Friday, October 3, 2014

The Cure Is Motherhood

I have had headaches since middle school -- similar to the ones my mom had from time to time.

When I was in college, my mom learned that she was suffering from migraines at which point I realized that, since I had the same kind of headaches, I was having migraines too.

My migraines were never debilitating -- they are rough, some are worse than others, a dark silent room is always my best friend, but I have never had blurred vision or crippling nausea.  I always just dealt with them.

Throughout college and graduate school I would have occasional migraines.  My parents always told me that I should keep track of them in case there was a pattern, or certain triggers.  I never kept close track of them... but I figured out that alcohol, caffeine, stress, and lack of sleep could be triggers, if I wasn't careful.

Once Chris and I were married, the migraines became much more frequent -- several a month instead of once every few months, and I couldn't pair them with caffeine, alcohol, stress, or lack of sleep.  Why was marriage causing such horrible headaches?

It took a few years, but, in time, I realized that the migraines were related to my birth control pills.  My migraines became predictable and miserable -- every 3 weeks, for 3 days at a time like clockwork (with an occasional additional migraine thrown in there due to other factors).

Once Chris and I realized the cause, we prayed about what to do, and felt led that I would go off of "the pill."  For as many women feel that it is the greatest thing on earth -- sexual relations without pregnancy, we realized first-hand how unnatural it is to mess with a women's hormones, and "the pill" is certainly not without side affects or consequences.

Immediately after stopping "the pill", my migraines decreased.  Suddenly, even the headaches I had when triggered by caffeine or alcohol were less intense and lasted a shorter amount of time.

In time, I became pregnant and discontinued my consumption of alcohol, and significantly decreased my consumption of caffeine.  The migraines all put disappeared.

It is sad that it took becoming pregnant for me to cut out alcohol and caffeine, especially when I knew they could be migraine triggers, but, for me, that is what it took.

So, for me, the cure to migraines is motherhood  --
step 1: go off birth control
step 2: cut out alcohol and caffeine due to pregnancy and nursing

Now the headaches are all but gone.

I went from 1-2 headaches a month, each of which lasted 3 full days to 3-4 headaches a year, each of which lasts 36 hours maximum.  I still have to be careful when I am stressed, over-tired, or strain my neck and arm muscles, but we are Praising God, and loving life without consistent and miserable headaches.

For me, the cure is motherhood.

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