Migraine Journey Wednesday (Vol.26 – Kiwi Carlisle)

Hi everyone, I’m Kiwi, and I’m in my mid-sixties and I live in eastern Missouri.

My Migraine History

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A number of the women in my family have had migraines at some point in their lives. I didn’t recognize the terrible headaches I had as a teen as migraines because I didn’t have a frame of reference. 

When I started having them periodically in my late thirties , a pulmonologist blew me off with the idea that I was having “allergy headaches”. When I turned 50, in the midst of peri-menopause, I got full scale attacks for days and days on end. My gynecologist and I tried ending my periods, which helped somewhat. I went on a migraine diet, giving up wine and preserved meat and aged cheese and peanuts, which helped as well. They didn’t vanish, though. My neurologist put me on Topiramate, which gave me a lot of relief for a long time. 

Then I lost my insurance and had to do without it for six years. I am back on it now, but the migraines had officially gotten to the intractable stage. Now I am combining my medication with the use of a Cefaly device. I use it daily to stimulate my trigeminal nerve. I am now having a lot fewer migraines and taking so much less pain medication after only a month that I have a lot of hope for the future.

The People Around Me

My husband and best friend are very supportive. It sometimes takes a while to convince other people that they aren’t “just headaches”. However, migraines definitely have affected my life. I would probably still have a full time job if not for my migraines. 

Treatments I’ve Tried

Topiramate helps to a degree. Cold packs are great. I love the Cefaly device for stimulating the trigeminal nerve. It’s uncomfortable to use, but I am having fewer headaches and using so much less pain medication!

On Days Things Get Unbearable 

A dark room, cool water, an audiobook on sleep timer, and the Cefaly device on treatment mode.

Some Advice For My Fellow Migraineurs 

Put several reusable cold compresses in your freezer and keep them ready! Make sure you have a dark place to retreat to, or failing that, a good dark sleep mask. Try to find all your triggers. Don’t give up! I’ve already seen stunning developments in migraine treatments in the last fifteen years. I think the next few years are going to make things better for all of us.

Thank you, Kiwi, for stepping forward to share your migraine journey with everyone. When you share your stories it not only helps other but you heal in the process too. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Kiwi you may do so here: bit.ly/2rJcpMR 

With love, the Migraine Buddy Team 

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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