Neuroscientists living with chronic migraine for over 10 years.
Hi, I’m Morgan. I have a B.S. in neuroscience and my goal is to earn a Ph.D. studying the neurobiology of migraine. I have an ever-expanding passion for migraine advocacy and education. This blog is a place where you can find empirical-based information that will allow you to better understand migraine, as well as anecdotes from my own experience. My aim is to give you the tools and information you need to live your best life with migraine.
I was officially diagnosed with chronic migraine during my junior year of high school after experiencing unremitting 2-3 week-long migraine attacks. I was overwhelmed with immense stress between my competitive athletics and rigorous academics, but after a few visits to a neurologist chronic migraine no longer dominated my life.
I went off to college and lived a normal life until September of 2016 when I experienced a thunderclap headache. The unbearable pain came on instantaneously. I was struggling to breathe. I thought it was a very severe migraine attack so I went home and followed my usual protocol – hydration, electrolytes, salt, a triptan (acute pain medication) and sleep. That day would fundamentally alter the course of my life.
Intractable migraine stole everything. My goals and aspirations shattered under the weight of the unbearable, constant nausea and pain. Unable to leave my bed, I dropped out of college and moved back into my childhood bedroom. I sat at home, enveloped in ice packs as my best friends were handed their college diplomas.
My parents transported me to and from numerous doctor’s appointments and hospital stays as we desperately searched for a successful treatment.
I saw every doctor possible – neurologists, pain specialists, headache specialists, endocrinologists, general practitioners, naturopaths, dietitians, nutritionists, therapists. I tried dozens of treatments – acute & abortive medications, Botox, nerve blocks, biofeedback, talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback, hypnotherapy, antivirals, steroid packs, chiropractic adjustments, massage, fascia release, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, cryotherapy, float therapy, massage therapy, physical therapy, dietary changes (vegan, keto, low-carb, gluten-free, zero-sugar + elimination diets), CDB, cannabis, EFT (tapping), neurostimulation devices, meditation, mindfulness, exercise, naturopathic tea, and more. I underwent four brain scans and had more than 40 blood tests. After all of that, I was still in constant, debilitating pain. We had no answers, and my overall health had gravely worsened. Many of the best neurologists in the country turned me away. I was labeled as hard to treat, a non-responder, a difficult case.
Fortunately, I started on the new migraine-specific medications in 2018, CGRP monoclonal antibodies, and they lowered my daily pain to a more manageable level. With this lower pain, I was able to return to school, and after seeking additional help from a naturopath I found a significant reduction in my pain levels in early 2020. I graduated from college with highest honors, receiving my B.S. in neuroscience, and earning a few awards for my academics and research. Today, I am 80-90% functional on my non- flare days.