"There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow." - Orison S. Marden
I’ve created this website and blog to share what I know and, as research unfolds, continue to learn about migraine disease and wellness. If you are one of the millions of people who live with the relentless, excruciating headaches and other debilitating symptoms that may be associated with an attack, swallowing whatever drugs you can keep down to stop the pain, confined to a dark room feeling helpless, I’m here to tell you that there is hope.
After suffering from migraines since I was five years old, I managed to make it until my early fifties before I was forced to take responsibility for my life and my disease. Prior to this, I was living life at a frantic pace in order to achieve my dreams: critical care clinical nurse specialist, teacher, researcher, consultant, author, and faculty member, with an application for my doctoral degree waiting for me on my desk.
I saw numerous doctors over the years and took all sorts of medications, including sedatives, muscle relaxants and combination pain relievers like Fiorinal. In my early forties, a visit to a migraine clinic introduced me to the migraine medication Imitrex , which helped me handle my large workload without drowsiness or nausea. But, as I took more and more Imitrex to combat my attacks, it no longer worked and I had to leave my nursing faculty to finish a book on Critical Care Nursing. By the time the book was completed, I crashed. I was up to eighteen Imitrex pills a month, plus injections and an inhaler.
I spent the next several years educating myself and learning that migraine is a disease, and my headache was only a symptom of the disease (headache phase of a migraine attack). Expanding beyond my comfort zone of Western medicine, I ventured into Eastern medicine and adding to what I knew about medications, supplements, relaxation training and biofeedback therapy, I explored integrative (complementary) therapies like acupuncture, herbs, meditation, healing touch, and yoga. What I discovered was not a “miracle” cure in the form of a pill or a therapy (there is no current cure for migraine), but an integrated approach to wellness that taught me to focus on my whole self and address the physical, mental and spiritual all at once.
Along the way, I discovered that healing comes from within and that patients must take responsibility for their own health and that doctors are guides to activate the inner healer in each one of us.
The articles in this blog, and my book, MIGRAINE, share knowledge, tips, and strategies to help us, together with our doctors and other health care professionals, develop integrative self-care plans for wellness and gain control over our migraines, healing and our lives. Welcome to the journey!