Although I have much gratitude for being a middle aged woman in today’s world, I am still fighting the battles only hormones can rage. Headaches are a large part of that struggle. Migraines have plagued my existence since I was 16, (Another period of significant hormonal flux?) a clear and traceable heirloom. I’m a classic sufferer with auras, numbing, jumbled thoughts, misspellings, and, of course, severe and debilitating pain. Most of the common drugs prescribed to relieve the pain make me a raving lunatic unable to carry on a basic conversation. As a teacher, that was unacceptable.
When I got pregnant at 41, I hoped I’d be headache free for the pregnancy period. Wrong. I had constant migraines and since they occur on one side of the head or the other, as one headache would abate another one would begin on the other side of my head. Being pregnant eliminated the prospect of using any medications to help relieve the pain so acupuncture was suggested. It was an expensive but pleasurable experience, however, I couldn’t afford to stick with it long enough to know if there was a significant change in the frequency of my headaches. Acupuncture remains in my repetoire of future treatment possibilities.
Searching for answers after the baby was born, I visited a neurologist who recommended a no surprises lifestyle with no exceptions. He suggested set unwavering times to eat, sleep, and get up in the morning. And my four month old would fall readily into regimentation? Sure she would! Besides, the unexpected pleasures and pains are what makes life so exciting. It wasn’t feasible to change everything that happened to me throughout the day to a concrete inflexible routine.
At last a doctor I consulted with on the prospect of using Botox (which I did not try) to cure my headaches recommended a pharmacist who designed drug combinations to fit the woman’s needs based on her headache triggers, or in my case, hormones. This pharmacist saved my sanity, or what was left of it. For the last three years, I’ve been able to keep working through my migraines and, in most cases, relieving the pain completely without side affects or making me too drowsy to function properly.
Now, about those wrinkles around the mouth and excess weight gain… (more later)