Life threw a curveball my way, but I am better for it today

Live Life When you Have it. Life is a Splendid Gift. There is Nothing Small About it....Florence Nightingale

Age: 43

Diagnosis: Vestibular Migraine

I am a proud migraine patient.

My migraine story goes back several generations. But I didn’t realize this until I was struck seemingly out of nowhere with chronic dizziness after a long distance family drive to the beach. The second day at our destination, I woke up and felt like I was walking on a trampoline. And I was so looking forward to this trip after a very stressful few months. This feeling didn’t go away until six weeks later. I felt like my life had been “smooth sailing” until this new detour took place.

Of course, being a registered nurse myself, I came home and instantly googled my symptoms and drove myself to a local ENT. The ENT did a few tests and said “I can’t help you. And unfortunately I am not sure if anyone can help you….but I am going to refer you to a neurologist to see.” Talk about positivity! I was bummed. And being a natural optimist, my life was thrown in disarray.

During this time my first born was starting kindergarten and we were navigating a new life in Texas, having moved from Indiana a year earlier. Instead of attending the first day of school meetings, PTO events, etc…I laid at home in bed wondering if I would ever get better. My husband didn’t know how to help me so he generally avoided talking to me about any of my symptoms. I was not used to being the patient. I am used to helping other patients!

Fortunately for me, we were living in the Dallas area and through my extensive google research, I read about Dr Shin Beh, a reputable neurologist with UT Southwestern who specialized in dizziness. I quickly made an appointment with him, thinking my case would be the one he couldn’t crack, and thankfully began my road to recovery. My road to recovery was not simple. We trialed a few different medications before finding the one that worked for my dizziness: Effexor. However, once my dizziness resolved, I was left with chronic migraine pain. After failing Botox, I tried the newly released CGRP injections (Aimovig and Emgality) and discovered my missing puzzle piece. To this day, several years later, I am still taking Effexor and Aimovig. I am also looking more in depth at my hormones, as I have also been diagnosed with menstrual migraine. My hormones are my biggest trigger. I always have at least a few migraines a month, but am feeling like I have my life back and am not letting migraine beat me.

After feeling really crummy for a couple years, I have a renewed zest for life. I feel like every good day is such a blessing and a gift and I want to help others in their migraine journey. I currently work as a pediatric ambulatory clinic nurse and hope to help pediatric migraine patients in some point along my journey!

My best advice: keep searching for the best neurologist in your area. Don’t settle.

Give Effexor a try.

Don’t be afraid to add in Botox and/or a CGRP injection.

DONT GIVE UP! You will get better and stronger for it.

Keep the Faith. I would have fallen into depression if not for my faith in Jesus. He will heal you too!

I hope that my story can help at least one person! And I am always looking for ways to help others in similar shoes. We have got this!

(And to follow up with my story beginning, I am a third generation migraine sufferer on my mom’s side. Nearly all the females in our family have or have had some form of migraine!)