natural migraine relief

I am winning my migraine battle. No, for real, I am!

I have had one migraine in the past year.

Let me repeat that.

I have had ONE migraine in the past year.

If I would have written this yesterday, the number would have been two.  So, I was patiently waiting out yesterday, so I could say those awesome words of one migraine in the past year.

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I had one on September 7, 2015, following a fun, partying weekend which I believe the migraine was the payment for the fun.  See here.

And I had one on Cinco de Mayo of this year.  See here.

I have no special secret sauce, no explanation for this.

In terms of typical migraine triggers, I’ve had above my fair share.  My stress level for a large portion of 2016 reached levels that I don’t believe I’ve seen before.  That resulted in lack of sleep, lots of wine, chocolate, and definitely not eating as healthy as I have in past years, yet a decrease in migraines.

So, what’s working for me?  The constant continues to be my daily anti-migraine smoothies, Butterbur with feverfew, and B-2.  Same as the year prior where I had 9, and the year before that was my most migraines logged at 23.  The year of 23 resulted in having multiple migraines per week.  Each of my migraines last from start to finish: three days.  So, you can see why having one in the past year, that’s pretty freaking awesome.

Maybe I’ve grown out of them.  Maybe the lovely hormones that have come with me in my mid 40’s have assisted with keeping my migraines at bay.  If so, I’m hoping those same hormones aren’t resting me up for some huge whopper of new crap in the future. Trying not to let myself get too anxious with that though.

My second birthday of my little blog here just passed yesterday.  It’s definitely become somewhere that when I’m not writing about migraines, I’m expressing everything from my love of my cat litter box, to challenges with my kids, Pokemon GO, and a plethora of other stuff that no longer takes space up in my head once I write about it and click “post.”

Thanks for all the support I’ve been given over these past years!  I’ve loved it, and I really appreciate when some of my words strike a chord and relate with others!  Hope I’ve even gotten you to laugh a time or two! 🙂

Over the past two years, I’ve written 127 posts, and as a combination, those posts have been viewed 7,764 times.  That’s wild man.

Here are the top five posts viewed over the past two years:

  1. Thoughts on my 17th wedding anniversary…
  2. My husband is my best friend…NOT
  3. 3 tough questions my kids asked me over the weekend.
  4. Our children’s reality, uncomfortably numb.
  5. Atta-Boy Migraine!!!

And the one that started it all:

‘Winning’ (Charlie Sheen reference of course) the endless game of migraines (for this quarter at least)

One migraine in the past year.  I am definitely winning!

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In a pinch…

Traveling with the fam last week, hours a day in the car, making my green smoothie, or even bringing it frozen just wasn’t in the cards.

I picked up the Naked green machine boosted smoothie, and that with my supplement arsenal, seemed to work out just fine.  I wasn’t about to totally chance it and fully skip out on green smoothies, as on vacation I tend to not eat or drink according to my regular lifestyle!  🙂  While I don’t think it has nearly the same benefits of my homemade anti-migraine smoothie, it seemed to work in a pinch.

And by the way, it was delicious!  It tasted like apple juice.  Even my youngest braved trying it.  I kept telling her it tasted just like apple juice, and when she tried a sip, her response was “Um, no mom, it does not.”  Oh well, it worked for me!

73 days migraine free and counting!

99 Problems but a Migraine ain’t one!

Day 99 of no migraines.  Oh ya.

And I don’t actually have 99 problems.  Just giving a nod to Jay Z.  I mean, if I had to start a list, I may be able to come up with some stuff, not sure about 99.   And I hate the word ain’t.  Actually had to google how to spell it.  No lie.

And I digress…

99 days of no kaleidoscope eyes.  No dullness for up to 48 hours with a halting headache, where I do not bend over or stand up quickly for anything short of a fire due to the insanely intensified pain.

Still drinking my anti-migraine smoothie daily, changed it to before lunch a few months ago, along with my herbal supplements.  I drink so many of these, that I’m like a green smoothie connoisseur.  Not sure if that can turn into something lucrative… I do notice when my smoothies are spicier than other days, and I recognize that one type of green is more present than others.  Pretty sure that just makes me a nerd.

99 days is cool.  And within this 99 days, Disneyland was included.  Disneyland.  Crowds, walking somewhere around 10 miles a day…IN CROWDS most of the time.  But the most amazingly surprising part of these 99 days including Disneyland?  I went on the Tower of Terror ride.  Never, NEVER in my life would I have wanted to, or thought I would be participating as a rider on that ride.  All I knew is there was a drop.  My 12 year old couldn’t wait for that ride.  I was going to walk her up the line so she could go on it.  As we were in line, there were tiny kids, like 4 years old in line.  None of them were scared.  I started to psych myself out.  “It’s Disneyland, how bad can it be?  Little tiny kids are going, suck it up man!”  And before I knew it, I was about to be seated on the ride, and my daughter looked at me and said “I guess you’re going with me!”  At that point, my heart was beating so fast that I became a bit light headed.  The ride started, only after meeting another rider who was as terrified as me, and we agreed it would be totally appropriate to hold each others hands if needed.  I can handle the dark, or the trying to be creepy Twilight Zone themed movie clips that were being played to set it all up.  I could not at all handle the drop.  I even more could not handle the going up at the same gravity like speed as the drop.  No less, I absolutely shut down because this up and down stuff, kept happening, with no pattern at all.  All I could do is shut my eyes and hold onto the handles for dear life.  No screaming came out of my mouth.  This is the picture that was snapped by Disneyland when the doors opened and all of Disneyland could be seen from the top:

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I am the adult in the upper left corner.  I must have opened my eyes just a bit to see the light, and to reassure myself that I was still living, although I’m pretty sure I was crying in this picture.  Who is the guy on the right that has their wits about them enough to get a selfie?  What?  I almost couldn’t open my eyes, and this guy is making his Christmas card?

I had jelly legs for 40 minutes following this ride.  My kid, she thought it was the best ever.  I would have rather have had a migraine.  Not kidding.  At least then I know what to expect.  Although that would have thrown off my no migraine streak.  Worst ride ever.  And some people LOVE it!  Good for them, they can have my spot in that line forever.

Anyhow, had to write on day 99, because I’m a bit superstitious, didn’t want to bank on 100, but I am planning on it!  Then I’ll take a look at my first day 100 migraine free post here:  100th Day of no migraines!  Weird, it was 12/21/14, almost a year ago to the date I was celebrating 100 days!  Well, on to aiming for over 200 again!

Adding to my supplement arsenal…

Recently, I went to my doctor and had some routine bloodwork done just to make sure everything was in check.

For the first time ever, a few of the results came back about 1 point high.  So, needless to say, not in the ‘normal’ or ‘good’ levels.

I know I’m 44 now, but, I will not settle for a C grade.  I’ll go down to an A-, maybe a B+, but not below average.

So, I’ve had to get back on the horse.  The health horse.  This past summer brought many nachos, burgers, and yummy foods.  And although I continued to exercise at my regular intervals, I knew I was pushing the envelope.

So, I’m back to not eating however much I want of whatever the heck I feel like.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my food, and will continue to eat, yet, not to the point I was doing, and I’m back to adding more of the good for me stuff.

Also, I’ve added a Super B-Complex, and a D3 vitamin daily which my doctor suggested to assist in lowering the levels which were slightly elevated, and to assist with bone health to my anti-migraine potion.  I’ve tweaked my B-2 to just in the afternoon, I didn’t know if it would be too much B in the morning.  (I feel like such a dork for even writing all this.)

Anyhow, here’s to our health.  Still banking on natural sources and vitamins to battle the things my body throws at me, in hopes of not needing more serious meds down the road.

I’m currently on day 35 since my last migraine, jonesing for day 200…

Just keep swimming…

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Yo Eleven!

I’m on day 11 of being migraine free.

I think I’ll press my bet, and go for another 11.

I like to gamble.  I come from a family that gambles.  I met my husband of 17 years at a blackjack table.  No lie.  These days, gambling is not very frequent due to 3 kids, 2 dogs, 4 chickens, and 3 cats.  Enough said.

But when I am at a craps table, it’s not rare to see me throw down a $5 chip, and yell “Horn high 12!”  Not a popular bet.

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Hanging out drinking a green migraine smoothie around others every day is also not very popular.

But when the unpopular work…it’s very, very exciting.

I’m going to continue with my unpopular green smoothie and natural supplements daily routine, and continue to bet on the unpopular; in the form of aiming for another 200+ days of being migraine free.

THAT WOULD BE SO EXCITING!

Let it go, the King is dead. You’re 200+ days of no migraines is gone.

The number 205 seems to have now taken on a ‘glory days’ effect in my mind.

Problem is, I want it back.  I want to go over 200 days between migraines again.

And I don’t believe I’m going to lie down and settle for less.

There are times that I laugh when I hear my husband or others talk about their sports glory days.  And how is it that they can remember specific plays in great detail from 20+ years ago?

Will that be me?  Day 200 when I blogged about that celebratory day, will I remember that day with great details?  I just may.  Because I most certainly will remember walking into stupid Raley’s for stupid dinner stuff and getting a stupid migraine.  Dumb grocery store.  And I will certainly remember the nail salon, and most recently, a whopper migraine in Michael’s.  All stopping me from getting back on track to 200+ days migraine free.

I have to keep my glory days in the front of my mind though.  It happened once, it can happen again right?  And still, I can’t be too miffed about having broken my 200+ day migraine free streak.  Because the fact is, I’ve only had 6 migraines in one year and 16 days.  That may be some glory days there in itself, second only to my 200+ day streak.

Onward.

Still faithful to my anti-migraine potion, because 6 migraines in 381 days, I can glorify that!

My Anti-Migraine Green Smoothie, perfected!!!

It’s been over 11 months since I began my anti-migraine potion which includes Feverfew, Butterbur, B-2, and green smoothies daily.  And over that 11 months, I have had 5 migraines.  Which pales in comparison to the up to 2 a week I was experiencing prior to my anti-migraine potion.  My original post which details the supplements and the original recipe for my green smoothie can be found here.

Below is what I have concocted to create my tweaked version of the original green migraine smoothie recipe, and this is my favorite to date.  Details are below with an updated recipe at the end.

First, the greens.  Pure kale is really good for you, but it seems bitter to me.  After many trials with many greens, my favorite greens to use in my smoothie are these below:

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Spinach and baby kale, the only place I’ve found this particular brand is at Safeway, and it’s the best in my opinion.  A close second is this:

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Power Greens, it’s available at Costco. The trick to either bag is to try and get as much air out of it as possible before you store it back in the fridge. The original recipe called for 2 cups of greens.  I basically lightly pack the blender until it is about 3/4 full of greens, then add the rest of the ingredients. 1/2 – 2/3 of a cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, organic if possible since I drink these every day.

3/4 cup of coconut water, I buy this:

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It comes in a pack of 6 I think at Coscto.  It lasts forever.

Lemons…I now peel 2 lemons and just throw them in the blender.  I used to juice a lemon and add it to the smoothie, I found I really like the lemon taste, so I added another to make 2, and peeling them and throwing them in is easier than juicing them. If you’re lucky like I have been, you’ll have a friend with a lemon tree and she will bring you bags at a time of delicious, fresh lemons!! 🙂

Ginger; this has become a larger and larger portion as the time goes on.  I put about a 2″ x 1″ piece of peeled fresh ginger into my smoothie.  Looks about like this:

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(So, I’m not a professional photographer, but you get the point…)

And, lastly, about a cup of frozen pineapple.  I use the kind below from Costco:

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Blend all that up until it’s nice and smooth.  I separate mine into two portions, one to drink that day, one in a container in the fridge for the following day.  On a migraine day, I’ve been known to drink both portions in a day, splitting it between the morning and afternoon.  These can be frozen also.  I make an extra batch or two and freeze them in Ziplock gallon bags when I go on vacation and I don’t want to have to bust out the blender every other day.  They defrost real well, I pour mine into a cup with a lid, give it a good shake, and they are good to go.

Again, I’m not sure exactly what it is in my anti-migraine potion that seems to be working for me, but I’m happy that I’ve had a lot of relief over these past 11 months.  I know there is not a one size fits all for the treatment of migraines.  If what has helped me helps anyone else at all, that is so wonderful.  I hope that everyone’s unfortunate journey with migraines can eventually bring them some relief!

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No thank you Maroon 5…

So, all morning, this was the song in my head:

Maroon 5 – This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r

I don’t even necessarily like the song that much, but I can identify with it.  And not for what I’d imagine it’s supposed to mean, like partying like a rock star, or whatever the song is truly about.  Yet, my glamorous take on it, is if I continue to get migraines this summer like the one I got yesterday, ‘This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like A Motherf****r!’

If anyone got the license of this truck that must have hit me yesterday:

Or if you could tell me if I got any good punches in during the fight against this guy last night:

Because that’s how I feel today.  The ginger helped with the nausea, which was nice (Ginger for Migraines).  Nothing touched the headache or helped me figure out where my brain was and why my head was dizzy today though.

Oh well, as I tell my kids sometimes when they’re not feeling up to something ‘fake it ’til you make it.’

Now, on with the rest of the day….

Well that sucked…

I didn’t expect to have to try out ginger just 2 days after writing Ginger for Migraines!

But, here I am, migraine in full effect today.  Could have been the heat, I’m sure that didn’t help.  Or that I missed my green smoothie today, which could have helped to prevent it.  I had friends over, including my good friend from Virginia for just a few hours, and didn’t want to interrupt my time by stopping to make my smoothie.  My bad.

When I got back home after getting the migraine, I mixed 1/2 tsp of ground ginger into a small glass of water.

So, was it ‘abracadabra, migraine gone?’  I don’t know.  I do know that about 10 minutes after drinking the ginger, the nausea was gone.  And within an hour I was feeling much more like myself, although still could use a whole house fan for my head.  I don’t think anything will ever combat the feeling of having something heavy and weighing down my head and face.

The real test will be tomorrow….the headache.  I’ll see if it is minimized, or if not, if more ginger helps to relieve it.  Here’s to hoping!

Still, overall, can’t complain too much.  Only my 3rd migraine since September which I feel is big ‘Winning’ compared to three per week which was my reality pre-August, 2014!!

Ginger for Migraines.

I was in Pismo Beach last week for our annual trip with family.  Can’t say Pismo Beach without thinking of this:

While I was there, my good friend Timaree from http://thenutritionprofessor.com sent me an email with a cool video about ginger and migraines.  See it here:

Looks like I’ll be purchasing some ground ginger, because heck, if it does as it claims for some without the side effects of Imitrex, which were so lovely for me (see here at Imitrex Fail!), it’s worth keeping on hand for when a migraine does break through my anti-migraine potion!

Has anyone used ginger as a successful migraine treatment?