i have been a sufferer of migraines since my early 20’s.
when i first started getting them, i thought it was the birth control i was on but after i stopped taking it, they only continued.
in fact - they got worse.
migraines are known to be hereditary and since my aunt and uncle are sufferers as well, i settled on being just one of the unlucky ones in the family to have inherited the gene.
for awhile i felt like i had a handle on it.
i would take 2 Motrin when i would get one and in about 45 minutes or so i would feel better. as time progressed 45 minutes would turn into 2 hours and the pain would get more intense so i would bump it to 3 Motrin. then i heard about Excedrin Migraine so i started taking that, but the amount of caffeine in it would make me shake for hours at a time, which would then trigger my anxiety. if i had to choose between a migraine, constant shaking, and/or having an anxiety attack - i'd take What is a Migraine for 500 Alex? needless to say i went back to taking Motrin - except now i was up to 4 at a time. in more recent months i started taking Tylenol Extra Strength but 3 still wasn’t enough (didn't alleviate the pain quick enough), so i upped it to 4 at a time of those as well.
scared to death of what the over-the-counter medicines were doing my body (i'm shocked i even have any stomach lining left at this point), i wanted to explore what my other options were. in my 20’s i had been prescribed by my prior family doctor epilepsy medicine for my headaches however the second i heard the word "epilepsy" i nixed it without even trying it. i did not need to add another complex onto my already hypochondriatic (if that's not a word, i'm just gonna go ahead and make it one) plate.
i’ve spoken to my current doctor about them a few times and he knew i was taking OTC meds (i may or may not have left out HOW MANY at at a time i was taking) and he first suggested that i talk to my OBGYN about getting back on birth control however i am strongly against that notion. i need NO additional assistance with any mood malfunctions. so he proceeded with additional testing, including basic neurological tests (i told him i was sure i could feel a brain tumor growing like a weed in my skull - he determined there was not), we talked about my symptoms, how often i was getting them, how long they were lasting, when i was getting them, and ultimately i was prescribed Imitrex.
the good news - it has NO caffeine in it which means it will treat my migraines and i won’t shake for hours on end.
the bad news - i have to take it the second i feel one coming or it doesn’t work - but i WAKE UP with 98.9% of my migraines.
it only took me about 2 migraines after this to realize the Imitrex was NOT helping. i couldn’t catch my migraines in time for it to work effectively so i quickly ended up back on my Motrin, Excedrin, Tylenol drip. the stubborn stella that i am refused to call the doctor back and take any more time off of work so i waited until i was sick again to tell him the Imitrex was doing nothing for me. he told me that in order for me to be put on daily preventative medicine, i needed to make a migraine diary and keep track of all my headaches for a 1-2 month period. after that, we’ll meet again and discuss a plan to move forward (so much for not taking more days off of work - emoji eye roll).
to make a long story short - in 2 months i had 9 migraines, 2 regular headaches, and 3 call outs from work.
he prescribed me Topamax (or whatever the generic version is called).
i was ordered to start a slow dose and then increase each week (3 total) to my full dose of 100mg.
now here is where shit starts to get real.
my first 2 weeks everything was great. nothing felt out of the norm except soda started to taste flat and disgusting. if you lined up a bunch of bugs and squished them up into a liquid and put them in a cup - that’s what soda tasted like to me. and if you know me - you know how much this broke my little heart because i LOVE soda. pepsi and mountain dew are thee loves of my life.
i launched the podcast on saturday, july 7th which was nearing the end of my 2nd week on the “medium” dose. on tuesday (the 10th) i started my full dose and it’s been one hell of struggle ever since.
with any new medication, it takes your body a little while to get acclimated to it so i knew it was going to be a little rough in the beginning. my doctor told me the main side effect would be weight loss because i would have some taste aversion and when i first started on my Zoloft, i had NO appetite for the first 3 or 4 weeks so i was prepared (or so i thought) to deal with that side effect.
but now - not only was i extremely repulsed by food, but i also could not stay awake. you know when you take NyQuil and you're in that space right before it knocks you out? that intense drowsiness? yeah well i was there but during every waking moment of the day. i felt high as a kite, completely exhausted, frustrated that my body was not at all cooperating with my life that moves at 100mph - and did nobody in this 5 foot 5 frame of mine get the memo that i JUST LAUNCHED A PODCAST?!
the fucking stress was REAL and i'm not a crier but i was on the borderline of a major meltdown.
i had ZERO energy to post on social media, send or answer emails, be active in real life let alone anywhere online.
for the first 3 days of my full dose, all i could think about was sleep and it was rapidly sending me into a depressed state that i would otherwise never be in.
i felt immense guilt for wanting to sleep and then allowing myself to sleep after knowing i had just launched a podcast and i was doing nothing to promote it. i felt depressed that i didn't have the physical energy to be investing the time in it that i WANTED to invest in it and that a new podcast needs. i felt like a lazy P.O.S. that i wasn't working towards editing and publishing the second episode. the disappointment i felt in the timing of everything was causing me to feel resentment towards my body and i began to have serious negative and destructive conversations with myself.
i don't have the best communication style with my body. and by that i mean - i never listen to it.
my mind is so loud. it's extremely demanding, controlling, and overbearing.
my ideas are so vibrant, colorful, intense, and passionate that i don't pay attention to my body struggling to keep up. by the time i finally do stop to pay attention to what my body is doing - it's usually when i've run it dead into the ground and i literally have to see a doctor because i've allowed myself to get so sick. you would think i would have learned my lesson by now but it's been like this for as long as i can remember and maybe it's just how us creatives are. we get so wrapped up in the world that's in our minds that we forget about the world that's happening around us. the more i talk and get to know like-minded individuals, the more i see where my "quirks" to some are things i have in common with others, but that's a different blog for a different day.
the takeaway of this story and this post (for me and for you) is:
1. take care of your body
listen to your body regardless of what projects you have going on, regardless of what you just launched, regardless of the timing, what you have planned, who you will disappoint (INCLUDING YOURSELF) - TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. it's ok to rest. it's ok to take a break. it's ok to say you're tired or to stay home on the weekends and recharge. you HAVE to take of your FIRST HOME and that is the one you mindfully, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally live in.
2. have positive conversations with yourself (something i need to seriously work on).
i have absolutely no patience so i am quick to get frustrated with nouns (people, places, and everyfuckingthing). the second my body shut down on me - i shut down on me too. i went into angry, verbally abusive me - TO MYSELF. and that only made me feel MORE bad about me and my situation. rather than have a logical, understanding conversation with myself and allow myself some time to get acclimated to what was going on in my body - i did the complete opposite. staying positive FOR YOURSELF in not so ideal times is just as important as being positive for your friends and family in their rough times. if you can do it for them - DO IT FOR YOU!
3. do not put unnecessary pressure on yourself (guilty as charged)
on the friday before my launch day (the date i set myself - a pressure i didn't have to put on myself but did) i exhausted myself by redo'ing the entire podcast because my first one was FAR from perfect. but i've never recorded a podcast before. i've never used garageband before. i've never edited audio before. i'm literally teaching myself (along with the help of my william) how to do all of this as i go, so why do i think or expect things to be PERFECT especially on my first try? i have the tendency to think that i can be Superwoman because in my experience, creative things naturally come easy to me. i usually don't have to put much effort into the things i'm passionate about creating. so when i do have to put in that effort or when i do have to learn something new and it doesn't come to me right away - in floods the frustration and the pressure to get it and master it so i can continue on with my vision. ultimately i fulfill my goal but the process ends up DRAINING me and while i tend to ignore this factor - i still have a job and life i have to live outside of my creativity. i need to work on steering myself away from that. i need to learn that it's ok to set goals - but to pressure or bully myself (with negative conversations) is not the way to get there.
growing is learning and learning is a process in and of itself. stay open to the process. allow yourself the time and space to grow. things will come full circle exactly how and when they are meant to.
this week was a hard one, but i learned from it. i grew from it.
and now i am DEFINITELY ready to move forward from it!
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love & light,