Chronic Migraines & Me

The definition of a chronic migraine is a migraine headache occurring on 15+ days per month for more than three months. I’m one of those who gets 24/7 pain for months on end. Apparently, that puts me in with 1% of the population – I always knew I was special! I’ve had this condition for almost 10 years now – my first migraine lasted 20 months. Back then, I was just trying to survive them. In 2018, when I had my worst spell in ages with a migraine lasting 10 months, I became determined to thrive. 

Part of my thriving was ensuring I had nutritious food that catered to the peculiarities of migraines. There are the obvious elements of eating lots of leafy green vegetables, but I started trying to bake with alternative or no sugars and with whole wheat flour, alternative flours, and even with no flour. Early in the “Great Migraine of 2018,” I listened to the memoir, The Cookie Cure, by Susan & Laura Stachler. Inspired by Susan’s story, I began incorporating ginger into my recipes as a way to manage the migraine induced nausea.

On top of the actual migraine, there was also the additional challenge of planning snacks for a 3 hour infusion sessions or for a 7 day hospitalization. These snacks needed to be easily portable to schlep all over the city as I scurried from acupuncture to biofeedback to infusions to nerve blocks. The advantage of a large batch of portable treats was that I could also share samples with my amazing healthcare workers, who were trying their hardest to break my migraine. 

Thankfully, later in 2018, a new class of medication was approved by the FDA: CGRP receptor antagonists. While the first one I tried was not effective, the second one has been the miracle I’ve been waiting for 🙌. Here’s the catch: I have to inject myself in my stomach fat. Thanks, chocolate chips!!!! While I still experience chronic migraines, I also have amazing periods of pain-free time.

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