I frequently have kids come into my office as a school nurse complaining that they have a “migraine”. I think that term has become a generic reference to a bad headache, sort of like the registered trademark “Kleenex” has come to mean any disposable tissue. But as any true connoisseur of headaches can tell you, not all headaches are migraines, and not all migraines are even headaches.
But inarguably, true migraines are a pain, in more ways than one, and the triggers can be so very elusive. In my own personal struggle, I even went gluten-free for two weeks—thankfully, it didn’t help. I think most people can’t appreciate how expensive gluten-free diets are! (Not to mention the taste bud reorientation.)
Perhaps it was my beloved tea; so I invested several dollars in varieties of green tea, as well as decaffeinated tea. Again, no significant improvement. (Yea! I love my very black tea!)
If you’re a chronic migraine sufferer, you can understand why some of us are more willing to listen to alternative therapies, but I just wasn’t quite ready for the monkey warts and spider wings class of remedies,…not quite. Finally, it seems that amino acid, tyramine, might be the culprit. Over two weeks without a migraine! Exciting! Hooray!
Until about 4 o’clock in the morning, that is. So, okay, re-evaluate. What did I eat/do differently yesterday? Was it the walnuts, or the old tea that had set all day steeping in the pot? Out of bed, pop the pill, and start the waiting game hoping that it goes away before work.
Without a doubt, it can be the same with old habits and patterns of thinking and reacting. We have triggers that must be identified and avoided. And in addition, new ways of thinking and reacting must be forged through discipline and yes, even trial and error. The big thing is to not allow discouragement to set in and crystalize in our hearts, causing them to “grow cold” and give up, which the Bible so poignantly warns us against. Instead:
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
For now, as far as the true migraines are concerned, I’ll be thankful for and stay on the daily preventative medication my doctor has given me, but continue to monitor my personal “triggers” and modify my diet and lifestyle accordingly. More importantly, God help us all to wisely discover our individual “spiritual” triggers while enjoying the preventative measures our Great Physician has also provided.
Here’s to your health! (And will somebody puh-LEZE pass the gluten?!)
Galatians 6:9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.