Migraine PainQUESTION: Have you had success in relieving migraine pain?ANSWER:
I have lived with chronic migraine pain for several years now. I have bouts where I get horrible, excruciating migraine headaches. I also have fibromyalgia which causes me occasional pain and makes it easier for me to catch a virus or cold. Several years ago, I was suffering greatly; days were spent in constant pain and difficulty walking. I have always believed in the power of prayer, therefore I spent hours begging God to help me.
Chronic pain is a very difficult thing to live through. Unless you have suffered with it, you really do not understand it. People who have never had a migraine for example, have no idea what one feels like. Sometimes the pain is so great I ask God if my time to join him isn't near at hand. I wish for a pain free existence in heaven with God. When it gets to the point that I am throwing up, all hope of the pain subsiding goes away. I can't keep my medication down and the nausea makes the pain all the more excruciating.
That is when I beg my spouse or family to get me to the emergency room fast. To make matters worse, the experience of waiting in an understaffed emergency room adds to the pain. When I finally get a shot and the pain starts to recede, I thank God for giving me hope. It is so wonderful when the pain finally goes away and I can relax and let the fear subside. Fear is something I had almost forgotten about. When I am in horrible pain, fear takes over and only extreme faith will protect me from a complete melt down.
What can you do to prevent or reduce the migraine pain? I have tried almost everything available in the medical field. Finding the right doctor is the most important thing. I struggled with this until I found a doctor who accepted me as a special person; not just a patient with a condition that had no cure. Nothing is more hurtful then having a doctor who denies your pain. I hate it when I confide in a doctor about my pain and he tells me nothing is wrong or I shouldn't be having this pain.
Turning to God also helps. He accepts you and loves you all the more when you are hurting. I have turned to Bible verses when in pain and the love expressed through His word acts like a medication. It calms me and reduces the fear and makes it easier for me to continue on. Romans 8:17 says, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." I remind myself of the pain Christ went through to save us. I repeat favorite Bible verses and positive affirmations daily. It may not take the pain away immediately, but it reduces the fear and helps relax me and gives me strength to endure it. Psalm 71:20 says, "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up."
I have a close friend that helps me when I am struggling. I will give her a call and she will remind me that "this too will pass." I tend to forget the brevity of life when I am in the middle of a painful situation or experience. Your pain becomes all encompassing and you can't think of anything else.
Once I find a good doctor and my faith in Jesus is strong, then I concentrate on prevention methods. With my doctor's help, we work on medications and rehabilitation methods. There are new medications out there that help prevent migraines. Keeping physically fit seems to help. I have kept a food diary and found that certain foods need to be avoided. Certain times of the year and weather conditions have an impact also. I had a very smart doctor tell me once, that the goal of a doctor should be to help the patient reduce the pain. It doesn't matter what is causing the pain, the goal is to make it go away. Once the pain is gone, the body seems to take over and can heal.
Often the pain never comes back again. I have found this to be so true, especially with fibromyalgia. It is one of those diseases that have doctors really perplexed. It causes pain and usually no reason can be found for it. But isn't the number one goal reducing the pain? So I have tried water aerobics, acupuncture, chiropractic care, meditation, and other physical therapy. I have found them all to be helpful for certain pains and at certain times in my life. My doctor is open to new ideas and if something fails, we look for something different.
I still suffer from migraines and have fibromyalgia. But the episodes of extreme pain are further and further apart. My faith and trust in Jesus help tremendously. So does the other things I do in my life, therapies that help me to keep my body healthy and relaxed. Because of my chronic pain, my life has changed dramatically. I can no longer do some of my old activities, but the things I do enjoy now have more meaning. I use my time more wisely and I use it to help others who are suffering. I try to do what Jesus would do if He were here. I use the lessons I have learned from my suffering to ease the pain of others. If this testimony helps just one of you, I feel I have done my part. If you are suffering from chronic pain, remember God is there to help you through it. Remember the word HOPE, and don't ever give up. There is something out there that will help. Just be open to it and accept it. God loves you.