I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember. It’s absolutely horrible. There’s no way around it. The simplest things set me off… smells, lights, stress, tension, exercise, lack of exercise, not enough water, travel, car rides, pretty much every day life causes migraines for me. I’ve tried everything. I’ve done massage therapy, accupuncture, herbs, drugs (every kind of migraine medication out there), preventative meds, and so on. Nothing seems to help. My kids knew that headaches ruled my life. I often missed out on games, activities, or just spending time with my kids because I couldn’t function. Having headaches DAILY was not out of the norm. Finally, I went to a Neurologist who specializes in pain management. My fear was that she would throw some pain killers my way and call it good. Most doctors really don’t understand the severity of migraines. They say they do, but I’m convinced they don’t know how they really alter your entire life. Several months ago I wrote about how this Neurologist tried Botox to treat my migraines. I promised to tell you if it was working.
Well, it’s been about 7 months now. I’ve had Botox injections done 3 times and I’m starting to think this doctor is a miracle worker! She gives me about 20-30 tiny little shots in the back of my neck and in the top of my head. (I have a very wrinkle-free neck now! At least that’s my joke because the back of my neck doesn’t have fine lines and wrinkles anyway!) Yes, the shots hurt, but not as much as a typical shot. So, in the past 3 months or so, I would say that I can count on one hand the number of headaches I’ve had. It’s truly amazing! I really don’t understand how it works. She says it paralyzes the muscles that trigger my headaches, but I don’t understand how that helps with my other triggers like light or smells. I try to stay away from things that I know bother me, but you can’t hide from everything!
I’ve also made changes that my naturopath has suggested, which probably help a lot too. I went through food allergy testing and several other tests which could help figure out why I’m sick all of the time. (For those of you who know me well, you know that I’m not only prone to migraines, but I also get everything that walks into the classroom door. I’ve been diagnosed with more diseases that I can count, all related to my thyroid, sinuses, and airways. It’s not a good problem to have when you teach little kids every day.) When she did these tests, she found out I have some weird gene mutation that makes me react negatively to certain things. I’ve really tried changing my diet to be more organic, with fewer chemicals, and more back-to-the-basics. I think I’ve noticed a difference with those changes too. The other day I opened a can of typical soup for lunch and about an hour after lunch I started feeling horrible. I don’t know if it was the MSG in the soup, all of the other junk that was in there, or just a coincidence, but I know I felt horrible.
So, there you have it. That’s my migraine/Botox story so far. We’ll see how I do in the next few months!
I’ve had headaches for as long as I can remember. I get the typical, “Oooh, I wish my headache would go away” type of headaches, but I also get the, “Oh my goodness, if I took a hammer to my skull it would certainly feel better” type of headaches. I’ve been on different pain medications and a few things that were supposed to prevent the headaches from starting in the first place. I’ve tried massage therapy, yoga, relaxation exercises (all of which are great), but I still get headaches. I’ve worked with a naturopath (who is fabulous), and I’m taking all sorts of supplements. I would say my pain has improved with all of the above, but I still miss work for migraines and sometimes miss out on fun times with my family.
I finally broke down and went to a Neurologist who specializes in pain control for people with chronic migraines. I found out that I would not be a candidate for many of the medications she would want to try first. (Those darn kidneys would prefer that I not take them!) I’m totally fine with that because I really don’t want to take medications. I’m fine with herbs and vitamins, but I’d like to stay away from the heavy duty stuff. The specialist’s answer??? Botox. I’d never heard of this as a solution for treating migraines. I looked into it, and sure enough, there is quite a bit of research out there to support this. So, a few weeks ago, I had Botox injected into my neck and the top of my head. (I have a very wrinkle free neck now, thank you very much!) Headaches? Well, better. Actually, much better! I’m kind of thinking it’s amazing.
Well, after a few weeks of feeling pretty good, the headaches have started creeping back into my daily life. My ears start ringing. My vision gets a bit blurry. Then the pain starts in. I started to revisit the suggestions my Naturopath shared. She told me that the absolute #1 no-no for a migraine sufferer is MSG. My first thought was, “Well, I’m glad I don’t eat Chinese food take out or eat Top Ramen.” I can’t tell you how surprised I was to see MSG in many of the foods in our pantry. I had no idea. I half-way expected a package to come with a label that said Contains MSG or something like that. But, those sneaky food companies list it under lots of different names. The article below has some good information.
Two of my kids’ favorites (and two of the foods I have a hard time saying no to) contain MSG. It’s in everything from frozen burgers to cheesy crackers!
I’ve decided that the only way I can control what I’m eating is to really control what I’m eating. I’m not talking just reading labels. I think I need to eat like people did in the pioneer days. I need to grow my own food, pick my own veggies, and visit a butcher once a week. (Ok, I know the pioneers raised their own animals and butchered them on their own, but I just can’t go there.) Did you know that even some canned veggies contain MSG? Sheesh! You can’t even eat right when you’re trying to eat right!
So that’s my story. I wish my story had a beginning, middle, and end, but I’ve been in that middle stage for about 20 years now. My friend, Diane, is doing an elimination diet. Maybe that’s what I need to do, except I need to eliminate just about everything. Think how skinny I will be when I only eat home grown fruits and veggies!
We got home pretty late on Sunday night, from our trip to Eastern Washington. Of course, we needed some groceries on Monday morning. Bright and early the milk man arrived with our hormone/antibiotic free milk and eggs. We started using Smith Brothers last month.
Then we headed down the hill to Stocker Farms. I have been making a weekly trip down there since they opened a few weeks ago. I love the fresh, local, produce. The flavors of the fruits and veggies are so pure. My kids even comment that they notice a difference between grocery store produce and local produce.
THIS is the way to shop, friends. All we needed at the grocery store was a loaf of bread and some bagels. If you haven’t caught the “local” bug yet, it’s time to give it a try!
This article absolutely freaked me out today. I feed my family berries every single day of my life. We love our berries. To think, the things I feed my family, which I think are healthy, may not be healthy after all.
As a teacher, every day I work with children with things like ADHD, Autism, and learning disabilities. Each year I have more and more children in my class with special needs such as these, which require additional support. I know this article is not the first to make these connections between pesticides and children’s development, but this one really has me thinking about what I feed my own children.
What do you think?