Darlene


I am happy that I am now in a position to support migraine research. I would like to tell you about my migraines so that you can pass my solution onto others it might help.

I started having migraines in my 20s and am now in my 60s. As I approached menopause, they evolved from acute to chronic migraines. With menopause, they started to dominate my life with greater frequency. I eventually became a virtual prisoner in my home, afraid to work outside the home or make plans for anything because I was getting so many every week. [Tweet this.]

I tried everything! Anything I read about. Eventually I started doing research on my own, which also dominated my life. No conventional doctor was ever any help to me, but I did get the most support from my gynecologist, who also suffered from migraine. In a last desperation measure, I checked myself into a sleep study because the great majority of my headaches began when I slept. I was determined to find out why. The pulmonologists at the Sleep Center looked at me like I was crazy. They did discover that I had the mildest form of sleep apnea and recommended a CPAP. I had great difficulty adjusting to it, but eventually I was getting restorative sleep. I believe this was the first contributor to my healing.

The second contributor is thanks to my husband’s research. He had thought for a long time that coffee (caffeine) might be a culprit, but I never wanted to believe it since coffee, through the years, often stopped a headache. However, since I was desperate, I first went cold turkey for a week, and then resumed modest amounts. Within a short time I was seeing some relief. Within a few months, I was nearing clear-headed living, with the exception of unusual non-migraine headaches that at least allowed me to concentrate and work. A few months more and I began clear-headed living. It was glorious!

I had been migraine-free, with few other headaches, for about three years, but late last year I started increasing my coffee drinking while working on a major writing project with deadlines. Because of that, I believe, I had my first migraine in years this past March. I ignored the warning, however. A few weeks ago I had a couple more, along with several of the unusual headaches for a couple weeks. This time I took the warning seriously and cut way back on caffeine, eliminating it completely a few days. Almost immediately I started getting better. I’m still limiting my caffeine to date and have high hopes I will be living a clear-headed life again in a short time. My husband’s research pointed to my threshold for caffeine being low, whereas other people have a higher threshold.

No preventive drugs ever worked for me, and I tried many. My salvation came from, I believe, a combination of restorative sleep and dramatically reducing caffeine. If I use an analgesic with caffeine, I drink no coffee that day. If not, I limit myself to about 5 ounces of regular coffee mixed with decaf to not feel deprived. I have so far found that just the 5 ounces is enough to make me alert. Eventually I may allow myself to drink more occasionally, but I will never again forget what an enemy caffeine can be for me. [Tweet this.]