I had been having an occasional "bad" headache (HA) once or twice a year since the mid 1990's, but they were usually managed with over the counter (OTC) meds and some rest. That all changed around year 2000 when the HA's began to get progressively worse, increasing in frequency and duration. I went through the typical medical work-up including blood work, two MRI's, and when there were no specific causes found (etiology unknown as they say), I was diagnosed as having migraines and started taking the rescue medicine Immitrex 25mg. That relieved the migraine headaches (MHA's) at first, but over the next few years, I had to increase the dosages from one 25mg to one or two 100mg of Immitrex to continue getting relief. My doctor tried me one a couple of high blood pressure medicines that help "some" people, but I didn't have high blood pressure and my resting heart rate was usually in the 60's. Well, you can guess what happened. I didn't feel too peppy at 100/50 and HR= 45 and the MHA's kept coming unabated. I tried a few cousins of Immitrex and even had to have a few narcotic rescues, but no one was able to say why I was getting them in the first place!
By 2006, I was having a MHA almost every other day. It seemed like I was getting one, having one or getting over one just about all the time! Just about everything could set me off from lights, smells, and stress…you name it. I think the fear and stress of thinking I might get one could give me one! I made it worse by trying to be tough and keeping the extent of the problem to myself, not asking for more help from my family, staff, and friends. That was a big mistake! I was miserable, depressed, irritable, and having a hard time managing.
The real breaking point was when the neurologist prescribed an anti-seizure medication that "sometimes" helps with MHA's, but also can have severe side effects that could have disabled me as a surgeon. I had prayed many times, but was still trying to be "in charge" when I finally got to a point where I said, " Okay God, I am busted all the way down to the ground and can't go any further. You have got my full attention. Please show me what to do!" I called my pastor, Dr. Brady, and told him I needed help and he agreed to see me right away. I told him my story and he and his wife prayed fervently for me! Then his wife, Jennifer, asked me more health questions than the doctors ever did and then said she thought there was hope! She asked me if I was ready to be healthy and with tears streaming down my face I said I was! She said, "Let's empty the toxic bucket!"
We started working on my diet right away and Jennifer gave me a copy of "Eat to Live" by Dr. Fuhrman. I worked the diet plan, did a few cleanses, some juice fasting and within 2 months started feeling better and then the MHA's stopped! After a month with no MHA's, I was feeling so much better that I could not believe it. I read and reread "Eat to Live" and am now a believer in the power of nutrition!
My wife and family were a great support team throughout this whole ordeal and I couldn't have made it without them! They helped me shop, chop, cook, and eat the foods I needed to get healthy. They changed along with me and are still going strong.
At the writing of this testimony, I have been MHA free since September of 2007. I don't have MHA's anymore and I don't fear them anymore either. I have my life back.
I have also had a marked reduction in my seasonal hay fever and asthma symptoms. To the astonishment of my family, I was able to fulfill one of my life time dreams in 2009…I got a puppy! Otis has been a great addition to our family!
I thank God for giving us bodies that can heal and for putting all the people in my life to love, teach, and support me. Now that I'm better, I plan to help spread the good food news and hope that my story will encourage and motivate others to eat to live!
Being healthy requires an understanding of what has made us so unhealthy. We have to learn and be convinced before we can change. Changing the diet is an important part of being healthy, but there may be other life style issues that contribute to health and/or disease. There isn't one magic bullet…it is hard and demanding, but it is worth it to get to and stay on the other side of many chronic diseases (including migraines).
In the hours and hours I spent lying in the dark praying for a solution for my migraine pain, I said I would do anything to feel better. Then, like an angel, someone asked me, "are you ready to be healthy?" and I was faced with the challenge of my life…actually the challenge for my life. Now, you have to answer that question…What will you do?
There was a memorable quote from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis…it follows:
"Make your choice adventurous stranger, strike the bell and abide the danger, or till it drives you mad what would have followed if you had!"
I pray that you will have the courage to take the challenge! Read my favorite books and become a believer!
Good luck and Godspeed!
I would be happy to come present this topic for church groups, civic clubs, etc as part of my ongoing mission to share the "good food news" for folks who ware interested in longevity with less medical interference, pain, and unnecessary suffering!