Journal

Migraine: Gifts of the Migraine – Part 5

by | Jun 20, 2014 | Editorial

June is Migraine Awareness Month. Throughout the month, I’m sharing parts of my journey and some things I’ve learned along the way.
Many gifts have come to me because of migraine. Some are rather obvious. Others require I follow a sort of trail of breadcrumbs in reverse in order to recognize the gift: oh yes, I found this, or that, because of my migraines.

So, to begin at the beginning: I came of age along with transistor radios and grew up on Long Island, New York, not far from Jones Beach. My friends and I used to lie on the beach like everyone else, baking in the sun with the music blasting. No one talked in those days about the damage the sun could do to the skin. But I got terrible headaches from the sun, so I would lie there with a towel across my face. It was the antithesis of what nowadays would be termed “cool,” but today my skin thanks me.

In my quest for migraine prevention I began more than thirty years ago to eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods. This was long before such a notion had entered the pop culture; it was decidedly uncool. Nonetheless I gave up almost all food products that came in boxes, cans or jars; refined sugar; alcohol; all the “bad” fats; caffeine (except for very dark chocolate); soda drinks and just about all foods now referred to as the SAD – Standard American Diet.

Did this cure me of migraines? No, but it reduced the intensity and frequency. Do I miss any of it? Not at all. I actually love the green veggies that I eat so much of. Besides, I’m like the proverbial rat in the maze. Go the SAD way, get the shock of a horrific three-day migraine. Go the other way, feel infinitely better (although I can’t eat the cheese!) And the gift in all this is that now in my 60’s I enjoy good health and energy, thank G-d, and take not a single pill (except Actifed on airplanes.)

Other gifts: I began meditating because of migraines, And I began to take my daily, endorphin-producing, lines of poetry-inducing power walk. Both are positive essentials in my life now. Would I have come to those practices anyway? Perhaps, but for me the migraine was the catalyst.

And then there are the wonderful people who have come into my life because of migraine.

For years I had been trying to teach myself calligraphy. I came to realize I needed a light board in order to use a lined guide. But the ones I found in local art stores all had fluorescent lights that gave me migraines. So I did something I rarely did in those days: I went online looking for non-fluorescent light boards. Instead, I found links to calligraphy classes, and it occurred to me that I really ought to take calligraphy lessons, that this was the next step for my work.

And so I met DeAnn Singh of Designing Letters, a master calligrapher and magnificent teacher. She taught and continues to teach me not only calligraphy but so much about art, design and medieval manuscripts. She taught me how to format my soon-to-be released children’s verse fairy tale, Mindel and The Misfit Dragons. It is safe to say this would not exist in its current form if not for DeAnn.

Through DeAnn I met Emily Denis a Freelance Art Director. I would not have been able to birth Mindel and The Misfit Dragons into the world if not for Emily. She is a digital art director, graphic designer, branding specialist and all-around tech genius who has brought my medieval manuscript into the 21st Century.

And then there’s Ruby Asiss Roff, PR and social media specialist. I first met Ruby years ago when she was a young college student needing a part time job, and I was a mom-writer-teacher needing someone to shop for me because the lights in supermarkets and other stores gave me migraines.

Wow! Follow the breadcrumbs and see how often the trail leads back to migraine. What a gift!

Many gifts have come to me because of migraine. Some are rather obvious. Others require I follow a sort of trail of breadcrumbs in reverse in order to recognize the gift: oh yes, I found this, or that, because of my migraines.

So, to begin at the beginning: I came of age along with transistor radios and grew up on Long Island, New York, not far from Jones Beach. My friends and I used to lie on the beach like everyone else, baking in the sun with the music blasting. No one talked in those days about the damage the sun could do to the skin. But I got terrible headaches from the sun, so I would lie there with a towel across my face. It was the antithesis of what nowadays would be termed “cool,” but today my skin thanks me.

In my quest for migraine prevention I began more than thirty years ago to eat a diet of whole, unprocessed foods. This was long before such a notion had entered the pop culture; it was decidedly uncool. Nonetheless I gave up almost all food products that came in boxes, cans or jars; refined sugar; alcohol; all the “bad” fats; caffeine (except for very dark chocolate); soda drinks and just about all foods now referred to as the SAD – Standard American Diet.

Did this cure me of migraines? No, but it reduced the intensity and frequency. Do I miss any of it? Not at all. I actually love the green veggies that I eat so much of. Besides, I’m like the proverbial rat in the maze. Go the SAD way, get the shock of a horrific three-day migraine. Go the other way, feel infinitely better (although I can’t eat the cheese!) And the gift in all this is that now in my 60’s I enjoy good health and energy, thank G-d, and take not a single pill (except Actifed on airplanes.)

Other gifts: I began meditating because of migraines, And I began to take my daily, endorphin-producing, lines of poetry-inducing power walk. Both are positive essentials in my life now. Would I have come to those practices anyway? Perhaps, but for me the migraine was the catalyst.

And then there are the wonderful people who have come into my life because of migraine.

For years I had been trying to teach myself calligraphy. I came to realize I needed a light board in order to use a lined guide. But the ones I found in local art stores all had fluorescent lights that gave me migraines. So I did something I rarely did in those days: I went online looking for non-fluorescent light boards. Instead, I found links to calligraphy classes, and it occurred to me that I really ought to take calligraphy lessons, that this was the next step for my work.

And so I met DeAnn Singh of Designing Letters, a master calligrapher and magnificent teacher. She taught and continues to teach me not only calligraphy but so much about art, design and medieval manuscripts. She taught me how to format my soon-to-be released children’s verse fairy tale, Mindel and The Misfit Dragons. It is safe to say this would not exist in its current form if not for DeAnn.

Through DeAnn I met Emily Denis a Freelance Art Director. I would not have been able to birth Mindel and The Misfit Dragons into the world if not for Emily. She is a digital art director, graphic designer, branding specialist and all-around tech genius who has brought my medieval manuscript into the 21st Century.

And then there’s Ruby Asiss Roff, PR and social media specialist. I first met Ruby years ago when she was a young college student needing a part time job, and I was a mom-writer-teacher needing someone to shop for me because the lights in supermarkets and other stores gave me migraines.

Wow! Follow the breadcrumbs and see how often the trail leads back to migraine. What a gift!

We use cookies to give you a better experience. Dismiss