Saturday, June 23, 2012

Art trumps migraine

June 23, 2012

I've had migraines for as long as I can member.

They started in childhood and have gotten worse over the years especially since pregnancy with my second child.  They say that migraines tend to fade away as you get older, after menopause.  Not mine.  They just got worse.  Now I'm on a variety of preventative medications with a variety of desirable and undesirable side effects which partially control my headaches.  I just returned a month ago from an inpatient hospitalization through the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute.  More later about that.  I now recognize what I have resisted for many years:  I have migraine (I knew that) disease, which is a difficult, lonely chronic disorder.

What I also have grown to recognize over the years is that having chronic migraines has contributed to the development of art as a central to my life.  As Terry Tempest Williams (and probably others) said, "It is not optional."  It is a strategy for survival.  

The title of this piece is La MigraƱa.  She is, of course, me.  The boots are "Seven League Boots."  They come from a dream I had in which I was wearing seven league boots.  They also come from English fairy tales where a tiny guy steals magic boots from an ogre.  They allow him to leap mountains in giant strides.  Here they give me a real sense of power in spite of or maybe because of migraine.


  1. so sorry 2 read about the migraines - but i'm sure a good holistic doc will cure them for you - the holistic doc that cured me of fibromyalgia and CFS suffered from terrible migraines himself and was able to eliminate them with without drugs

    of course so many doctors who can't help will say there must be a strong genetic component - nice thought but they don't understand the genes are not in control - the environment within one's body decides what the gene can or cannot get away with (as Mina Bissell has proven)

  2. Hi Paul,
    I really glad for you that you found a cure for you. That is terrific. I've been to a lot of doctors, holistic and otherwise, as well as many different kinds of health care practitioners, and no one has "cured" them yet. I have a good doc, but like many others, I'm always on the lookout for anyone that can add to my current plan. However nothing is sure about anything in life except change. May you continue to feel good.