Life of a Migrainuer
Part 4: Intense research

Life went on during all of this treatment, and I learnt a lot of life lessons as well as lessons about migraine.  For example, you can’t put your life on hold while you wait to see if the next treatment will work.  You need to be patient.  You can’t give up.  And never put off until tomorrow what can be done today (because tomorrow you may be too sick to do it!).  Then again, don’t try to do everything today – know when to stop.

Teaching my daughter a little vehicle safety on her first birthday.

Teaching my daughter a little vehicle safety on her first birthday.

One summer I did some work on a website, and decided that the money was not going to go into next week’s groceries.  Instead, I was going to build something.  Something that would help others, and maybe help me.  I was going to start pouring what I’d learnt about migraine and headache into a website.

And so was born.  The name might confuse some people, but the focus was not on "migraine headache" (a symptom of migraine disease), but on migraine disease and various headaches.  I also started the free ezine, HeadWay,

HeadWay, issue #1

HeadWay, issue #1

which had more indepth news about migraine and headache research.  The first issue came out in August 2003.

Looking back over the years of confusion and misinformation, I wanted to get plain-language information out there for people who needed it.  And that’s still what I’m doing.

As I learnt more about new treatments, new clinical trials, medications, and alternative treatments, I found new things to try.

If anyone says they’ve "tried everything", they haven’t.  Oh, I understand the feeling that you’ve tried and tried and nothing seems to work and doctors give up on you.  But there are just so many treatments and combinations of treatments out there, that it would take more than a lifetime to try them all.  Part of my job is to help you find the best treatments quicker.

So, I personally had plenty to try.  Taking the focus off drugs, I found treatment for TMD, herbal treatments and changes in diet.  I won’t leave you in suspense – I haven’t had a miraculous recovery.  But I do believe I’m making progress.  I’ve found some things that work better than others, and am continuing my fight against migraine, as many of you are.

A boy was added to our family during this time.  He’s been a challenge and a joy, as most children are!

I also enjoyed some travel during this time, as I worked to train teams of college (and high school) aged students who did cross-cultural internships.

I continued to research and build the website.  In 2004 I started the Headache and Migraine News Blog.

You might wonder – why headache and migraine?  I hope by now you know, migraine is not a headache.  A headache is one possible symptom of migraine (more on migraine headache here).

However, migrianeurs often suffer from headache pain, and not always from migraine.  The lines between different types of head pain are not always clear.  Sometimes one thing is diagnosed as another (the classic example is migraine being misdiagnosed as sinus headache).  Also, the issues a chronic tension type headache sufferer deals with, for example, are often the same as what a migraineur deals with.  The same with cluster headache.  All very different – different problems, different solutions – but they do have things in common.

The website and blog have allowed me to meet medical professionals, as well as patients, from all over the world.  I have wonderful visitors and subscribers, many of whom have added ideas and suggested changes to the site.  Some visitors are at the end of their rope, others are determined and plodding on, still others are on the verge of an answer.  Many don’t deal with headache or migraine, but have loved ones they want to help.  Some are over the worst, but are coming to help others and give their input.

And my favourite type of email to get?  The ones that say,"I’m no longer dealing with migraine!"

If you’re a migraineur and still fighting, don’t give up!  I hope some day soon that will be you.

The next section will bring you up to date in my life, and the life of this site.  If you’ve read this far, you might as well keep going!  🙂

Continue to Part 5: Connections

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