, peanuts, and eggs.
Maybe it was seeing the chiropractor once a week.
Maybe it was a strict 9 pm bedtime and 6 am wake up call from Charm.
Maybe it was my renewed commitment to working out every day.
Maybe it was staying hydrated.
Maybe it was all the hot yoga.
Maybe it was less stress.
Maybe it was not traveling.
Maybe it was the daily cookies (chocolate chip, when possible).
Maybe it was the brief stint on meds that were likely too strong and made me exhausted and weepy for about a week and a half.
Maybe it was some combination of the above. And maybe it was none of the above. That’s what’s so challenging…I wish I knew exactly what I did “right” but the truth is, there probably isn’t any one thing. It’s most likely a combination of factors.
Yesterday, I went to pilates after work, and I could not stop yawning during the workout. Yawning is a warning sign that I’m about to get a headache, and I could feel the right side of my neck tightening up. As soon as I got home and took care of Charm, I took some medicine and got on the couch, and I think I was able to catch the migraine quickly since it seems to have gone away. It’s just as interesting to think back about why I might have started getting a migraine after 3 weeks. I took 2 days off from working out this weekend to give my body a break. I didn’t sleep well (probably from not working out!). I was a bit more stressed than usual on Monday, though as I learned a few weeks ago, sometimes stress and anxiety is a prodrome for migraines, meaning they are a sign a migraine is about to start and not what caused the migraine. Confused yet? Me too.
Whatever the reasons, I’m really trying to accept the fact that I didn’t cause this headache. It was going to happen anyway, and my job is to deal with it when the headaches do strike.
The thing is, when I don’t have migraines, I can’t even imagine what it feels like to have a migraine. I can’t imagine how I even function when I have a headache, but I also can’t even begin to remember what the pain feels like. And then just like that another day I have a headache, and I can’t even fathom what life without a headache is like. I can’t remember what it feels like to not hurt, to have an appetite, to be able to sit upright, to be able to focus.
My goal is to manage the headaches when they do strike, and to not let them get to the point where they knock me out for days on end. At this point I know plenty of the signs: the neck pain, yawning, vertigo, and nausea. I need to take note of those signs and take medicine right away, and hopefully I will be able to catch my migraines before they really strike.