I have tried A LOT of different things to manage my migraine disease. For the first 5 years of being sick it seemed that nothing helped. I had tried all the medications and med cocktails…steroids, “Abort” pills, preventables, pain meds, supplements, drugs for other illnesses that may have a side effect of decreasing head pain and Botox. I tired acupuncture, massage, Reiki, had a Psychic clear any negative energy from myself and my family and I’ve done energy work. I had Chiropractic care, tried Chinese herbs, aromatherapy, I would pressure wrap my head and of coarse I went no where without my ice bag. I had a bag always with me containing all sorts of medications to take when the pain came on; all mentioned above. They came with me everywhere…cling cling of the pills as I walked.
And….Nothing helped. The ONLY thing that would help me were strong, strong narcotics. After being ill and trying all these techniques, I’d start with hope, and as each method failed me, I became depressed and discouraged. At no time did I ever want to give up trying but for a while I stopped trying and decided to just let the pain meds work and see how I do….The meds worked well as much as they could and I on the other hand could barely function. For years I slurred my words, could not drive or work and my behavior was not very becoming. I was drugged to live and lived to be drugged. When in the rest room I would fall asleep on the toilet and after I am not out of the bathroom for a bit, my husband will come check on me. And in public restrooms…that posed a bigger problem. A few times James caught me asleep as I was laying over the sink with my hands under the running water. That was enough of that.
The doctors have always told me that my migraines are caused from stress…well OK, now what?
I looked at my life and new I had to decrease my stress and live peacefully, or find my “Zen space”.
I made a plan to do only what is a priority to me. Frankly, I have no time for extra’s. I needed a daily plan for me to follow as best I could so that I could prevent a migraine flare up. And that’s where lifestyle changes came into my life.
My lifestyle changes are quite possibly the most profound impact I’ve had on decreasing the amount of episodes I was having (or having break through pain). Once I started making changes it was like an epiphany. I had heard it from professionals, as back then “lifestyle” was not addressed like it is today. For me, when I do not rest and move too quickly; rush or have too much to do or I can’t stop my brain from twirling on repeat and even too much stimulation,…could send me to the ER in screaming head pain. I knew I needed more rest. I knew I could not rush each day or any day, any longer.
I needed to be and remain calm and slow down. I had to stop the stressors of living in such a modern century society where the hustle and bustle mindset was creating stress in my life. I also knew I had to make my eating and activity more of a priority. All of this could help me feel better… and all of this needed to change…and at first that was frightening to me.
Ultimately, after a few years of becoming aware and learning what I needed, I had to change my career, work different hours, I deleted negative relationships, I added new ones that were positive and inspiring, I made my eating and knowing when and what to eat and being prepared became top priority and increased my physical activity by practicing Eco-therapy, yoga, strength training and spiritual practices. I will go walk the local Labyrinth path or visit and pray at the Buddhist Stupa. I don’t watch violent tv shows or movies and listen to calming and soothing music. Yes, I still “rock out” to music and get my groove on, but only when I feel the urge.
I kept thinking how can I do this? What will life be for me if I change so much? Who will I become? Will I still like myself? Will my husband still love me? What about my friends…what will other’s think? These thoughts ran through my head. WHO WILL I BE with a new lifestyle? What will my daily life look like?…
Well,…it came down to; I either do the work to change my lifestyle to enable better health or stay in the miserable place I was. I was broken, but beautiful. If you know me, you know I do not give up or in give in easily. I have always been a go-getter. In a time of desperation, this was my greatest test and fight yet. I was broken but still had fight within me. I knew I had to change things or I would end up taking my life.
Slowly,…I started to make changes. It took me several years to get to the point where I am today and I am still making changes. I know that will always be the case. AND that’s OK.
Some of the changes I made are revealed in my statements below. This is who I am now and I am proud of my words. It took love, courage, acceptance, and forgiveness for me to change my lifestyle 180 degrees.
-I now sleep near 16 hours a day. AND I’ve learned to be OK with that.
-My day ends between by 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. AND I’ve learned to be OK with that.
-I am now sick to my stomach most of the time. AND I am OK with that. (ginger tea and medical cannabis help a lot)
-I have a horrible short-term memory; a side effect of the meds I’ve been on for years. AND I am OK with that. (people remind me)
-I now work part-time. AND I’ve learned to be OK with that.
-I don’t make the money I use to make. AND I am OK with that.
-I have spent all my savings and had to file for Bankruptcy because of the cost of my medical bills. And I am OK with that.
-I cannot work-out as hard anymore. AND I am OK with that. (I do different activities now)
-I am pudgy. AND I am OK with that. (I love my curves)
-I don’t see my friends or family as much. AND I am OK with that. (we visit via phone calls and texts)
-I have to always be prepared with meds, earplugs, eye masks, a pair of jeans to use as a pressure wrap, CBD cream, aromatherapy and anything else I use to treat a migraine and bring this with me everywhere I go. I always have to know where the closest hospital is. AND I am OK with this.
-I may not be able to achieve all I want to achieve. AND I am OK with that.
-Some of my dreams will have to be revised. AND I am OK with that.
-My life will not be what I had planned for myself. AND I am OK with that. (I am making, what I feel are funner plans!)
-I am different now; then who I use to be. AND I am OK with this.
*I believe in myself and I will persevere….THIS I KNOW!!!
I am simply trying to put a positive spin on everything. Remaining positive, optimistic, and having hope is a huge part of my healing and I think it would be for most people. I may not go back to school to get my master’s in Psychology (a dream of mine) but I can continue to invest in myself by taking classes that enrich all parts of my life. That’s what I needed…balance and fulfillment in all areas of my life.
I try, as much as I can, to not get involved with the distractions that life can swing our way.
In this modern world, 75%-90%, of all doctor visits are from stress related conditions and disease. Stress affects 4 out of 5 people in the US. Stress can cause all sorts of debilitating and terminal disease that are common from too much stress. Some of these include; heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease and accidents…to name a few.
This is serious. Have you suffered from stress or a disease related to stress? If so, I can tell you that you might need to change your lifestyle to enable LESS STRESS for yourself. If you don’t do this you could suffer from major disease not to mention anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia can be side effects of stress. And if you can relate to my story-get help and do the work to save yourself.
I developed a lifestyle that meets my basic needs and this provides me with a foundation to build from. My foundation is the healthy soil and my attitude is the water that my dreams will grow beautifully tall from and reach the sky. Like a beautiful old Redwood trees or Sunflowers.
You must have a lifestyle that fills your needs. Rearrange, change your work and home schedules to better support your needs, be creative and make sure you are investing in yourself and your priorities. If we don’t know our priorities or if they are not clear then we don’t become aware of what we actually need and what is important in your life. Or rather our true needs will not be met. We will just keep marching forward with upset faces..doing the only thing we know to do…Stress out!
Stop the chaos. Focus on you and your needs. Fight for what you need and want. It’s your life…make it the best it can be!
Thank you for sharing this space with me.
Until next time…with love and care,
-your friend “Sunshine”.