I have written a short version and a long version, so choose your own adventure!
The Short Version
Welcome to Silver Lining Enthusiast! This blog is focused on mindfulness, adventure, creativity, chronic migraines and TMJ. It was created to keep myself more accountable along my journey and to hopefully help others going through a similar situation.
Anyone can be a silver lining enthusiast. Being a silver lining enthusiast means you believe in silver linings and that you will be on the lookout for them for yourself and for people you care about. It doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to see the silver lining of every cloud. You don’t need to push yourself to see a silver lining that may just not be there in that moment or trick yourself into seeing a silver lining. It is okay not to be okay. But just keep an eye out.
The Long Version
I started getting headaches and migraines when I was really young. My earliest memory of the pain was when I was about seven years old. I couldn’t sleep and was constantly moving around because of the pain. My parents were helpless, so they bundled me up and drove me to the Emergency Room for the first time. The doctors diagnosed me with migraines and said, “don’t consume cheese, fish, caffeine, chocolate or pizza”, which I didn’t! I would still get migraines though and would get stuck at slumber parties, school dances and field trips with them. It was embarrassing and isolating at some points.
In high school my migraines got even worse and began to plague me daily. I began seeing a migraine specialist for the first time and she put me on Topamax. That didn’t go well. I had to quit playing soccer, which I had been playing since I was 4 years old, and I had to leave school and do my school work at home for much of my Senior year.
I don’t know where I found the courage, but I decided to move 950 miles away from home for college. I was so excited to be going to my dream school, but was so nervous about being in a place where I didn’t know one person and would be entirely alone for the first time ever when I got a migraine (my parents were always my amazing support system). College had it’s ups and downs. I have always struggled with the side effects of preventative medicines and in college the side effects were hard to deal with.
For the last two year I have not been on an daily preventative because I seemed to have tried all of the current options. I made a big move last year, so I began seeing a new migraine doctor in September of 2017. She brought up some knew things nobody had every brought up such as my hypermobility, positive ANA test (autoimmune test) and the significance of my TMJ when talking about my migraines. I started physical therapy and am working hard to strengthen my neck and shoulders. I see the TMJ doctor next month (more on that below). My new migraine doctor is closing her practice in 2 weeks though, so I am on the hunt for a new doctor who can support me and follow-up on what she has been finding.
Treatments I have tried: Topamax, beta-blocker, Zonegran, Gralise, Maxalt, Treximet, Zonisamide (haven’t finished the list)
All of the TMJ stuff is pretty new for me. I never had braces, but supposedly I should have. Last year I saw a TMJ specialist because my jaw was getting so so tired when I was talking, but the doctor I saw made it worse! I am still angry about it. I have an appointment with a new TMJ doctor next month and I am so excited! I want a night guard and I want to be able to have a conversation without being uncomfortable and in pain.