Home Is Where My Story Begins

Migraines – Ugh

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! 

Happy eating!

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The Comments

  • Diane at Perfectly Imperfect Life
    April 19, 2013

    There are SO many things that we have no idea about in so much of the food sold in grocery stores. Sounds like you're get to dump processed foods with me! Good thing you like to cook and bake!

    How awesome would it be if you really did find out that your migraines were caused by MSG?

  • jenna
    April 20, 2013

    I am so totally passionate about this idea! If you drive to Seattle I'll grow you how I grind my grain and make almond milk from whole almonds and stock my garage with things I grew over the summer. Maybe I'm I bit if an extremist, but it's totally fun! I promise!

  • id
    May 17, 2013

    Do some research on pseudotumor cerebri (my husband has this condition). He also gets Botox for his headaches, but there may be other meds your Neuro can prescribe that would be helpful. I hope you find some answers & relief from this pain.