My Migraines; MSG & More…

I remember when the neuro’s nurse took my history: she asked how bad my migraines get & if they are really worth treating. I pointed out that I had ranked unmedicated childbirth as an 8/10 while crowning, (& had done so twice) with my migraines as a 10/10, but that my migraines were now getting worse. She went white & started scribbling frantically. I think my point was made.
Now I get the occasional mild migraine every few months. I think I may be getting soft. I certainly don’t want to attempt unmedicated childbirth again!
Here’s how I got here…

When I weaned my second baby, my migraines went from 2 a month to 2-5 a week. Clearly something hormonal had happened & I needed help. I remember lying on the couch in pain. I had taken just enough pain meds to be able to watch my toddlers, but not so much that I would fall asleep, but then I realized that I was watching them playing with the carving knife that they had somehow found, and my first response was ‘do I really have to move?’ – clearly I was in no state to care for my own children. I felt helpless, miserable, & like a lump of hassles and responsibilities without being able to do even the simplest things on an average day.

After a few months with out my GP being able to help, I went to a neuro specializing in headaches only. By this time I had an amazing group of people praying for me and trying to find information, it was one of them who let to discovering this highly specialised neuro who had recently returned from the US & UK. The appointment was 2 hrs long & included tests my medical aid wouldn’t cover, but we were desperate! He put me on a short term course of epilepsy meds to break the pattern. He told me to avoid natural & artificial MSG & MSG derivatives (incl. aspatamine which digests down to MSG).

As a busy mum with small children, its really hard to avoid all forms of MSG, I try never to eat artificial forms, tomato, soy, Parmasan, wild mushrooms etc, because the meds are expensive. When I accidentally eat then, it takes me 3 weeks to detox fully, and I am much more sensitive during that time. (Tomato actually also causes my thought to close up, & along with a mystery ingredient, causes a rash).
I do still eat cheddar & celery etc. because, at the moment at least, I can as long as I’m being good about the rest, and food does still need some joys. But I’m much more careful how I use those flavourful relatives of msg now… I don’t begrudgingly use a stick of celery to spoon down some dip… I use it to flavor my stock so that it tastes better than the chemically enhanced rubbish I used to buy, & my husband thinks I’m a miracle worker 🙂

For me food always used to be about making people happy. Now its about healing. Quite frankly, no comfort food cuts it when you’re getting migraines almost every day! However, my food does still need to bring pleasure to both cook and recipient.

From the edge of Africa, Bon appetite 🙂

PS: Thanks to all those who’ve prayed for my health, and for wisdom for my doctors. We appreciate it greatly! I’ve enjoyed being able to play with my children, and I love being able to write again now that they spend part of their time at school.

Psalm 66:19&20 (ESV)
19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!


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