My Migraine Mission

I have migraines. I’ve always had them.  My parents had to hold me and in the pitch dark, slowly rubbing my temples, and trying not to move the bed at as young as 4.  But they were always manageable and infrequent…until 2006.

January 2006, I was 22 years old, and my last bad migraine had been the previous November.  It was a doozy, too.  My husband said he had never seen anything like that in his life.  So, after work one day that January, I came home and flopped on the bed and my head exploded out of nowhere.  Eyes blacked out, couldn’t move, worst pain I had ever felt.  I was sure I was dying.  And then, after less than a minute, it was over and had settled into a normal migraine.  A migraine that lasted for TWO years.

I saw so many doctors.  Most didn’t believe I was really in pain…many said “well, lots of women have migraines.”  For a whole year, not one doctor…not one heart specialist, neurologist, OB/GYN, PCP…no one suggested that I change birth control.  No one would prescribe migraine medication. As year two began, I became a force to be reckoned with as I searched for answers.  First, in January 2007, the Nurse Practitioner who specialized in women’s health at the County Clinic, became concerned and agreed to take me off Estrogen based BC.  She was the first concerned and SMART medical personnel I had seen.  Then, in January 2008, my new OB/GYN asked how the migraines were doing and immediately sent me to a neurologist.  THAT DAY.  Later that week, after several tests, it became clear that I had suffered a very small stroke at some point and that migraines were part of that.

So, what’s that got to do with my cooking blog?


I follow a very comprehensive food list that my neurologist gave me in January 2008.  It’s the reason that I suggest Healthy Selections soups and decided that I Can Make That At Home is my personal cooking motto.  It’s why I use Velveeta instead of cheddar and hardly ever mention chocolate desserts.

So if you have migraines (or have blood pressure issues, or take an MAOI), I encourage you to keep reading.  I’ll be posting future blogs on the different Migraine Triggers: Lifestyle Changes, Amines, Nitrates, MSG, Bacteria.

Got a migraine question or a tip for other readers?  Share it!


4 Comments Add yours

  1. marcydrake says:

    Have you heard of Gerson therapy? It’s a therapy/diet that consists of mostly vegan/raw foods, and it cures all sorts of serious ailments from diabetes to cancer. Dr. Max Gerson, who developed it in the 20s, came up with it as a cure for his own – – migraines. Have you heard of this? You might look into it. It’s difficult, but it has healed lots of people whose diseases couldn’t be helped with modern medicine.

    1. jmatzel says:

      marcydrake, thanks for your comment. I have not heard of Gerson therapy, but I will definately look it up. I do follow what I dub “The Migraine Diet,” which includes limiting processed foods and eating a ton of fresh foods. Changing my diet improved my migraines more than any medication I’ve tried so far, so I believe Gerson’s diet might work for some people.

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