on a Paris balcony, a glass of red wine, a baguette, and a plant on a little table with two chairs

The balcony of my Airbnb home in Montmartre, Paris. A glass of wine and French bread on a table with two chairs, with a view of Sacré-Cœur.Hey folks—things change. The lowest of the lows cannot last forever. When you’re at the bottom, there’s only one direction in which you can move . . . and it’s not down. Never in million years did I think I would be sitting on this balcony in Paris, enjoying a glass of wine provided by a charming Airbnb host, along with a French baguette, while taking in a spectacular view of the Sacré-Cœur, a church situated on top of a hill in Montmartre.

Why did I not think this was a possibility for me? Because, not too long ago, I was suffering from a severe physical injury that was causing me to have major psychological issues. I was also suffering from severe anxiety that was causing me to have major physical issues. It was a vicious circle; I was a mess. Furthermore, and separate from all this, I was suffering from periodic, ten-day, completely debilitating migraines, as I had been for my entire adult life. And, as if all this weren’t enough, my marriage was falling apart. So Paris didn’t really seem in the cards. Nor did writing anything ever again, least of all a blog post about a trip to Paris.

I want you to know that there are very often unseen solutions. I want you to know that when things seem hopeless, you can still reach up and grab hope. But I also want you to know that forward progress requires hard work, and even that is not enough, for forward progress also requires persistence. While enduring my worst days, weeks, and months, many people gave me advice that was counterproductive. Most, though sadly not all, of these people had good intentions; but they were wrong. It took me a long time to understand that I am the best judge of whether a particular treatment or strategy is working for me. It also took me a long time to understand that sometimes—but only sometimes—a piece of advice you’re getting is spot on, though you might not yet be prepared to admit it.

I just made it home from Paris. I’ll write more about my experiences in France soon. But now that I’m home, I’ve received some emails from friends and had some conversations with family that reminded me just how far I have come in the past few years. Truly, truly, I thought that life as I knew it was over for me. But it was not. After much trial and error—years of trial and error—I found some treatments and solutions that worked for me. And I made a complete recovery.

A Cool Paris Concert Venue and Other Migraine Triggers

So as to give you some specifics and eschew too much generality, below in this post are some of the solutions I found in regard to one of the many problems I experienced in recent years: my migraines. I know for a fact that I would have gotten a ten-day migraine in Europe, had I not stumbled across a miraculous solution last year. There were simply too many moments while traveling when I was on a jolting plane, train, or bus, having not gotten a lot of sleep the night before, as the sun was angling through the windows: these are huge migraine triggers for me.

The stage of La Maroquinerie, a live music venue in Paris. Being in a room like this is a huge migraine trigger for meThere was also a notable evening in Paris when I was in a crowd of people in a confined space, as noise was thumping and lights were flashing: more huge triggers. I snapped this photo at an Aldous Harding concert, at a venue called La Maroquinerie, during the opening act . . . before the crowd got even denser, and the sounds and lighting got even more intense. (It was a great and interesting performance. Harding is a New Zealand singer/songwriter with a grandly unique stage presence. This was my first encounter with her music, and I intend to listen to more soon!)

So many triggers; but they had no effect.

How to Prevent Migraines, or at Least What Worked for Me

I take a magnesium supplement, and this has, astonishingly, worked for me, whereas fancier drugs did not. I have not had a ten-day migraine attack since beginning my daily regimen. The magnesium must be in a form that is easily absorbable by the body; many pills sold in drugstores have no effect, because they pass straight through the body without being absorbed.

If you decide to try this treatment, be careful to ramp up your dosage slowly, over a week or two. Otherwise you will likely experience diarrhea. Stop increasing the dosage when you get to the ideal dosage for you, which is when your stools are neither too hard nor too loose. (Sorry if that was TMI.) Also note that magnesium is a natural relaxant, so it’s best to take it at night, just before bed.

This is the migraine-preventing product that works for me. I am not affiliated with this company.

The above is all I have to share about the specific techniques I use to prevent migraines. For anecdotal information about my migraine-related experiences, see these previous blog posts:

How to Solve Whatever Health Issue You May Be Experiencing

Everyone’s body is different, but the above is what worked for me in preventing migraines. Your body is likely different than mine. You may be experiencing migraines that don’t respond to magnesium supplementation, or you may be experiencing a different physical or psychological problem. The thing you must do when experiencing a persistent health issue is to try lots of different techniques and treatments, while being careful not to do anything too risky, at least not without first exhausting all other possibilities.

It is very important to be persistent and communicative with your doctor. Explain your problem and ask your doctor to give you an idea. If it seems reasonable, try it. If it doesn’t work, be persistent in asking your doctor for another idea. Your doctor will not magically know that the first treatment idea isn’t working unless you communicate that fact.

If your first doctor doesn’t seem to be helping you, no matter how nice the doctor is, and no matter how inconvenient it is for you, you must try going to different doctors. It is likely that another doctor will have ideas that your original doctor didn’t have.

You can also look for ideas by talking to people, searching the Internet, and reading books and magazines, as long as you are careful to distinguish between who is providing factual information . . . and who is just trying to sell you something. Take every idea, no matter its source, with a grain of salt. Don’t believe everything you hear and read; but also be open to new ideas.

Never in a Million Years? It May Be Sooner Than You Think

Folks, I made it through all that trauma and somehow got to Paris. You can make it through hard times, too. Don’t give up. While not every problem is solvable, I promise, more solutions exist than you might now realize. Who knew that a painting of sunflowers could ever be so perfectly painted, until Van Gogh painted it?

Are you actively, persistently, searching for possible solutions to your health problem?