I am 42 years old and I remember my first migraine at 13 like it was yesterday. I was in 8th grade, super insecure, a little too tall and just a little too skinny in comparison to the rest of the kids in class. I was in home economics, the only other option was shop, an easy A. The teacher was talking about how to use the sewing machine and I could hear her speaking but I could only see portions of her. My diet wasn’t great, so I thought I was just hungry but almost instantly I was so nauseous that the thought of eating quickly left my mind. I focused all of my energies and attention on the teacher trying to get her into focus. I could not figure out what was happening. The only way I have ever been able to explain what I see when I first get a migraine for those of you who have never had one is look through a kaleidoscope. There is an end image, but it is chopped up in segments, very disproportionate and impossible to focus on the singular image. Then for no reason that I could explain at the time, I had to run, literally run, down the hall to the girls bathroom and vomit.
What I have tried over the last 29 years…
I have gone to a neurologist at the headache clinic to get cat scans and MRI’s, thinking surely I must have a tumor or some type of growth in my head that causes this pain. Nope – mine are mild in comparison to folks that are non functioning migraine sufferers. I was given triptans. The side effects are pages long, but “do the side effects out way the relief the drugs give you”. Every 6 months the dosage needed to be increased and I was starting to take drugs to counteract the side effects.
I have had to go into clinics to get shots in the butt (one for pain one to stop vomiting), the last time was with my husband and two kids and they wouldn’t help me until after the lengthy questioning of being a drug addict and taking a drug test.
I have tried the “heavy” prescription pain relief drugs in small doses just to try and knock me out to get rid of the pain, but I HATE the way these make me feel. Thank goodness I never had to “rely” on them. I have tried typical over the counter drugs, at one point I was up to 10 / day. My vomiting was so bad with some migraine medicine that my Dr prescribed me a suppository. Pause and think about that for just one minute. If you are vomiting and need medication, stick a what…where?
After my 2nd child was born I tried an IUD for birth control for two years and 15-20 migraines / month later discovered the #2 side effect is migraines. The Dr told me that could not be possible and actually argued with me about taking it out.
I have tried certain facial injections across the top of my forehead, my jaw line, from shoulder to shoulder and up the back of my neck. That has definitely helped with the nausea, but they are $400+ every 4 months and not sure the side effects other than the frozen look are great either.
These are just examples of the SOME things I have tried to alleviate my migraines. I have literally tried everything and was willing to try any “new” thing out there. All of which have ridiculous side effects. So I stopped listening to the Dr.’s and started listening to my body and started educating myself about healthy alternative ways to relieve migraines. I found Cannabidiol (CBD).
There is very little research on migraines and the cure and even less research on the benefits of CBD on migraines. However, of all the research I found I couldn’t find any side effects of CBD. This is what caught my attention the most and helped me answer my question – Does CBD help with migraines? The answer – CBD works by interacting with cells in both the brain and nervous system which are thought to help with pain regulation and inflammation. CBD comes from the Cannabis plant, but the crazy thing is Cannabis has been used in alternative medicine for over 3000 years. Without proper education of CBD it is assumed CBD will give you that psychoactive high. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is what gives you the psychoactive high. By law CBD has less than 0.3% of THC which essentially means that psychoactive high is impossible to achieve.
I watch my diet very closely and know if I have just one too many glasses of red wine…well those are self inflicted so those don’t count :-). This is my personal story and everyone’s story is different and there are so many variables that you need to take into effect when looking into pain relief. Through all of the fluctuations of the last 29 years of dealing with migraines I feel like I am a pretty good case study for what works and what doesn’t. I found that CBD does help with migraines. Right now regimen is daily tincture of CBD, keep my caffeine and sugar really low, exercise and drink a lot of water. I listened to my body, and I am happy to say I am now down to one per month with manageable pain.
What is your story?