How my migraines led me to a more healthy lifestyle
By Anna K. (Denmark)
It was January 1995, I was preparing for a 72 hour case study exam at university when I suddenly started getting a strong headache and my eyes hurt – I was convinced that I had the flu. I managed to get through the exam on painkillers. During my 20s the pain would return 1-2 times a year but as I was getting closer to 30, I started having headaches every month or more and my family encouraged me to see a neurologist as several women in the family have had issues with migraines. It became clear I had inherited it!
The good news about migraine is that it is not dangerous, the bad news is that there is no cure YET and it can be very disabling. So, I read, research and try out many different types of treatment. I started with traditional medicine – I have a fantastic neurologist with whom I have participated in many new medical trials. If it was not for her, I would have had to stop working as I have had periods with migraine +30 days at a time, every day.
I have also tried many other types of treatment: acupuncture, procaine injections, different types of healing, facial yoga, physiotherapy, a psychologist/ life coach, diet, vitamin/ herb supplements, sports (yoga, pilates, …) and I am sure I am leaving out some. All of these have helped and reduced the number of migraine days a month, but I have never been migraine free more than 1 month and I consider 2 migraine days a month a victory.
After 25 years this sounds like a disaster but that is not how I look at it. I have learned a lot – I have found a way to live with pain and manage to have a happy life with my husband, kids, family and friends and a great professional career. And I potentially have my migraine to thank for many things that I have incorporated in my life. I live a much healthier life because the migraine has forced me to organize myself and create a strong daily routine. I follow a very healthy diet, I do everything I can to sleep 8 hours a day, I start my day with meditation, and I try to exercise 5-7 days a week (running, padel, biking, pilates). Adversity makes us stronger but that said I will never give up my search for a migraine free life!