Today I am sharing a personal story of transformation. My purpose in sharing is to spread the word about how I overcame chronic migraine so that others living with that pain might also find relief.
Intro and Old Story
I started having migraines in childhood. I’m now 56 (as of 2019). For most of my adult life, I had headaches almost daily and had migraines at least twice a week. Migraines often had me down for two to four days at a time.
I was completely preoccupied with “trying not to have a migraine”. Due to my focus on this and other fear-based thoughts, I was living in an almost constant state of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm.
In spite of my state of un-wellness, I was very driven. I believed that if I could just get well, make more money, and “get my life in order”, I would be ok.
I was obsessed with this idea. My belief was that when I accomplished this, then I would relax more and have more fun. I didn’t realize it at the time, but by thinking this way, I was giving up much of my joy in living each day, and trading that joy for regret about the past and anxiety about the future.
With regard to wellness, I believed that if I felt better, I would be able to take care of the rest. I believed deep down that not feeling well most of the time was not normal for a fairly healthy person (which I thought I was at the time). I just refused to accept that my life had to be that way. I believed there must be a better way. I believed there must be an answer out there for me, and I was determined to figure it out.
Over the years, I tried all of the following and probably more: yoga, massage, aroma therapy, nutritional therapy, stress management techniques, personal counseling and group therapy for anxiety and stress management, herbal remedies, hormone testing, several medications including preventives for two years, and of course avoiding many foods thought to possibly trigger migraine.
In 2009, I took a food allergy test. Eggs, dairy, gluten and wheat were listed as “significant allergens”. Many other items were listed as high sensitivities. I was so excited after hearing the results because I thought surely this was going to be my “answer”. I already had been avoiding a long list of foods commonly considered “Foods to Avoid for Migraine”. After making these dietary changes, I did have significant improvement. I went from decades of having headaches nearly every single day to having several pain-free days in a week.
In 2011, I was laid off from my full time job which I had held for ten years. I was certain that having more time to rest and properly care for myself and eliminating work related anxiety was going to be the end of the chronic migraines. Nope.
In 2014, I hit my lowest point. In spite of trying several migraine medications (including preventives), making many changes to my diet and lifestyle, and working for five years with a chiropractic neurologist (who took a holistic approach to healing), I was still having over 17 migraine days per month with “regular” headaches on most other days. One would finally stop, and another could begin less than 12 hours later. I was absolutely miserable much of the time, and I felt hopeless. I had lost my desire to live. I didn’t see any point to my life. I could do very little to help anyone else. Family and friends couldn’t count on me to be available to them or keep my commitments. I didn’t want to be a burden, and I was exhausted.
My New Story
In August of 2015, my daughter and her husband Cliff took me in. This gave me an opportunity to rest and focus on my wellness without having to support myself financially. This was very significant in my healing journey. I believe I wouldn’t have made the progress I have without their help. Thank you so much Jessica and Cliff.
Also in 2015, my daughter suggested I check out a website called MyMigraineMiracle.com. As I read through the website, I felt in my heart that Dr. Turknett was being truthful, and I trusted him. I purchased Dr. Turknett’s book, “The Migraine Miracle”, joined the Facebook group, and joined Migrai-Neverland (subscription to all Migraine Miracle resources). I felt hopeful again!
Fast forward almost three years, and I’m doing better than ever. I now have only about two migraine days in a month, and I believe I will continue to improve.
In addition to this huge improvement related to migraine, I have learned a great deal about myself, and experienced great improvement in many areas of my health. Some of those improvements include the following:
The daily headaches are gone. No more chronic anxiety. No more chronic insomnia. I no longer take pain (or preventive) medication for migraine. I exercise at least five days a week. I now jog almost daily. I no longer have any joint pain.
I also have a much better energy level, and renewed sense of enjoyment from eating. I love cooking again, and I’m gardening! At my worst, I was not enjoying food. I had eliminated many foods including beef, eggs, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and a whole list of other items. I rarely ate out. I felt very deprived. I remember thinking at one point, “I wish it wasn’t necessary to eat in order to live”.
One of my most significant lessons was realizing that I actually was not as “positive” as I thought. :)
I’ve finally come to accept the fact that to a great extent, I created my own reality. I did not believe that I could accomplish my goals, and in many cases, chose not to take the action needed that could lead to change. Therefore, I continued to feel unhappy about my life. For decades I have struggled with the same issues. Somehow, I just couldn’t seem to manage to change myself in spite of all the “learning” I was doing.
I was great at taking courses, reading books, and making plans, but what I actually implemented was very minimal. That fact caused me a great deal of internal anguish. I felt I was wasting my life. I believed that I wasn’t capable of changing my life. I thought I wasn’t smart enough, strong enough, or “together” enough to do it. I would admire other people who seemed happy and were making changes in their lives, and I would think, “I want to be like that”.
Also, as I already mentioned, I had a terrible problem with anxiety. I would allow myself to totally shut down, and I found it very difficult to get out of it. Anxiety was the worst when I had migraine pain, or when I would feel that one may be starting up. I had an underlying belief that I could not take care of myself. I thought that migraines were keeping me from doing the things I needed and wanted to do in my life: generate more income and achieve my goals. I saw migraines as the problem. What I didn’t know was that there was something I could do about it. A key element of that something is mindset.
One thing I learned through the Migraine Miracle program is that anxiety can trigger migraine. I used to think the idea was ridiculous. I’ve now seen it happen and documented it several times while I was in the MM program. So I now know that in my case, my thoughts were powerful enough to trigger a migraine. I also learned that I have the power to stop it. In addition, I’ve learned techniques to shut a migraine down before it completely takes over my physiology!
I have made so much improvement. Currently, I am only having about two migraine days per month, so really I’m not losing very much time to migraine. This belief that I held that I had to be migraine-free before I could generate more income and pursue my other goals was another way that I was choosing to focus on fear rather than on the joy and opportunities of the present moment.
Another big change I’ve made is that I no longer feel disappointed in myself if I get a migraine. I used to think that if I got one, it was because I had done something wrong related to my self care and migraine prevention efforts. I would emotionally beat myself up over it for days. My goal now is to be happy in spite of the pain. I find my gratitude, and focus on doing something, or just enjoy relaxing. Now I like to keep my focus on the positive no matter what happens in my life.
I’m happier than I have ever been, and have a renewed sense of joy in simply being alive. I love my life. I’m so grateful to have the wellness I now enjoy. It is wonderful to feel good and realize, “I don’t have a migraine! I can do whatever I want today”!
As I write this in February of 2019, I feel like I am really living again. I love this beautiful world, and I’m so happy for all the great people I have the opportunity to share this amazing life with.
One thing I especially love in life is helping other people. I love to connect with another person and meet a need, or simply share time together.
If migraine is an issue in your life, please check out MyMigraineMiracle.com and give the program a try.
There is nothing to lose, and so much to gain. If you don’t have migraines yourself, but know someone who does, please share the site with them. It could be the catalyst that changes their life.
In addition to being an absolutely genuine, and extremely caring and giving human being, Dr. Josh Turknett is one of the rare gems of modern medicine. Dr. T is one of the few physicians who actually practices the true art of medicine. He believes in the Hippocratic Oath: “First, do no harm”, and takes a very holistic approach to healing and wellness. He prefers to identify the underlying cause of a problem, and help the body correct the problem when possible rather than masking symptoms with drugs. As a migraine sufferer himself, he gets it. He knows the impact chronic migraine can have on a person’s life. He has dedicated his career to helping people find their path to migraine freedom without pills. I extend my deepest gratitude to Dr. T and his wife Jenny for all they do to help others slay the migraine beast and transform their lives.
Thank you so much for reading to the end. Please give this post a share so that it may reach others who may benefit from this information. If you would like to ask me any questions about my experience using the Migraine Miracle program, please post in the comments below or send me an email using the contact form on this website.
Take good care.