The Migraine Headache Cure
What triggers a headache
Beginning in my adolescence, I suffered from classic migraine headaches. Doctors believe that migraine headaches are most commonly stress-related, though external stimuli, such as bright lights, often trigger them. In my case it seemed that most often my migraines were triggered by bright lights: the glare of the sun off of water or the glare of bright lamplight shining on a highly reflective surface, such as the pages of a magazine or a recently waxed and polished linoleum floor.
I always experience (as many others do) an aura as an early warning before a severe headache. When the auras occurred I felt no pain, just slight dizziness or light-headedness and uncomfortable but painless pinpoints of light that led to spot blindness. My reaction to this disconcerting loss of sight was to close my eyes, a response more psychologically satisfying than functional.
To the best of my recollection, my first headache occurred during puberty when I reacted to the glare of a bright reading light reflecting off the surface of a magazine cover. It was absolutely terrifying to sense that I was losing my sight. I found through experimentation that if I could get to sleep before the extreme headache emerged and remain asleep for five or six hours, I would awaken with a severe pounding headache that was painful but far more tolerable than a full-blown migraine. Moreover, I would awaken with my vision restored.
If I could not “sleep it off,” the ensuing headache rendered me totally debilitated for at least two days. During that time I became even more sensitive to light and had to remain in as dark a room as possible. Once the headache emerged, I also experienced sound sensitivity; everyone in the house had to remain totally quiet. For many hours after the onset of a full-blown migraine, I was in excruciating pain and could not stop vomiting, even long after there was nothing in my stomach. Occasionally the dry heaving resulted in some bleeding.
Dealing with the Pain
In this miserable state it was impossible for me to leave my room. As a result, two or three times every school year I missed a couple of days of school. The condition persisted through junior high school, high school, and college. When I began teaching in 1971, I always had back-up lesson plans ready to use in the event a migraine surfaced. Once a headache was in progress there was no way I could put together and deliver lesson plans to the school before the pain became unbearable.
Over the years, I sought medical treatments, consulting with several different physicians and specialists to no avail. Even the brain scans and hormone and allergy testing were inconclusive and simply resulted in the same diagnosis: classic migraines. I was given various painkillers to minimize the pain of the headache, but even if I could hold down the medication without vomiting (which was not usually the case), the painkillers had very little impact.
But I was blessed: in 1975, God healed me through an experience that enabled me to avoid future headaches, even after the aura was discernible. This experience proved to be much more than random and was a way in which God spoke to me through a clear but inaudible message. While teaching in the early 1970s, I needed to find summer employment to supplement my meager income. Another teacher who for many years was employed as a Greyhound bus driver during the summer months put in a good word for me, and for the next five summers I too was driving for Greyhound Bus Lines. I was constantly on call and because of heavy travel in the summers I worked the maximum hours allowed by federal transportation laws. I often had only minimal rest periods between trips. I typically had two hours’ notice to appear at the Greyhound garage in Detroit for an assignment that could last for up to ten hours. At the end of those ten hours, Greyhound was required to give me eight hours’ rest and another two hours’ notice before the next assignment. This insane work schedule continued around the clock from the end of June until after Labor Day, when school began. It was a hectic pace, but supplemented my income nicely.
I rarely knew where I’d be traveling until I reported to the Greyhound garage, so I always carried a small suitcase with a change of uniform and toiletries. Out-of-town sleeping arrangements were far less than ideal; I usually slept in a drivers’ dormitory with multiple beds in a room, shared bathroom facilities, and the constant smell of diesel fuel filled the air. I occasionally enjoyed a private sleeping room about the size of a jail cell with no windows and a single overhead light bulb. During the five summers I worked for Greyhound, there were two or three occasions when I rejected a driving assignment at the last minute because of an emerging migraine headache in its early aura stage. My short notice gave dispatchers too little lead time to find a substitute driver, and each time I was given a written reprimand and a stern scolding from management. I’m not sure they believed me, and I feared I would lose my job if it happened more than once each summer.
It seemed there was no end in sight to the debilitating headaches. But in the summer of 1975, I was faced with a difficult decision that would change and enhance my life and well-being for decades. In fact, this gift from God would impact me for the remainder of my life.
The Last Migraine
One warm summer evening I was asked to arrive at the drivers’ room in Detroit by 10 P.M. I hadn’t had much sleep but dutifully reported to the drivers’ room in the garage at the appointed hour. When I arrived, I was told I would be driving the late-night run to Louisville, Kentucky, from 11 P.M. until 7 A.M. It was a long haul, I was tired, and there was only one brief rest stop in Findlay, Ohio, at about the halfway point.
During the first two hours of the trip, everything was going well: the thirty or more passengers were sleeping and I was feeling fine. Suddenly I began to sense the onset of an aura. I was an hour away from the rest stop and faced three or four more hours of driving after that. I knew the spot-blindness would make the second half of the trip dangerous at best and impossible at worst. I also feared that before we reached Louisville I would be experiencing a full-blown headache complete with extreme light and sound sensitivity and nonstop vomiting.
When we arrived at the rest stop in Findlay, the spot-blindness was becoming very noticeable. I had to decide if I would request a replacement driver. I knew it would cause a huge delay for the passengers and, given my personnel record, I most certainly would have been fired.
I prayed and quickly concluded that I would take my chances and drive through to Louisville. I found some small bags at the rest stop that I could take with me to vomit in. My contingency plan was to claim a bout of the flu or food poisoning to excuse my sickness; by continuing to drive, I hoped to demonstrate how committed Greyhound drivers were to delivering passengers on time to their intended destinations.
I knew I had made a very risky decision that could even result in injury to the passengers. But I trusted in God to get us safely to Louisville—and as it turned out, God did that and much more.
As I returned to the freeway, I was experiencing major pockets of blindness. I couldn’t read any of the road signs, but the remainder of the route was entirely freeway driving and there was very little traffic on the freeway at 3 A.M. I straddled the white line between lanes to make sure I didn’t run off the road and awaken the sleeping passengers. I was very anxious about the onset of full-blown pain and nausea but I was prepared for that eventuality and was determined to make it to Louisville without losing any passengers or my lucrative summer job.
Something truly remarkable happened in the next few hours. As I continued my drive to Louisville, my vision eventually cleared up. I then braced myself for the extreme light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea, and excruciatingly painful headache but none of that occurred. I dropped off the passengers in Louisville and drove myself to the dormitory, free of symptoms and perplexed by what had just happened. For the first time in my life, the aura had not been followed by the predictable progression of symptoms. I was euphoric.
I bedded down in the drivers’ dormitory and enjoyed a very restful six or seven hours of sleep; I was shocked and amazed to awaken feeling refreshed and physically energized. I thanked God for bringing me safely to Louisville and for miraculously preventing the symptoms that would have left me trapped for two or more days in the dormitory until I totally recovered.
It occurred to me that God wanted me to learn from this experience, so I began to consider what had been different this time from all of my prior migraine episodes. I don’t know which of them was most important, but I easily realized several differences as I made the comparison. On the bus, I had been forced to stare through the blindness instead of closing my eyes to it. I took no medication. And because I was driving, I couldn’t lie down and try to “sleep it off.”
Ever since that day in 1975, my response to an aura is very simple. No matter what time of the day or night, I stare through the spot-blindness, take no medication, and make no attempt to sleep until after the temporary blindness disappears. The aura still occurs three or four times a year—and has done so consistently over the past thirty-five years—but by following my simple plan I have not experienced a single migraine headache.
I was effectively cured in 1975 of a very debilitating illness. I attribute this cure to God. Being able to avoid such pain has not only made me happier but has also made me more productive and successful in both my business and personal life.
I have mentioned my simple discovery to a number of physicians and have also sent my story to a medical journal. I subsequently received mail from several people who read my story and applied the same technique, resulting in similar relief from their own classic migraine headaches.
It gratifies me greatly that God was not only speaking to and curing me, but also enabling me to positively impact the lives of others who found relief from pain and suffering by reading my story.
Comments from the Original Post
Jamesha Lee 12.12.15
Thanks for your testimony Fred. I was beginning to feel hopeless and even considered giving up. I’m 23 years old and since I could remember I would get “normal” headaches that would go away after I ate something or rested for a while. They kind of subsided for a while, but recently one day while I was at work (call center) I began to feel a headache creeping on. I took some over the counter tension meds, but that didn’t help and by 4pm I was leaving by ambulance. It was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced and I felt faint. I was so scared because I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. This happened on September 14, 2015, it is now December 11, 2015 and I still have this same headache that only subsides when I’m sleeping and usually the first 30 minutes of every morning. I’ve been to the emergency room countless times where I’ve had 2 CT scans and some blood work done. I’ve also seen a neurologist who administered 3 injection (shoulder and back of head). The injection were for inflammation and needless to say did not work so now I’m back to trying different sorts of pain killers and also on a muscle relaxer. The pain is often so bad that I soend mostly everyday in bed crying or submerged in the bath tub. I worry of something more serious even though the test came back normal. I guess it’s just built up anxiety and depression that makes me worry. I also pray a lot, usually 4 or more times a day. Hearing your testimony and reading the comments of others gives me hope. I pray for everyone who’s in pain and prayers are greatly appreciated as well!
I suffered from migraines on a daily basis I used to take handfuls of pills on a regular basis this lasted more than 10 years. I was healed by prayer, God is miraculous and so loving I can’t believe I used to live a life of pain. Thank you God, Jesus and Virgin Mary.
Ann Hays 6-27-2013 6.27.13
Prayers & Blessings to all suffering!I wanted to add a bit of my experience to what some of you are ‘seeing’ In 5-1978 I received a Brain-stem Contusion,via car wreck.I was placed on ice & full life support for 3 weeks, after which, I learned to walk,wore a diaper, you name it.I was BORN AGAIN,Spiritually & Bodily! By Aug.I was placed in a nursing home. Approx.6 weeks later,I am in mid-step in N.H. hallway when I ‘woke up’.I don’t have the space for my entire tale of undeserved Grace. My vision was partially blocked but I wasn’t really aware of it @ first. After leaving N.H.,approx. 3 months total,I was to stay home:period.No driving,working etc.I found a 12-24 needlepoint project I had begun years before & barely touched.I picked it up. Suffice it to say; I couldn’t always see the needle,still,GOD healed my eyes with it!I see a “Halo”(Dr.’s term),VERY BRIGHT LIGHT, about the size of the end of a sewing needle,right next to the left of my center vision. 1 Thessalonians 5:5 “Ye are all the children of LIGHT” THE FATHER sent me this announcement on a post card from my Preacher,not long after finishing needlepoint!I see too,a little bit of dark ‘scar tissue’ which kinda blends in with everything else. My thought is; could some of these debilitating headaches be linked in some way to scar tissue that is unseen:not diagnosed?Additionally;unrelated to me,what about Spinal Fluid leakage as cause of problems? Also,what about trying, with phys. approval,high doses of Vitamin C; Ester C is my preference. May you all overcome these attacks SOON!Stand on the PROMISES OF KING JESUS,by HIS STRIPES we HEALED.
Reading this became life affirming 🙂
I was twenty in Vietnam, when I had my first migraine. I was near a beach with white sand, walking down the road. Everything went bright white. I was completely blind except for seeing bright white. This lasted for about five minutes and then my vision returned gradually. Since then I have had aura several times a year, that break up my vision to the point where I cannot function. They last about half an hour. Triggers that I know of are volatile fuels like gasoline or solvents. I have found that taking 125 mg of Gingko Biloba every day, I don’t have aura attacks except very rarely. I have never had a headache after an aura. My late wife had headaches without aura that would put her in bed for days. She had fifteen years of very mild or no headaches taking 60 mg Ginkgo Biloba every day.
I too have suffered from chronic headaches since a teenager. Classic migraines without aura. It is good to read your witness of God’s healing and your faith. God works miracles and wants to be active in all of our lives. Visit me at my Facebook page Christal M Bindrich to find how God works in my life.
This was my very favorite story of all, as it relates to me. I’ve suffered with migraines for over 40yrs but this gives me such hope.
I think the migraines I suffer are connected to not having a good friend? I love reading the testimony
I will keep reading testimoney be healed too, Today my stepbrother called I was ready to go to the hospital after pain was returning but it was mostly gone! He asked do you feel better? You sound better. I said yes. Do you have any friends? I said no not really. I do need a friend. Maybe there is a link? I will keep seeking the Lord. Thank u
Thank you for sharing your testimony of the faithfulness of God. My son has migraines, and I will share this story with him. I will also share your story with my prayer group. Oh, how He blesses in testimonies of the Saints.
Dee S 8.27.12
Suffering from Classic migraines now x 25 years this testimony touched my heart. I am so very happy for you and Praise God for his mercy. Thank you for sharing!
I, too, suffer with migraines, at one point having 28 episodes per month, for years at a time. I have prayed through many and they are still around but not as bad as they used to be; I take one day at a time. You received healing at such a detrimental time, you believed God would get you and the passengers to the destination safely. You ultimately gave it all over to God and just as He says, your faith in Him will set you free. Turning it all over may be one of the hardest lessons all of us can learn in our walk. Thank you for reminding me.
Walter S. Philbrick 8.8.12
Fred, thank you for sharing your head cracking story with us! I have suffered with migraines since I was 8 years old, and I am 62 today! (Happy Birthday) I must say that the Northern Lights have nothing on the lights and shapes and colors we see in some of our “auras” that we must endure! But you are right, God will not give us anything we cannot endure without Him by our side! Everything happens for a reason and He can and offten does take away, many times unexplained, afflictions from us without explaination. I’m very thankful I don’t have to sleep in the bathtub anymore like I did for many years away from the light, noise, people and the world!!! Keep the stories coming Fred we need more people to speak on our behalf! thank You
anne botha 7.30.12
Fred, I suffer with terrible migraines. The last couple months has been very bad. I also drive a lot. Thank you for sharing and I will use parts 3 and 4 of this. Glory be to God.
Sally Ann Slight 7.26.12
Dear Fred, just reading this article helped relieve me from a migraine today….I do believe that when you read a anothers story of pain relief, and just by your belief in their words…you too will be healed…..to believe in another persons story helps you with your own…..same also goes with the negative aspect of peoples lives and stories….read about marriage break ups, child abuse, pain etc can cause such feelings within your self and also can create your own lifestyle!
Thank you Fred, I have been getting your tweets and I remembered this one about headaches…and so I looked you up again….and here I am in bed, typing to you and my headache is leaving me now and I will get up and enjoy the rest of the day……pain is sent to stop us from completing our tasks for the day….if we give in to pain…pain has won…………..Jesus is no pain…the other fella is pain……give me Jesus everytime….God bless you Fred
Jeanette Ntuli 7.21.12
The strength of prayer!
Rev. Dr. Joanne Swenson 6.17.12
Fred, I am sharing your story with friends and family who suffer migraines. Your patient examination of what banished your headaches is a great model for any problem-solving. Your humble openness to God makes this also a faith-filled model of problem-solving.
Mike Delizia 6.13.12
Some migraines are so bad, I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I had them, like the one that hit me while I watched Secretariat win the Kentucky Derby. Another miserable memory is of having to leave work in the middle of the day and stopping behind every pillar in the parking garage to vomit. Another is when I worked for a reinsurance company in New York and was visiting a client in Boston, and I had to excuse myself from a meeting with none other than Fred Sievert.
I rarely have the headaches anymore, thank God. I do continue the have dazzling psychedelic auras once or twice a year, trippy light-shows filling my field of vision with sparkling, prismatic, zigzag shapes. There are several depictions of these auras on line by some talented migraine sufferers. They are all more or less the same as the ones I have.
Diane Hohmann 6.12.12
Oh, Fred! I suffer from migraines, much the same way you did. The only “new” remedy available for me is a anti-nausea medication, dissolved under the tongue. I would love to be free of these terrible headaches. I am looking forward to parts 3 and 4 of this story!