Welcome to My Migraine Life
Thanks for visiting and welcome to my blog! I hope you find comfort, support, and information that help your journey a little bit easier. Living with migraine is complicated! Way more complicated than I ever knew. Every day I learn more about my invisible illness. My hope for this blog is to show you that advocacy can be anywhere and everyone should be an advocate. Whether you are living with migraine or supporting someone who is, I hope you walk away from here with ways to educate, communicate, support, and live a better life.
First, I’d like to tell you a bit about my migraine life and how it began. My first memory at age 5 was having a migraine attack. I was at my cousin’s baseball game and threw up 3 times from the crashing pain at an ice cream shop after. It was the beginning of a long and ongoing journey. Both my mom and grandmothers lived with migraine and we knew what my “baseball headaches” were before a doctor diagnosed me. My mom understood and supported me making my “crazy” feel less horrible.
Next, I continued through high school, sports and life while struggling silently and hiding a lot of how migraine made me feel crazy. How can a young, athletic, ambitious girl have a headache every day, feel dizzy, get auras and be sick so much? It was confusing and as puberty hit my body was going haywire. This is when I learned about medication overuse headache (MOH). I was taking over-the-counter medication every day to treat my migraine and this, in turn, gave me a headache repeating the cycle.
Over this time, I learned triggers, foods, and situations that did not make my body and head feel well. Before leaving for college, I had many tests done concluding that migraine was the culprit and no medication was approved to treat my disease. A doctor gave me a strong prescription that was not considered for my new lifestyle. I rapidly gained weight and experienced side effects while being on my own for the first time. This is when I learned the intense lesson about withdrawal and weaning off medication properly. I then tried medication after medication not approved for my condition (because there was none) while experiencing huge side effects that were often worse than the attacks. I was episodic through college and was able to live a somewhat normal life. This is when I met my husband and biggest supporter.
As an adult and intervention specialist to children with moderate to severe needs, my condition worsened. Stress became my biggest trigger and switched my brain from episodic to chronic. My principal told me I had to come to work because it was just a headache. This is when I knew stigma needed to be addressed. It’s so much more than a headache. Stress, a bad diet, less working out, and all of the sacrifices I made for others changed me forever.
Next, I stayed home for 5 years to have and raise my babies. That was a roller coaster! It got better when I was pregnant and nursing, my first pregnancy was harder than my second and it was all very different. Staying at home was by far the hardest job I had while my husband traveled close to 60% of the time. My migraine attacks came back strong and frequently. At this point, I felt alone and misunderstood. This is when My Migraine Life was born.
My Migraine Life Blog
My blog has served as a source of therapy. I tell my stories and help others better understand migraine and all it's complexities. I pass along information, therapies, and products I’m trying while discussing the mental part of living with a chronic disease. Through this, I have joined many important migraine associations and hope to share what I learn from them and how you can get involved.
Most importantly, it makes me feel less alone and inspires me to help the millions of others with me. My passion is helping and teaching. I now teach preschool part-time at my children’s old school while freelancing and advocating. I love my family, traveling, fitness, food, and ending my nights packed in ice from a migraine. At the end of the day, I hope to encourage people to live their healthiest and best lives in whatever way possible. I’m living life through migraine……this is My Migraine Life.
I hope my journey helps you understand yours better. Remember that I’m not a doctor or giving you advice on what will help you. I don’t know your body and it is very different than mine. Take what you will from my blog and talk to a doctor for medical advice. I hope you find something that helps you or others in your life.
Work with Sarah Rathsack:
I like to share ways to lower stigma and raise awareness through foundations, events, and other health information. Please contact me with your ideas on collaboration.
I review products in hopes of improving the quality of my life. Check out my reviews and the products I love. Giveaways are a fun way of giving back to my amazing followers. If you think you have a product that may help My Migraine Life, please reach out. *Note: I will not review something that I don't love or use and I am often an affiliate since I love it so much. It helps fund my blog and work.
Finally, thank you for reading and following! Your encouragement gives me so much inspiration and each comment, share, follow, and like fuels me to continue.
Wow I can’t imagine suffering from 5! I got my first migraine at 15. At 18 they started to become more frequent and in my 20’s I started getting daily headaches and subsequently at least 1 migraine per week.
How much control do you have over your migraines? I have none. I’m at home in bed about 80% of the week. 🙁
I have little control. I have recently been watching my diet more. I have always known my triggers but I have found eating cleanly has helped. I hydrate a lot, get good sleep and try to live more proactively than reactively because if I wait too long I’m done. I’ve just started looking into all of these things and have found that joining support groups have made me take my health into my own hands. But let’s be honest….I can’t live without my meds, dr, and help from family. Blogging is new to me & all the social media but I’m hoping to help. Thanks for reaching out
No problem. Thank you for sharing. When I read the stories of others it helps to know that others can relate to what I’m going through.
My husband and parents are great but they don’t suffer migraines. So when my husband gets home and finds me in bed in the dark and depressed, he opens all the blinds and curtains hoping to relieve my depression, but doesn’t fully get the pain it causes (I have photophobia).
Then my mother tells me to think positively and exercise etc.
And both my parents are always meeting people who suffer migraine, so they always call saying, “You know who I saw yesterday…well they have migraines and this is what they did so here’s the money to try it…” lol.
They all love me of course, but there’s nothing like someone that lives it too.
I started my blog to release my feelings and to catalog my progress. So while I search to find relief I hope you find it too.
– Skylar 🙂
Great! It sounds like we are on the same page with similar goals. I’m glad to have met you and will be following your progress.
Thank you for reading! I have found that writing and reading about Migraine is very powerful. I felt like I was crazy & misunderstood for years but hearing and knowing there are people out there who understand me changes things. Please continue to read and share with your friends. Even if people don’t suffer it’s important for them to understand!
I just read your blog thank you for sharing. I’ve been trying to meet more people who understand and can share their experiences like mine. For the longest time I suffered in silence and doctors made me feel it was all in my mind. You have given me lots of encouragement.
My son has had chronic and disabling migraines for the last three years (he’s 16). Now that we finally know what they are and are starting to find out his triggers, I feel guilty that all the good things we thought we were doing him were poisoning his system and causing him pain. And overwhelmed by gratitude for his neurologist and psychologist who are helping him avoid and deal with chronic, overwhelming pain. I had no idea what people were telling me when they said ‘I have a migraine.’. And I now now know who really does have them when they start talking about sensitivities, pain, and dark, quiet rooms shrinking from stimulation.
Thank you for your blog. Just reading your piece on what it feels like to have an invisible disease brought tears to my eyes because someone else gets it.
My very best hopes for you and I most hope that we find ways to make this pain go away.
Thank you so much for commenting. It’s words like yours that inspire me to write. I am so sorry for you and your son. I am scared everyday that I have passed this into my children. Watching your son in such pain must be heartbreaking. I will keep you all in my thoughts.
I suffer from ocular migraines. My doc put me on Topiramate. This drug was originally given to people having seizures. But they found that it relieved headache symptoms as well. I take 2 at night and now very rarely suffer from the ocular migraines after getting to the point of having them almost every day. My oncologist also suffers from migraines and takes this med to for relief. If anyone suffers and hasn’t tried this, might be worth a try. . . I do think what we put in our bodies has an effect also. There is so much GMO’s, etc put in our food now that if you can afford to eat organic, you really should.
I just found your blog and am looking forward to reading your other entries. I too have suffered since around the age of five, and have found myself recently wondering how I can work on more awareness for those of us who feel that they suffer in silence. I look forward to reading your journey. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Heather! Thanks for reading and your kind words. Since I started blogging I have learned so much about my disease and hope to help others in whatever way I can. I’m happy to have another voice to bring awareness but sad you suffer! Thanks again for your kind words, they really brightened my day!
I like to know products that did not work for you please.
Oh geeze. That list has gone on for 20+ years. I’ll try get some ideas together though. Thanks for the question.
OK I will to try anything once to get help.
Me too. That’s why I suggest things I like on my “things I use” page. Hopefully it helps!
I think I need to update my about me page. My son has had migraines but he was 11 or so after the first one. But my poppa, my moms dad got them. I’d say mine have become chronic again. Thanks for sharing!!
Thanks for reading! I’m sorry so many of you suffer. There are just too many of us! Please share my blog with anyone you think may like it????
Hi, Sarah. I’m a journalist writing a piece about chronic migraine. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in sharing your story? Please respond if you are and let me know the best way to reach you. Thanks!
Hi Diana, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks, Sarah! I sent you an email earlier today. I look forward to connecting.
Hello my name is Mollie & I live in Denver, CO. Eight years ago I was in a horrific Motorcycle accident, a young Woman ran a red light & T-boned me & the driver from our left. I flipped off the Motorcycle 45 feet & landed on my back on a newly tared road. This was in July , at 103° in Oklahoma. I broke my left Femur, left wrist, crushed my left Ankle, broke my right foot too. Plus a really good bump to the right side of my head…which has caused my daily Migraines. I’m currently taking Simatripton, but only allowed to take 3 pills per week. My Neurologist says I now have Brain damage on the right side of my head.
Wow! I’m glad you survived. I’m sorry you suffer so much, hopefully My Migraine Life can teach you something to help deal with the daily migraines. Take care of yourself! Thanks for reading.
Hi, I just got my 3rd migraine ever last week. My first one was 5 years ago which was a regular bad headache with sensitivity to light. My second one was a few months ago with a visual aura that lasted 30 minutes. My most recent one was last week and had a visual aura and sensory aura where the right side of my mouth, tongue, and fingers down to forearm got numb and tingly for 10 minutes. Just wondering if you or someone you know has experienced the sensory aura. My neurologist just prescribed sumatriptan. This is all new to me and I don’t know much about migraines or how to cope.
Daisy, I’m sorry to hear about your experiences! Can you email me at email@example.com. I’d be happy to help how I can!
I am 51 years old and I’ve had migraines since I was in college. Over the years they settled into a very predictable pattern related to my cycles. They worsened as I entered my 30s, but luckily I had an amazing dr. who prescribed naritriptan (Amerge) which can eliminate my migraines in 1-2 hours. As I’ve entered perimenopause, the migraines seemed to increase in frequency. My dr. prescribed amitryptaline as a prophylactic and it reduced the migraines by 50%. I now only get them 3-5 times per month. I avoid all caffeine, stay hydrated, and eat regularly to avoid sugar highs and lows.
I am a preschool teacher as well! Currently I am full-time but hope to return to part time, which I enjoyed for four years. It truly is the best of both worlds.
I cannot imagine living with daily migraine! I am curious about what treatments or medications you use? I am impressed that you have continued to work and raise a family while dealing with this illness. My hat is off to you!
Hi Heidi, sounds like we have a lot in common! As you can read from my blog, I do a lot naturally to prevent and battle my migraines using a ton of products (oils, lotions, baths, ice, heat, glasses, etc). I also do a variety of treatments: massage, acupuncture, exercise/stretch, physical therapy, etc. but I couldn’t survive without taking medication. Depending on the reason for the migraine depends on what I use. My biggest preventative is Botox. I was on a variety of preventatives for years and found the side effects were too much to handle. I also use muscle relaxers, anti inflammatories, zomig nasal spray, imitrex injections, Benadryl, sinus medication and steroids to break cycles. I know my trigger foods and eat and drink with caution. It’s a daily battle and some days I’m successful but most nights I go to bed at my worst state. I’m lucky enough to be able to function during the days with all these combinations along with stress management, routine sleep schedule, an amazing support system and more. Thank you for reading and following. Your comments help others know they aren’t alone just like my stories I share. Please share my blog, Facebook page, twitter and Instagram to anyone you think may benefit. Awareness and spreading the word that it’s not just a headache is important. Best of luck to you.
Hi Sarah, there is a new migraine medication approved by FDA early this year 2018. It’s already in the market now named Aimovig. Have you looked in to it? I want to ask a neurologist and wonder if anyone here has used it.
Yes, I’m on it. There are also medications that involve the cgrp like aimovig but different called Ajovy and Emgalty. People are having varying results but it’s exciting to have options.
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Nice article, nice info for who is suffering from anxiety and depression.