My migraine story actually begins many moons ago in the green grasses of the Emerald Isle. I’m told my grandfather, my mother’s father with 100% pure Irish blood, suffered migraines, and most likely utilized alcohol to quell the pain. My mother suffered from these awful brain-busters… when I was little, I remember Mom having such a bad one that our neighbors called an ambulance -my Mom couldn’t talk to anybody and they thought she was having a stroke!

Mom’s older brother, Uncle Jack, suffered as well, and once had a migraine so severe that it led to a minor stroke. Uncle Jack’s three children suffer from “the curse” also, but not as severe as their sister. In the days prior to prescription meds, she would have to be carted off to the local Hospital ER for IV migraine treatment two or three times a week. Now, her beautiful daughter has inherited the migraine curse – she once had a severe reaction while taking her migraine medication along with meds for acne, which caused a seizure. Frightening.

I received my inheritance when I was eleven years old. It started with an aura, a grey, jagged image blocking the vision in my right eye. It was the weirdest thing. I told my Mom that I have “a dark cloud” in my eye – she knew. Then the pain came. I was in my bed, holding my head with a pillow, crying…screaming…and, being Catholic, begged Jesus, The Holy Mother, The Saints, The Pope… anybody with any type of divine influence powerful enough to TAKE THE PAIN AWAY! [Tweet this.]

My second migraine came to me courtesy of a tetanus/diphtheria shot. Throughout my teens, I’d get “hit” once every two months.  I’d have to be sent home from school, stay home from school. Mom and I worked at a friend’s motel in Wildwood during the summer. You guessed it! I got “hit” there while on the job, and don’t you all agree nothing is worse than being exposed to the sun, getting roasted like a Planter’s Peanut, while nuclear explosions are going off in your head? Feh.

The weird thing is during my 20’s, the migraines dropped down to one or two a YEAR! But in my mid 30’s, the migraines increased. Drastically! Each year, I’d get more and more to the point that I’m at four a week. That’s when I had enough.

I put my foot down, got my butt in gear and found a good neurologist. [Tweet this.] His treatment plan saved me from going out of my mind due to the daily pain in my head. And Doc agreed when I told him about my cousin’s discovery: her doc told her that migraines run through the lineage of IRISH FAMILIES. Aye, and I’ve got Irish genes on BOTH sides of me family… what’s a wee lass to do?

Unfortunately, during this past year, the final year of my 30’s – “the curse” made a wicked comeback.  It started ramping up early Summer, by Fall I was up to five migraines a week. After experimenting with different drugs, Doc has me back on track and… beginning the first year of my 40’s, I can now sit back and laugh at “the curse.”