We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

12 May 2010

Lifting the Migraine and Feeling Lighter

I noticed today how much lighter my recycling bin is without all the wine bottles. Its been nearly 2 weeks now and I am also feeling noticeably lighter, my waistline slightly smaller. Of course I have also been having a salad a day and minimal bread consumption which helps with beating the bloat. I've minimised my coffee intake, but still have lots of tea throughout the day, mixing in Green and Rooibos along with copious amounts of Earl Grey. I've adjusted my habits not because I'm an alcoholic, but because of a ferocious Migraine that gripped me last week. I had been slowly upping my wine consumption and I attributed some of that as a trigger.

Having suffered with regular Migraines as a teen, my last full blown one had been in my early twenties (that's..ahem..nearly 20 years ago), and I thought my vegetarian lifestyle had safely eliminated them. That was until 2010, the year of their reappearance. I've only had two this year, not alot to complain about I know, but anyone who suffers with Migraines knows its much more than a simple headache. Its a neurological revolt against your entire body.

A week ago today I lay in bed recovering from one that hit its peak at about 3am. I awoke with a vice-like head and nausea that prompted  me to run to the bathroom. Except once I sat up, the vice-like head began feeling like a big balloon with a vice on it, about to burst. Standing up my knees buckled as my balance was off and I struggled to focus wayward eyes. Thankfully I did manage to get back to sleep without vomiting, because vomiting has to be my least desirable thing in the world and blotches up my face with broken capillaries for two days.

Back to sleep meant sleeping for the next 18 hours or so. Still feeling weak and a little disoriented with a dull ache in my head, it really was about two days total recovery after the fact. This is very debilitating and prompted me to make serious changes in my diet and stress management to try and stave off a third attack.

Migraines tend to be hereditary, and they are in my family, so I know I am always subject to a sneak attack, but I also know there are ways to reduce the likelihood, reduce the triggers. Its hard because I enjoy the taste of wine, especially red, which is especially bad for migraines. I also love chocolate and coffee. Meditation helps, of course I know it helps with all sorts of things, but I have to keep reminding myself. Even after 15 +/- years as a Buddhist practitioner I still have to remember to give more time to meditation. I am a full fledged mindfulness practitioner, that is, bringing awareness to daily life, but actually sitting and meditating and doing nothing else for 30 minutes is a harder task.  I am coping without wine and enjoying my new found lightness and looking forward to the side effect of additional weight loss!!

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