Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hypoglycemic Diet and Migraines. Warning: Long post.

I have recently decided that I am going to start a diet. This is going to be very very hard for me. I have gained some weight in the last 6 months and I am determined to keep it off. I haven't changed my eating habits, but I have changed my excercising habits.

With my feet having plantar fasciitis, I am not allowed to dance anymore. The problem with my feet is that my ligaments are way too loose (in most cases, they are too tight, and that is why they hurt) and that allows too much mobility in my feet and causes me to sprain and bruise my feet easier than most people. So, Dancing is out. I don't run anymore either. I used to run sometimes (prob only like 2 miles a week) and used to do crunches every night.

Now, I don't work out hardly at all and am having problems keeping myself looking hip and skinny (haha.. right.) So. Thus, the diet.

I also have been getting migraines REALLY bad like I was in high school again. It's kinda starting to depress me a little. I just met this girl in my ward, Anna, that has horrible Migraines too. We talked about it and discovered that we are the same age, our migraines started at the same age, we both have tried the same medicines, and nothing has seemed to help. She recently saw a doctor at the BYU clinic. He told her that they DO know what causes migraines, and said it's a neurological disease that you are born with. It cannont however go away, but can be prevented with certain things. I.E. Medicine, Knowing what triggers you.. etc.

Her doctor put her on this Hypoglycemic diet. They have found that a better diet- (this one in particular) has helped prevent migraines. However, I cannont eat chocolate, drink soda... and I have to start eating whole wheat food. It is going to be really hard for me, but I know I can do it. I would rather grow up and get over my pickyness than live with migraines my whole life. I have learned a few of my triggers- I know that the cold weather is killer and always gives me a migraine. If I wait too long to eat, I get one. If I am tired, I get one. If I eat lots of sugar or fatty foods, I get one. (sounds weird, but I do) If I get too much sleep, I get one. (there is no inbetween.) If I get stressed out or tense, I get one. If I cry, I get one. Really. I have to avoid so many things, and I hate it. I hate living my life day to day walking on egg shells not knowing if I am going to be in pain when I wake up.

Anything I can do will help me- so I want to start the diet and see if it works. It works for my friend, so hopefully it will help me. Even if it's just taking my migraines down to 2 a week- I will feel better! I am going to share the most personal story I probably can share about myself because I want you to understand migraines. I want people to believe me- because those who haven't had them, don't understand. Please don't judge me because of this story, or think I am a crazy person- just listen, and understand.

When I was a senior in high school, I started getting migraines really bad. At first, I thought it was just stress. I was in Encore, Chamber Choir, and Ambassadors, and teaching dance and dancing. My life was insane! I thought it was just because I was always on the go. But, November came around, and it got really bad. I was getting them 4 times a week- sometimes one would last all week long. I would black out, throw up alot, never have an appetite, and coudln't help but cry even though crying made it worse. It was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. My head would be so heavy- and pounding as if someone was hitting my head over and over again with a hammer. I started missing school alot. I had bad grades. I failed tests. I lost my friends. They all thought I was lying or just didn't wanna come to school- so they all ignored it and thought I was being a baby. (I think my family felt that way too.) It came to the point where I was NEVER going out. The only time I left the house was for choir. Any other time, I was home. I stopped being social. I didn't go to church. I was in pain so much and not only because of my migraines, but because migraines took my life away. I would stay home and hang out with my mom and dad, or sitting in my room with all the lights off, sleeping. I would come home from school at 3, and sleep till dinner, and then go back to bed. I fell into a deep depression that no one really knew about. I was good at hiding it.

I wanted to die so many times. I wanted the pain to go away. I would loose all life in my body- and just cry and cry because of the constant banging in my head. I had no one to turn to. My friends didn't believe me, my family didn't believe me, no one did. I went and got an MRI- where they found Arnold Chiari- when your brain sits too low in your head and pushes on your brain stem, causing tension headaches, eventually turning into migraines. It wasn't severe, it was barley noticeable in the MRI. At least then, I was glad that I had it, because that would mean that there was a reason for people to believe me and my pain. It was like HA- in your face.

I finally went to the Neurologist- and tried a a million different pills- none of which helped me. I tried pain killers, nope. They didn't work either. She gave me Topomax- which I lost ten pounds on. I was starving all the time when I was on that pill- but every time I went to eat, I had no appetite and either felt sick when I looked at food, or threw up. I lost ten pounds that month.

I became deeply depressed. I honestly didn't feel there was a reason to live. This is the very personal part. One day, I went up to my mom and cried and said "mom, I almost just took all my pills in that bottle. I want to die." She freaked out, and just held me while I cried. I literally wanted to take all the pills to end my life. (I didn't take any because I knew how stupid and childish that was when I came to my mind) Migraines had ruined my life. She asked me to go see the bishop (who at the time, was bishop coates who is a psychiatrist). I continued to meet with him, and eventually got over it and pulled out of the depression. I finally found a pill my senior year that helped me, called Amitryptylene (sp?!) It was a preventative medicine. I had to take 3 pills every night- and could NOT miss a night, or I would get a migraine that was worse than what I had ever had before. For the last 3 years, I have been on that medicine and have shaved my migraines off to about 1 a week or less. (usually less depending on my triggers and situation)

Just so you know, Migraines limit your life. If you have one, you can't drive most of the time. You cant jump up and be normal. You never know when you are going to get one either- and that sucks.

I continued to keep a journal of my headaches, and of my situation when I got one. I saw the Neurologist every 6 months- and she told me that sometimes, people grew out of migraines. So, 4 months ago, I decided to ween myself off of the medicine. Reasons being: no insurance when I got married, and you cannot get prego on it or breastfeed. (me being a newlywed was scared to accidentally get prego and give my child a birth defect) I weened my self off of it, and seemed to be doing fine. But- as the months have gone on, I am getting them more and more often again.

My reason being in sharing this- be compassionate for people who get migraines! You NEVER know what is happening or how bad they are, because you haven't had one. I feel bad for the people who have one even once a year! Also, if you have migraines, get it taken care of. Don't go as long as I did. It will ruin your life for the time being.

Now, I am going to go to the doc, and discuss my possibilities with him about them. I am going to start my diet, and do everything I can to make it good! I hope you can all pray for me and help me along the way. I think I will start the diet after Christmas- cuz I can't ignore my mom's BBQ Beef and Homemade Pizza.. mmmmmmmm...

I hope you don't think I am a crazy person now. I really am normal. Have been for 2 years now. :)

6 comments:

chelsey said...

I'll vouch for the diet thing! Brent is hypoglycemic and has been watching his diet much more carefully since he found out. A pleasant side effect of a better diet-- higher fibers, no soda, whole grains, etc., has been that he now has fewer migraines. He now knows that if he goes too long without eating something he will get sick and end up with a migraine. Fast Sundays always ended in a terrible migraine. He now knows he can't fast for long.
Stick to the diet and see what happens! I hope it works for you!

Mike and Adrianne said...

I think you should try the diet too. Let me know how it goes. I have gotten migranes too. I get super bad headaches the week before my period (dad will be grossed out that I just said that) and I have found that I really need to keep on top of it because if I don't take something the minute I feel the headache, it will get worse until it's a migrane. I do understand you. Mike took me to the ER once when I had my first migrane and I thought I was dying. They gave me morphine and it was the best feeling in the world. It is crappy and I really, really think you need to get this under control. You probably already have, but have Kevin give you a blessing. I will pray for you. And again, let me know about the diet and if it helps the headaches at all.

Lokodi said...

I feel for you girl! Good luck with the diet. I'm a firm believer that diets affect everything with your body. If you eat right, you feel right. Not that it will take away all your pain, but it will probably grately reduce it. Good luck and I'll be praying for you.

Lindsey

Gillian and Kevin Mohlman said...

Ya, Adrianne mom told me last night that she wished that she would have known how severe they were for you. She wished she would have understood better. But- don't take this offensively- I am kind of glad that you had them before me because it prepared them for me. I don't think anyone was really fully prepared for it, but at least I got through it.

Chels- I am glad to hear the diet works for someone else too. I am starting Jan 1st- it's my new years resolution to eat healthy and get RID of my migraines!

Reva said...

Gillian-I am so sorry that you have to put up with migraines. I don't think I have ever had one. Dale used to get them after he ate potatoes, so diet does have something to do with them. Check with Lisa to see what Chris takes to get rid of his. We went over to the temple tonight and I put your name in. Love you, your other mom

Amanda said...

Gillian! I totally know how you feel. I am a migraine fool. I get them frequently. I too am hypoglycemic and have been for years, the last few months I started eating healthy (following weight watchers diet) I have noticed the biggest change in my headaches and migraines. I think a lot of it has to do with what I am eating, and how frequently I eat. I hope it helps you too.. let me know how it goes!

P.S. don't you love your camera? I got the same one a few months ago!! It is awesome!

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