The Honest Migraine’s personal interview is with Judy, a warm and friendly 92-year-old great-grandmother, successful real estate investor and businesswoman.
Judy is an individual who suffered from migraines for over 25 years, with experiences of having “migraine episodes 8 to 10 days in length” to feeling “wonderful” and free of migraines when pregnant.
Judy’s migraine story began in the 1940s, long before a multitude of successful solutions were available to patients.
Around the age of 20, Judy experienced her first migraine and started to fall ill to them every other month. She sought out help and advice from doctors.
“All the doctors told me to do was take aspirin,” she said. “They said it may make it go away. I suffered either way.”
Like many others, Judy suffered from photophobia (eye sensitivity to light). She stated, “When I had a migraine, everything bothered me – noise, sound, light, everything.”
“I would put pillows on top of my face in bed,” Judy said. “My family was so worried.”
As a naturally thin woman, the migraine attacks impacted her in additional negative ways, she explained. “I had migraine episodes that were 8 to 10 days in length. Every time I had a migraine, I would lose a few pounds. I couldn’t eat, and by the time I could start eating small amounts, I would have another migraine starting.”
As a homemaker and mother of six children, Judy led a very busy life. Her migraine headaches greatly interfered with her day-to-day life.
“[When a migraine hit], I would throw up, go to bed, and try to stay away from my children,” she explained. “I did not want [my children] to worry about what was wrong with me.”
Judy, being a loving and dedicated mother, simply wanted “to be there for my kids and be all right.” All she wanted was normalcy so she could accomplish all her maternal goals.
Judy did her best to navigate this debilitating illness alone, as no one else in her family suffered from it. “I didn’t even know anyone else who had migraines,” she said.
In an extremely heartwarming shift, Judy said, “I didn’t have any migraines with my pregnancies. I felt wonderful when I was pregnant!” She smiles broadly at remembering the reprieve her pregnancies provided.
After being widowed at age 50, Judy went on to become and still is a professional, thorough, and quick-witted businesswoman.
Interestingly enough, after giving birth to her sixth and final child in 1961 and undergoing and recovering from surgery for medical issues in 1964, “the migraines slowed down and ultimately came to a halt,” she said. One might assume Judy’s migraines had a hormonal connection, although she had another affliction she battled that may have been a major contributor to the debilitating headaches.
“I had horrible allergies all my life to foods and things in the environment,” she explained. “I really felt that the migraines may have been due to all the allergies, but the doctor wouldn’t agree or disagree with that.”
Judy went on to maintain a proactive approach with her health and wellness. She continued to seek help for her decades-long allergy problems and received desensitization injections.
As it’s clear that Judy didn’t have the benefit of medical science on her side, she offers her genuine well wishes and advises those of us in the migraine community, “Go to an expert!”
Coming next: Learning the value of probiotic drinks and “winding down” early