Botox in pictures

Ever wondered what Botox injections really look like? Dr. Syed administered 31 injections to my face, head, neck, & shoulders. Here’s what really happens. Thanks to Botox, I have enjoyed a 6 month total remission of cluster headaches. Migraine attacks are down to an average of 3 per month. They respond much better to abortive treatment, usually lasting less than 2 hours.

A glimpse behind the curtain

Many of you are new, so I decided to start off the month with a glimpse behind the curtain. As you read about me, look for clues to tell you where I’m from.

The Brain Storm got its name from the neurological storms that occur during both Migraine and Cluster Headache attacks. I have been living with Migraine for 40 years. Cluster Headache is a relative newcomer, making its debut just 15 years ago. The blog got its start in 2012 as documentation of my journey to finally find effective treatment for both conditions. It has gone through several transformations, including at least three name changes, before finally settling into its current format.

Sharing hope | MHAM Blogging Challenge

This is the response from Nikki Albert at The Brainless Blogger to the prompt on June 10th that asked, “How do you find hope on a dark day?”

Nikki and I met online back in 2007. At that time, migraine groups were popping up all over Facebook. We’ve both been around for a long time, participating in blogging challenges, and sharing ideas and support on Facebook. We haven’t chatted in years, but I still follow her blog. Getting to help AHMA with the Twitter posts of each blog was such a pleasure, in part because I got to spend more time on Nikki’s blog.

Hope is | MHAM Blogging Challenge

It’s not spiritual or religious faith. It’s not “positive thinking” either. And finally, it’s not “wishful thinking.” Hope is the expectation that things will improve. Even at it’s most fragile, hope believes in possibilities. A tiny spark of hope, when acted on, grows. It’s contagious, too. The fulfillment of one person’s hope increases hope in others who are witness to its arrival. Hope is fire.

Hope begins in the dark | MHAM Blogging Challenge

Hope isn’t something you have because you have proof. It’s a tentative step in the dark. You don’t know the outcome. Many times you don’t even know if there’s solid ground with the next step. Hope isn’t something you need a lot of. It grows with every step you take.

Don’t give up | MHAM Blogging Challenge

I think my responsibility as an advocate is to shine a light for others to follow. I’ve been down that dark path. If other migraineurs hadn’t led the way, saying “Don’t give up,” and shining a light when I needed it, I might still be wandering aimlessly in the dark.

Options give hope | MHAM Blogging Challenge

When I think about hope in terms of migraine and cluster headache, I realized that the one thing keeping hope alive is the knowledge that there are options. As long as I don’t run out of options, I have hope. The times when I lost hope were times when I did not think I had any more options.

Goals plus hope | MHAM Blogging Challenge

I can sit here and hope for so many things that are largely out of my control. There are many things to hope for, yet trying to reach them all is not realistic. It’s important to have a limited number of tangible, measurable goals. Without that, it is difficult to know when a goal has been reached.