And now for something entirely different:
A few years ago, when I went in for my annual checkup at the doctor's office, I got some news. No, it wasn't the earth-shattering sort of news that most people eventually hear from a doctor. But it was news.
When he came to the end of his questionnaire, the doctor asked, "Is there something you want to ask me about?"
"Yes." I said. "Every once in a while, I get a headache that Ibuprofen just can't handle. The pain usually settles right behind one of my eyes. It's pretty intense."
"And do you notice that when you get these headaches, your eyes are sensitive to light, and that sunlight is especially hard to take?" he asked.
"Yeah. That's it exactly."
So he told me: "You've been having the textbook type of migraine headache."
He prescribed Imitrex, a common migraine medication. I took one pill the first time those symptoms showed up again, and within an hour or so the pain began to go away. The medicine did have a couple of funky side effects (feeling out-of-it, sort of woozy; feeling like a 5-pound weight was on my shoulders). But those were much better than the migraine.
A year or so later, I moved to West Texas. Immediately, instead of having one or two migraines a month, it was more like five or six.
Six months later, I was having Sunday lunch with several people from church. One of them is a nursing student who, at the time, was taking a course in nutrition. When I told him about how the migraines were coming more and more frequently, this unassuming, slow-to-speak man looked straight at me and emphatically said, "Stop eating beef."
It just so happened that at that moment, as I remember it, my mouth was full of some of the best-tasting brisket ever. So once I got past one of those awkward moments where the conversation is waiting for you to chew and swallow, I asked him, "Why?"
"Well," he said, "it's kind of complicated. Just do it."
"You think there's some sort of connection between my eating beef and getting migraine headaches?"
"If I were a bettin' man, . . . " he said.
Within a day or so, it dawned on me that my eating habits had changed, even more than I realized, after having moved from Connecticut to Texas. Living in Amarillo, I was now in cattle country, the land of beef. And I'd been eating a lot more of it ever since. Anyway, in response to my friend's advice, when it came to beef, I went cold turkey. Reluctantly.
That was July of last year. Ever since then, my migraines have decreased in frequency by about half. Not only that, but the two times I've put the theory to the test and have eaten a steak or a burger, no later than the next morning I've felt that terrible, familiar feeling.
I'm relating all of this for whatever help it might be to someone else. But I'm also bringing up the subject because I want to hear what works for other people (or people you know) who have suffered with migraines. They still come around. I hate them. And I want to do whatever I can to prevent them, if possible.
I need to stop here, but want to write about this another time because I've recently read of something else that can possibly help with migraines. Be well.