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Day 1 Migraines Have Ruined My Life

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by PAChristine, Sep 15, 2021.

  1. PAChristine

    PAChristine Newcomer

    Hi, I'm Christine, and chronic migraines have ruined my life.

    Six years ago, I started having strange neurologic symptoms - brain fog, clumsiness, fatigue, blurry vision - but we couldn't find a cause. A year later, I started having headaches with the other symptoms, and I was diagnosed with migraines. Over the last five years, they have gradually increased to the point where I do not have symptom-free days. EVER. Working became increasingly difficult, and a few months ago I finally had to stop trying. I have applied for disability and am waiting to hear back.

    Aside from being unable to work, I had to quit the orchestras in which I had played for several years. I can't exercise. I miss gatherings and outings with family on a frequent basis. I gave up on having friends because I was just too flakey to get together and do anything ever.

    In pursuit of a cause, I've undergone a plethora of tests. MRIs, CTs, angiograms, EEGs, spinal taps. Everything looks ok. In pursuit of a cure, I have tried EVERYTHING. Pills of all sorts. Daith piercings. Chiropractic. Neck specialist chiropractic. Gluten-free. Keto. Therapy. Nerve blocks. Botox. Lidocaine infusions. Hospitalization for DHE infusions. Reiki healing. Cannabis. Ketamine. The ONLY thing that ever worked was Ajovy. It basically cured me for six months.!.. then it quit working. Nothing else has helped since. I'm to the point that we're trying things that didn't work again because there's nothing new to try any more. I am out of options.

    So, the assignment was to discuss how I feel about whether my symptoms are TMS, and whether the program can help me.


    That's hard for me, especially since my career is (was) in medicine. I've been working as a PA for a decade now. I'm good at what I do. I know a lot of stuff. I wasn't trained to think about pain syndromes in this way. The other reason it's hard is because pain isn't the primary symptom here. The disabling symptoms are the brain fog, fatigue, tinnitus, slurred speech, light/sound sensitivity, etc. The headache itself is mild most of the time. It's the "migraine brain" that's destroying me.

    I watched the video where the lady with neck pain says it got better with her telling herself there's nothing wrong and nothing to be afraid of. I tried it on my migraine symptoms and... they haven't budged. My head is still ringing, my vision still blurry, my body all "ugh."

    Can this program help symptoms like mine? I really hope so. But having tried and failed so much, I'm really struggling to have faith.
  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi Christine

    The one thing that jumped out at me was the title of your thread. Six years is a long time. For me it was more like 35 years, but who’s counting? Was my life ruined? It did have a massive impact on my ability to work and on my relationships, especially with my children. I was a stay at home mother for 16 years, not because I wanted to be, but because I feared going back to work and being unable to do my job. I wouldn’t say my life had been ruined. Greatly affected, yes, but not ruined.

    Migraines were harder to shift than any other symptom. They were entirely caused by repressed rage, real violent, murderous rage. This had been building since childhood, as long back as I can remember. Of course, I couldn’t go around murdering people, so that rage was turned inward. Like you and countless others, I tried many ways to rid myself of migraine like drugs, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, Reiki etc. Nope, none of those had any effect. I had to give up trying because that effort of trying and failing was causing even more rage. I would treat the symptoms of migraine with my prescribed medication. One day I had an internal dialogue with my brain, essentially telling it that I was through and wasn’t going to keep taking this drug. The migraine that had been escalating suddenly dissipated and I haven’t suffered another one since. Chronic migraine is defined as 3-4 times a month. At my worst I was experiencing this symptom 3-4 times a week.

    Don’t expect by reading a book you will be cured. Stop the seeking of new ways to cure yourself - or going back to ways that never worked previously. Resume daily activities gradually, like make an arrangement to see family or friends, even if it’s one person at a time. Just get out there and stay out there. You won’t find a cure from anything external to yourself.

    Do I have regrets? Plenty. I am still working up the courage to have a heartfelt talk with my elder daughter to explain why I was such a shrew to her growing up and to apologise. I also regret not achieving a career for myself. I’ve had a succession of jobs but feel I could have achieved more. When my inner bully starts having a go at me, I tell it I did the best I could and am still doing the best I can. That’s all I can do.
  3. PAChristine

    PAChristine Newcomer

    Hi yb44 - thanks for your reply. I really do need to hear that people with migraines have found success with these methods. I did achieve a career I love, bought a house I love, had hobbies I love, had an exercise routine which was going great, had friends I spent time with... and I've had to give almost all of that up. My life went from wonderful and joyful to persistently miserable. As I said - my symptoms are every day. I don't have good days any more. Rescue medications don't work. I feel so hopeless and trapped.

    I definitely have suspected an emotional component for a couple of years though. I used to REALLY struggle with my mental health (true bipolar, hospitalizations, etc), but that got a whole lot better... in the same year that the weird neuro symptoms started. I recognize that I seem to have traded one problem for another.

    I'm having trouble identifying the underlying emotional causes. Most likely: I don't currently believe in any external concept of God, but I definitely got pretty angry with him before deciding he must not exist. The migraines didn't get any better when I chose to let go of that belief system a year ago though. Maybe I'm angry at my former religion still. I was very faithful when the migraines started, but couldn't understand why other bad things were happening in my life.

    I'm going to be making a new thread with my day 2 assignment: three things that make me mad, and three things that make me sad.
  4. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    You can read my Success Story on my profile or in the Success Stories sub-forum. I rid myself of migraines and fibromyalgia using only TMS treatment.

    I had migraines since age 4 and they became chronic in my 50's, with about 15 episodes per month. I took more triptans than recommended, and I do think that added to the frequency of migraines, as it can cause a rebound effect. I think it took me about 18 months to rid myself of them entirely when I started doing TMS treatment. They went away gradually. I started having fewer and fewer until eventually I only had the ones that corresponded to changes in the barometric pressure (one of my triggers). I did a lot of research on whether or not migraines can be caused by barometric changes, and determined that they cannot. Therefore, it was a conditioned response (I had associated the two things). I had to unlearn this association and did so by telling myself repeatedly that barometric changes cannot cause a migraine, etc. The other important strategy that helped me was to do the following when I had the very first signs that a migraine was coming on (tingling in my scalp, some sinus pressure). I then told myself "Stop it, brain. There is no reason for you to have a headache now. You don't need a migraine. I am willing to look at all of my emotions.", or something to that effect. Then I just went about my day, and the next time I thought about it, I realized it never developed into a full migraine. I haven't had one in years now, and don't even get those early signs anymore.

    I used Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain book that has a 28 day program. I think it focuses more on emotions and early childhood experiences than Alan's program. It was not easy to complete, but it did the trick. I used the SEP and Alan's program for help with relapses that I've had for fibromyalgia and other symptoms, but haven't had a relapse for migraines.

    It is possible to rid yourself of migraines by treating them as TMS. It is not easy. I did it alone, but you may find working with a therapist helpful. Hang in there. You can do this.
    PAChristine likes this.

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