I’ve had migraines for as long as I can remember. Even as a child there were days when I would get these severe headaches followed by nausea and or vomiting. Usually a day out in the sun or travel was followed by one of these episodes. Home remedies, some paracetamol and rest would take care of it. I learnt to avoid the sun. Growing up in India it was not easy as the climate is always hot and humid.
As a teenager, the migraines were usually worst around my periods. I would usually get at least two migraines – one a couple of days before the start of the cycle and then again on the fourth day. So I learnt to live with my migraines and expect them. However, by this time paracetamols did not help. So I would get a injection with a painkiller and another one to control the nausea/vomiting.
In my mind I started creating a list – Sun, heat, periods. The list of triggers began. Soon I added many other items to the list – Sour foods, particular odors, flashing lights, noisy crowded environments, coffee, wheat, certain vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, beans, lamb, and on and on and on.
By the time I was an adult I had pretty much learnt all the things I had to avoid. Unfortunately, even though I did everything to avoid triggering an episode I still had no control. There was no saying when or what would trigger one. Being a wife, and a working mother did not help either. There were so many days when I wished I could just crawl back to bed and just be able to lie down there without being disturbed or anyone calling me or wanting me to join in the daily activities. But life goes on around you and you don’t have a choice other than to pick yourself up and suffer through it.Only a person who suffers from migraines truly understand the pain. For most other people, it is just a headache and they can’t really see what the fuss is about.
About ten years ago I began to have pain in my neck, shoulders and upper back. There were certain areas in my shoulders and back which would start hurting and it was always followed by a migraine. The right side hurt more than the left. Soon the pain was chronic. I could not run, jog, swim or do any sort of exercise without triggering a migraine. Simple daily activities like driving, grocery shopping, going to the office, cooking, sleeping ALL were controlled by migraines. My life was in complete chaos and I lived in dread and fear of doing anything because I did not want to trigger a migraine. All that was left were good and bad days.. On good days the pain was bearable and I could struggle through the day and lie down in the evening exhausted but fearful of what the night will bring – another painful migraine episode. On the bad days I could not get out of bed and the only way I could get it under control was by going to the ER where they would give me intravenous meds to knock me out. I could no longer sleep at night. More often than not my episode began early in the morning around 3:00 am and would only worsen through the day. I continued in this state for about 3 years until I could no longer go on and had to take time off work.
On this journey I’ve met with at least half a dozen neurologists, taken chiropractic treatments to “adjust” my neck, acupuncture, acupressure, homeopathy, Ayurveda, physical therapy, occipital nerve blocks, trigger point injections, bio-feedback therapy and even considered a treatment where they implant a wire under your skin in the forehead which then sends electric pulses to your brain. NOTHING WORKED!! The list of medicines that I’ve been prescribed by doctors is even longer – I been on everything from beta blockers to botox including anti depressants, anti anxiety, anti everything. And it was not just me who suffered. It was my husband and son who had to suffer through it as well. The lost family time, the cancelled plans, the tip toeing, no talking, no loud noises, no running etc etc etc so that I would not be disturbed.
Until I met Julie, my daily life was pretty much the above with me surviving each day by taking my rescue medication. My day would begin with a puff of my nasal spray (Zolmist). I would then stagger through the rest of the work day and the evening only to get up at 3:00 or 4:00 am with another migraine. I was bone tired, had absolutely no energy for anything. Most of my weekends were spent recovering from a migraine and before I knew it, it was time for another grueling work week.
This Christmas break I took a week off and flew down to CA to meet Julie. I had spoken to her on the phone and had researched her on yelp. She had rave reviews and I was very hopeful. After the long list of treatments that I had taken for my migraine her method felt too good to be true. “Its all about the muscles” she had said. “Yeah right!” She had told me that she would work with my muscles and once she was done I would never get another migraine, a headache maybe but I would NEVER go back to the state that I was in.
The first day I met her I was in for a surprise. Here was someone who actually listened to me! She understood what I was going through! After all those mind numbing neurologists who never heard me or bothered to understand my pain Julie was refreshing!!
The best way to describe Julie’s method of working is “calming”. It was like she was able to relax my over worked nervous system. My neck, shoulders and back which were in constant chronic pain were finally able to relax. It felt like I was awake for the first time in a decade. After years of chronic pain, the feeling of getting up with no pain is indescribable. Its like being free for the first time in years. I had lived under a fog of medicine and pain and now I could see clearly. As she had said, it was TRULY in the muscles. She was able to get all of my muscles working again. Due to the years of chronic pain I had managed to tense my muscles to a point where they were almost fused together. They were hard like cement. But Julie’s miracle hands had released the tension and got them working again.
My recovery was a process, and Julie was there with me through every step of the way. I met with her for a week and she worked on me for 5 sessions. For the other two we just talked! For a week, all I did was rest, rest and rest. During this time I realized how tired I was and how much my body needed this rest. I came away with a lot of information on how to go through my daily routines from sleeping positions to using the mouse at work to standing and working in the kitchen.
Julie had given me a goal of 21 days from the time she worked on me. It would take that long for me to fully recover. She taught me to be patient with my body. It is like recovering from a fracture or a similar injury. The road to rehab requires patience. Since Julie has worked on me, I’ve had three headaches and in my panic state I had reached for my rescue medication only to realize that it did nothing since it was NOT a migraine! I’ve been sleeping through the night and getting up refreshed and energized. I know how to handle stress and work out the kinks in my neck, shoulder and back using a tennis ball. Today is day 10 that I am pain free!!
For all those men and women out there who suffer from migraines know that there is an end to the pain!! There is light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you Julie for giving my life back!!!
Please feel free to contact me and I am more than happy to discuss my journey with you!!