disclaimer: results may vary
Before I developed the CD programme, I used to travel up and down the country, visiting people in all areas of the country. I met Hiliary in Exeter in 2006. We still keep in touch.
Hiliary’s nightmare began when she retired, and her migraine attacked every day for the next ten years. This is her own story:
I want to share my experience with others, as I have become free from the dreadful pain of migraine for the first time in ten years.
I must have been only five years old when my migraine attacks began. It only happened a couple of times a year. I remember the pain was excruciating. Migraine always seemed to arrive on the days I was due to go to a birthday party. Perhaps it was the excitement that triggered it off, I don’t really know. Later in life, I was to discover that this migraine was malicious and calculating, always spoiling an otherwise happy time.
I suffered migraine attacks every few weeks as an adult. I wondered if my female hormones were contributing. I gave up different foods to see if that would make any difference, but there was never any improvement. I wondered if it was the stresses of work that contributed to my migraine, and I looked forward to the day when I would not have to go to work.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. For ten years after I had retired, I had a migraine every day. Some days were better than others, and I could get out and about, but the majority of days were absolutely dreadful. I spent so many days alone in my room, just waiting for the migraine to come to an end. Every day was impaired by at best a bad headache, at worst a severe debilitating migraine.
I tried preventative medication, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. All that I could do was to take triptans and they seemed to help – for a while. The trouble was, I would have liked to have taken them every single day, but I knew that this was not recommended. I took them if I was going out, or if I had an important appointment. Unfortunately, the migraine would always come back at a later time. The migraine was so often present, I never knew if the next migraine was the tail end of the migraine before, or a new one.
I began to get so depressed. I looked for help everywhere, and read everything I could about migraine. I discovered the Migraine Resolution Programme, and I contacted Olivia Roberts, and learnt as much as I could about the programme before I began. I spoke to two past clients, and they were very positive. I thought that perhaps there might just be something in this new approach. I booked an appointment on 15th April 2006, and Olivia travelled to Exeter from her home in Bournemouth to see me that day.
The first session lasted over an hour, and I enjoyed the relaxation session. It was so intriguing how my subconscious led to particular times in my past, sometimes from when I was a very young child. Olivia used different ways to remove the uncomfortable feelings that some of these past events still held for me.
I was then taught a sequence that I was to do, that would remind my systems to send the migraine away. Although the sequence was quite simple, it was hard work to do this especially while I was in the middle of a full-blown migraine attack.
However, Olivia knew how difficult it was, as she had done it herself. With her encouragement, I found I was able to do the sequence several times a day in those early days, to try to send my migraine away. The weekly telephone coaching sessions consisted of me telling Olivia exactly what was happening, and Olivia helping me with a few tips and a lot of encouragement.
I kept a chart all through that time. Looking back, I can see how dreadful my migraine was in those days. I used to look ill, too. I felt tired out and fed up most of the time, but I did have hope, and I did have determination, and these things together with the programme, made all the difference.
At first, I really thought that I wasn’t going to be able to make any difference to my migraine. Day after day I seemed to be working so hard with the active sessions, and recording the day’s assessment on my chart. Now and again I would look to see if I had any signs of any improvement, but for what seemed a very long time, there was no difference.
However, after a few months, very gradually, I realised that I was getting better. It had taken e very long time, but at last I could see the improvement happening on my charts. It would be another few months before I began to have almost clear days, and then another few months before I had most of my days clear, but now, when I get an early sign of a migraine, it is very different.
Nowadays, I do not have any pain, just a shadow of pain, which is a strange phenomenon. I am using the programme to reduce this now. It is so wonderful not to have that incredible, ‘off-the-scale’ pain any more.
There were unexpected benefits with the programme. I now find that my energy level is much better. I look brighter and healthier too. I can enjoy days out, instead of just enduring them.
The fact that I was winning the battle spurred me on. Olivia still phoned me regularly, and we both enjoyed talking about many aspects of the programme. Other people are having some amazing things happen, and it is intriguing listening to the results of this new therapy. We often discuss the strange things that have happened and try to figure out what must be happening with this migraine syndrome.
At one time I began to experience abdominal pain, and I was bloating into a huge balloon. It was a horrible feeling. I used the programme to reduce it. I discovered that once the programme is used on a symptom, it isn’t long before it reduces right down, and disappears.
Olivia said that the dips in mood that I also experienced could also be treated as another symptom, and I used the sequence whenever I felt a distinctive plummeting-down feeling.
Looking back at this amazing journey, it all seems so simple now, but the truth is, it was incredibly hard work. There were times when I said to Olivia that I had gone through many three-day periods of agonising migraine, using the sequence regularly all the way through. Often I thought the programme wouldn’t work for me.
When I finally began to get some gaps between these long migraine attacks, they were very hard-won! The hot weather in the summer was an extra trial, but the earlier mornings and lighter evenings were a bonus for me. When I realised in May 2006 that my migraine was really breaking up, I was very encouraged. I was still taking my triptans, at times when I really had to keep going, but thankfully, this didn’t affect the overall success of the programme.
I used to have days on end with a scale 10 migraine, but those days are all behind me now. If I get a headache, I still use the programme, but I know I won’t have to go to bed. I can still get on, as long as I do the active sessions regularly until it disappears. I know I will probably be using the active sessions for a long time into the future, but as long as I keep on top of it, my migraines will remain as ordinary headaches, and hopefully even these will diminish with time.
In September 2006, my husband, David, and I went to the Norfolk Broads for a week on a barging holiday. It was quite a brave decision, and I crossed everything as we set off. I didn’t realise that I would be so grateful for my increasing energy. I ended up testing myself to the limit, as if I needed to prove to myself how well I had become.
David was unwell as we set off, so I drove the car on our 300-mile journey to Norfolk. David remained ‘under the weather’ for most of the week, so I had to be captain and stoker, as well as washer-up and cook. I learnt how to control the boat – an amazing feat! And despite all of these challenges, I enjoyed the holiday, and I didn’t have a single migraine. I drove the 300 miles home, and although I was absolutely tired out, I did it! I was so pleased with myself.
I have developed my own special way of sending the migraine away now, if one should threaten. I remember how I used to feel so pessimistic with an awful feeling of total, desperate hopelessness. I feel so much more optimistic now. It is truly wonderful to be able to enjoy every day.
My note -
Hilary was a major triumph in the programme. There were many anxious moments when I wondered if she would have the strength to succeed. I learnt that no matter how frail, a person will often gradually gain strength as they continue with the programme. Hilary’s strength grew continually while she was working so hard with the programme.
At first, all she could do was go through the motions and give it the best effort that she could. Gradually, Hilary won though, with determination – and telephone coaching.