Migraine Journey Wednesdays (Vol.3 - Kandice Doucette)
I am 42 years old and live in Toronto, Ontario (Canada). I live with my partner and my cat! I have a full-time project management job along with a few side hustles - Epicure and Happy Healthy Women!
My Family’s History with Migraines
I started getting migraines in the form of sinus headaches as a child. In my twenties it changed to intense 24 hour 'couldn't do anything' migraines. These continued to get more frequent to where I always was in pain. I was having migraines 20-25 times a month. It affected everything; my hair and skin hurt, any smells and bright lights hurt…it left me emotionally and physically exhausted!
My Family has a long line of migraine sufferers on my mother’s side. My great grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunts, brother and cousins. A few were able to control them with meditation or medicine, but it is a daily act. My mother had to go on long term medical leave and it lead to a stroke.
The People Around Me
If you ask if the people around me are supportive and understanding, my answer would be yes and no. My family is to a point where so many of us have them(migraines). My partner is supportive and he has learned to manage around them and to help me. My pets have always been helpful! Work always depended on my boss and whether they had any family members of their own with migraines. They need history to be able to be understanding. It is a constant struggle to explain and deal with the stigma of migraines in the office. True friends are there for me and stuck through the downs.
The Effects of Migraines on My Life
During those years of intense pain and migraines I was forcing myself to do as much as I could before crashing. My crashing point was 7pm quite a lot. I never said I would go to something with friends and family unless it was that day or I would drug myself up to be able to go. I would work myself to the breaking point, so I was working harder than others. This way no one could say I wasn't trying and doing. I hated being outside in the sun. I couldn't go to concerts or crowded events as the noise, lights and smells would just kill me and I would turn into a monster.
What I’ve Tried
In my late twenties I finally started to see a pain specialist as I did not want to continue that way or end up like my mother. We tried many different pain medicines, beta blockers, hormonal drugs, injection treatments - like botox, freezing and lidocaine... The Lidocaine worked to reset the pain in my body, but not my migraines. It actually took me going to a Naturopathic doctor to change my diet and mental health to get control of the migraines.
By removing inflammations from my diet, cooking most of my food myself and eating clean with Epicure I have been able to get my migraines down to 1 a month! It takes daily habits of mediation, manifesting, yoga and being involved with healthy, happy women to keep the stress and mental blockage away as well. It really is a holistic approach for me. What you put into your body, on your body, in your environment and how you treat your mind and soul do truly control and affect your health!
Days Things get Unbearable
On really bad days I stop everything and rest in the dark. It means I went too far and now I need to rest.
Some Advice for My Fellow Migraineurs
Seek both body and mind help/advice. You may find a lot of your pain is due to pushing and ignoring your emotional pain. Eating clean is SUPER important for dealing with migraines and chronic pain. You may not a have food trigger, but with the all the chemicals they put into processed and preserved food, you are causing your body to work overtime and thus it can't tell the difference.
Thank you, Kandice, for stepping forward to share your migraine journey with everyone. If you would like to share your story and let your voice be heard like Kandice, you may do so here: bit.ly/2rJcpMR
the Migraine Buddy team 💜