Workouts build hope | MHAM Blogging Challenge

Living with multiple chronic pain conditions can limit your ability to move, much less get in some workouts. Spending hours, days, weeks, or months inactive creates boredom, loneliness, and even depression (not to mention it’s bad for your health!).

Living with chronic migraine takes a toll on your body.

After 20 years of treating chronic migraine
After 20 years of chronic
migraine treatments
Just before my first migraine treatment
Around the start of my
first migraine treatment

A few years ago I watched a video of a friend sharing her progress after neurostim surgery. In the video she talked about the success of the procedure, but she also shared about the need to recover from the physical effects of multiple treatment failures. After nearly a month without a single migraine attack, I’m beginning to understand what she meant. I didn’t really notice the changes until I started feeling better.

Think about it this way. When you get sick, the last thing you want to do is be active. You lay in bed, take your medicine, and wait to feel better. Imagine living like that for weeks or months at a time. At the very least, you lose muscle mass. For patients with headache disorder, many of the available treatments have weight gain as a common side effect. What might help relieve the pain will almost certainly make you fat. Once the pain is managed, the body will need some reconditioning.

Getting back into shape is a challenge.

I still can’t believe how much Migraine has changed my body. In my mind, I’m still a size 4. Unfortunately, that is not reality. The treatments it took to get Migraine and Cluster Headaches under control have taken a serious toll on my body. It’s a very high cost to pay, but one I’d do all over again if I had to. Regardless, it will take a lot of hard work to put me back together.


I was never athletic and generally hated workouts, but I had no problem getting around, bending, reaching, or climbing whenever needed. Short girls need these skills to survive in an over-sized world.  Now I struggle to climb stairs or walk for more than a few minutes.

It’s time for the outside to start matching the inside. So I’ve resolved to get my body back in shape. With daily workouts, I stretch muscles and use light weights to recondition muscles that forgot how to do their job. I also use a pedometer to track my steps and spend time walking outdoors if it’s nice and on the treadmill when it rains or gets too hot.

The progress is painstakingly slow. If I had not learned to track my progress while trying to get Migraine under control, I might not recognize the progress I’m making now. Because I still track everything, I am able to see those small improvements and keep going because I can see progress. Tracking my workouts gives me hope.

I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to undo the damage that was done. So many people still struggle more than half the time and only dream of getting the chance to rehabilitate themselves. When I get discouraged and want to give up, I say a little prayer for each of you and get my butt back to work.

The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge
is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association.

#MHAM, #MHAMBC, #migraine, #clusterheadache, #chronicmigraine

One thought on “Workouts build hope | MHAM Blogging Challenge

  1. Oh, Tammy,, I love this post! So reaal and heaartfelt. I’m going through the same thing and you are so right. It’s hard but so very full of hope. Take care!
    Karla <3

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