My Migraine… through a different lens.

Finding reasons to smile… even on my hardest days.

Have you ever been in the middle of a bad dream and wished you could wake up… but couldn’t? That was how I felt during my last migraine episode. My migraine came on one late afternoon, without any warning, while I was making cornbread to go with dinner. I felt normal throughout that day, but tired. Tired is a normal feeling for a mom of two active toddlers. While I was looking down at my bowl of batter, I suddenly could no longer see what I was mixing, I knew at that moment I needed to grab my abort meds and call for help. I am so fortunate my husband works from home. He was still in his office a few rooms away from the kitchen, but he could tell from the tone of my voice what was happening and came running. The migraine incited aura I was experiencing in my vision was coming on more rapidly and stronger than normal. It was consuming my entire vision very quickly with colorful, cascading, zig zag lines almost as if it were creating a light show. I took my two abort meds and my husband helped me get to our bedroom. About 5 minutes later I started to lose my ability to walk. My legs were buckling out from under me and I could not support my own weight. One of my two daughters is almost five and the other just turned two. They were witnessing the entire event. They know mommy gets migraines and have seen me have them before but have never experienced an episode to this extreme. I do not think any of us were prepared for that day.

Hemiplegic Migraines tend to mimic strokes and seizures. They are a class of migraines with complicated aura. Once they begin for me, the aura phase travels through my body and affects different parts of my brain. It starts with the aura phase, where it affects my vision and I see the light show. Then it travels to my extremities and I cannot walk or use my arms. The next part is the scariest and the worst, I feel. It travels to the part of my brain that affects my speech. I am not able to talk for several minutes. During this time, I am sometimes still paralyzed, too. This makes it even worse for the people around me to watch, including my children.

Sophia, my oldest daughter, ran into my bedroom to take care of me and wanted to be with her mommy. She and I have a very special bond. She kept saying that she loved me, but when I didn’t respond became very upset. She continued to ask her daddy if mommy was dying. I was witnessing the entire event laying there as if I was in a terrible nightmare that I could not wake up from. My family was watching me have this horrific migraine and I could do nothing. I could not speak or move. The tears were streaming down my face, but I could not tell her I was okay. I could not say I love you. She ran and called my mom, “Nana,” to come over, and it made everything better. My husband explained to Nana what was happening. Nana and my husband have seen my migraine episodes before and, even though they worry every time they happen to me, they knew I would be okay. About 10 minutes later, I was able to speak again and hold Sophia and Priscilla. Within 60 minutes, from start to finish, the migraine episode ended.

I was left with a horrible headache, but the rest of my symptoms subsided. I was exhausted and weak but able to function. I put my glasses on and got out of bed. I have no choice as a mom but to get up and keep moving. Normalcy is very important for my girls.  We went on with our night. We had dinner as a family and had fun with Nana. Before bedtime, Sophia reenacted the entire episode showing what I looked like. It was heartbreaking to see it from her perspective. She kept saying, “I thought you died.” It is funny that she understands so much at such a young age. She knows mommy cannot bare to see flashing lights at a carnival. She makes sure I am drinking water and is always asking if I am okay. I think even though my girls are exposed to my condition they are kinder and more compassionate because of it.

I think it is so important to be more aware of Migraines and what they really are. I think migraine disease is still widely misunderstood. I am now a stay at home mom, but I remember when I was in the corporate world how hard it was to call out with a migraine. The response of having a “headache” when I could barely speak to make the call was heart breaking. Healthcare costs associated with migraines is up to $36 billion dollars annually and people miss up to 157 million workdays a year as a result of migraines!!! I cannot tell you how many days of work I missed, special occasions, or holidays. There was an Easter where I had to stay home and send the girls to church with my husband because of my migraine. My aura even prevented me from seeing them when they were hunting for their eggs.

Migraines are unpredictable and come in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone has the same kind and mine are very rare. There are so many things you can do to help prevent migraines, but there is no cure. I work daily at my anti-inflammatory diet, I take preventative medications, and I wear my Avulux migraine glasses. My migraine glasses I found have helped so much. Light sensitivity is a huge issue affecting over 80% of migraine sufferers, and it is especially severe in people experiencing migraines with aura. I have gone through so many pairs of normal sunglasses, wasting hundreds of dollars in the search for light sensitivity and migraine relief, before finding these migraine glasses. Avulux has given me that relief I have been searching for, whether I am indoors or outdoors. Since Avulux uses a unique patented lens that absorbs only the harmful light that has been shown to cause and strengthen migraine, the sun no longer bothers me when I am driving as long as I am wearing my glasses. My other big triggers have always been the grocery store or other large department stores. The fluorescent lighting in these stores is a huge trigger for me, but since wearing these migraine glasses I have not had an issue. These glasses are awesome because you do not need a prescription to purchase them and the price is comparable to some sunglasses and even cheaper than some migraine medications on the market today. So, like I said, I wish I knew about them while I was going through all my migraine related purchases, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money.

After wearing my migraine glasses consistently in the last 6 weeks, I have noticed a decrease in my daily migraines. My friends have started to ask about my new glasses often. The glasses have sparked a lot of conversations which have led to conversations about my migraine condition, which is important. I think I have always been shy to talk about what truly happens to me during an episode, but it’s good to have these conversations. Not only can my friends now help me through an episode, but they can educate and spread migraine awareness to others.

To purchase your own Migraine Glasses use link above and coupon code NORMALMOM15 for $15 off

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