As any Expat knows, there comes a time when you have to embrace your new life for what it is. Yes, your heart may long for better chocolate, bread, or television, but this is the new normal and you'd better just get on with it - but more than that, make the best of it.
Don't ask me to eat Hershey's though.
The same is true with migraines. I was really ill last year. I don't think I realized how sick I was until I started feeling a tiny bit better. I was having serious migraines at least three times a week, my blood pressure was high and I was stressed out of my gourd. My parents noticed via Skype. Good friends pulled me aside and asked what the fuck was going on, or kindly told me I was 'looking a bit tired'. The reasons for this were all out of my control; hormones, stress over our house, our future and Anna's school. What I had to learn to do was accept things, move on and become a migraine immigrant. I had to embrace my new normal.
Yes, I've had to give a few things up, notably wine *sigh* - but I've learned to add things to my life that make a positive impact. Don't focus on what you can no longer do - concentrate on what can make things better. Being an Expat has been great training for this.
I've found a migraine medicine that works if I catch things early enough. I've learned to 'read' my migraines, recognize dangerous times and try to take myself out of situations that will make things worse. I can't change the stressors in my life. Most of them come from trying to carve out a life in a financially hostile town. What I can do is manage the stress. I've started taking vitamin B, and most importantly I've started running.
I run three times a week and I'm really noticing a difference. If someone told you that you could pay $100 and in 4 months you would be fitter, happier, leaner and - most amazingly - your arse would climb 2 inches further up your legs - wouldn't you do it? I signed up for a half marathon and I've been running at least 10-15 miles a week for the last three months.
Now this hasn't happened like magic. Fitting running in to a schedule where I was having trouble finding the time to cut my toenails wasn't easy. I run around our ghetto neighbourhood at 8:30pm at night if I have to. Incidentally - running faster than the cholos is a great motivator. Not every run is a joy, but the combination of the exercise, being by myself, listening to loud music that I choose - these have all proved to be wonderful for my health.
I've only lost about 5 lbs. I've dropped at least one dress size. I have a reshaped derriere. But most importantly I'm down to about 4-6 migraines a month. Not great, but so, so much better that I feel almost human again.