Photo taken at random beach in Porto Seguro, BA Brazil (L. Buchanan)
April 27, 2019
I’ve come a long way to be in the best shape of my life today. Coming from getting migraines after intense workouts, I often ended days crying in pain. I remember the dark vivid dreams that kept my head burrowed deep in pillows through the night. Lights out, my days were done.
I always would first get the blinding aura, either eye if I care to remember. And that was the onset. If I was at the gym or far from home, then I knew I’d be driving blind. Or worse, canceling the rest of my day if I had plans. I once called into work and my boss at the time told me to just take an Advil and get to work now!
I doubt he ever experienced a migraine’s pulse. I’ve learned that chronic migraines can create a stigma. In my experience I knew how to get one. But I only know it now that I understand my body and what was going on with me. If you experience chronic migraines today, or have in the past then I understand how difficult it is to get people to see how disruptive they are to your well-being and anxiety.
I remember first getting them as a young boy, maybe a few up until I was 7 or 8. The most severe migraine I can remember lasted for four maybe five days. I was bed ridden and dreamt all day. Not knowing when the pain would go away. The doctors told my mom I was just sick, head cold maybe. But thinking back it was like a cycle of blurs vibrating around my bedroom. Four days of this, and I daydreamed as sleep was just as painful and useless.
I remember the walls in my bedroom maneuvering like the walls do at haunted thrill houses that carnivals would bring to city fairs. I laid back for hours in my bed throughout those days looking at an abstract playhouse like room of mine, as my head throbbed a new weird day dream with every breath I took. My next thought was often why, and when?
I think by day five it began to let up. I still remember enduring the pulsing upper left head pain; throbbing at it’s peak every three minutes. Each breath I took was a question of when the pain would go away. I stood still however, because that was all there was to do.
As I got older my migraines came after playing a sport intensely. I was in love with basketball but the sport hated me. I played recreational ball up until the migraines reminded me the sport wasn’t worth it.
Around 17, I was becoming the tall, dark and handsome man I am today. But with that came the assumption that I played a sport. Whenever I got the question it triggered my insecurity. Not just my migraine hindrance, but my health was horrible.
Freshman year in college my blood pressure was higher than me today at a Curren$y concert. That same year I began to workout a lot, but the migraines still came. Although I haven’t had a four day migraine since I was a kid, after I discovered my beast mode the migraines followed like a childhood demon.
I moved to Las Vegas, NV to attend UNLV when I was 18. That year I felt the beginning of what would be my beast tamer. Workout too long, too hard, then I got the blind spot to signify excruciating head pain to come. My fear grew as the migraines became imminent.
Fuck my life.
Over time I learned to slow down in the gym, but beast wasn’t having it. My mind was ready, but my body was suffering from a bad food eater’s habits. And, I drank three days a week, because in college I liked to party!
I once partied off a migraine. The hangover was nothing compared to the headaches I was getting. But thinking back I remember triggering some migraines. I was getting back to running at the time and I definitely sprinted extra laps. I was ready for the pain, and fed up with dipping in and out the gym.
Early on doctors never figured me out. I tried three prescriptions and none have ever been a remedy for me. You’d think after 15 years of this I would have at least found a reliable provider to give me good advice, but the remedy came with much more effort needed on my end than relying on a doctor. So, I had to start with the underlying problem.
It’s hard to slow down drinking but in my experience I had to find my own incentive. Because drinking is fun but like any vice the hurt comes when you find yourself crying day and night for reasons you can’t explain.
I worked out in pain with the expectation my rest would be in pain.
…Never work out in Vain – Budd
Today, I have good people in my life. And with the help of my PA-C that understood my confusing background, unique lifestyle, and candor to my own ignorance, I simply followed through. Because easy was just as simple as a natural way.
The cost is a sacrifice. I gave up the foods my provider told me to stay away from. Following that I felt better and started to think better. I ran better and boxed better. And now I’m just all that and a bag of your favorite high-cholesterol potato chips. Just saucy…
I won’t ever judge anyone for eating crappy. Or being out of shape. It’s not my place to speak on others’ lifestyle, sometimes, but more importantly I don’t care. Your life, your choice.
My lifestyle choices got my heart to generate horse-powers up hilltops, and then fighting an everlasting write!
I chose a strict diet because it supports my lifestyle habits. Even if you think your lifestyle sucks, look at what you consume. The food industry is full of confusing junk. Which is likely why most people don’t care. But you have to set a goal right for your body. And listening to it, well, stay tuned for a later blog post on how I do that.
For now, continue to drink more water, find daily vitamins to take, and plan for a vacation.
Because that’s what your body is really asking for.