Hi! My name is Heather Hart, and I am the voice behind this website.
I share much of my story throughout the pages and posts you’ll find here. However, I wanted to take a moment, introduce myself, and share my struggle with chronic pain.
Everyone’s struggle with chronic pain is unique.
I know that.
Your struggle might look nothing like mine, or we might have a lot in common. Either way, I know that God is always good. That’s one fact I cling to, no matter how bad the pain gets. So with that knowledge, here’s my story…
The Migraine That Never Went Away…
It was the summer of 2017, and I felt like I was on the top of the world. I led the women’s Bible study at my church and was living out my passion as an author writing for Christ. My family and I had moved to our small Texas town a few years prior, and the small-town life suited us – it suited me.
Life wasn’t always easy, but I breathed deep.
I was loving Jesus and living life to the fullest.
In fact, earlier that summer we had been camping and hiking in the mountains of Colorado with the youth group from our church.
Then it happened…
One day I got this insane migraine.
It was super intense, and I couldn’t shake it.
That migraine changed my entire world…
After a few days of laying in bed, I made a doctor appointment. My head hurt so bad, something had to give.
The doctor gave me a shot and sent me home… but it didn’t help. A few days later I was back at the doctor begging for something to stop the pain.
That was the first time I was hospitalized for my migraines.
I don’t remember much of what happened over the next few weeks. I just know my head hurt. Bad. At some point, they took me from the hospital in our small town to the hospital in the city by ambulance. It was the first time I had ever been in an ambulance.
Here’s the thing: The agonizing pain in my head made everything that came next blur together. There were lots of tests run. I know there was something wrong with my spinal fluid. And I know they couldn’t give me the medicine that helped ease the pain if my blood pressure dropped too low. But most of the time I just laid in bed with my eyes closed, wishing the pain would go away.
It never did.
They eventually sent me home. My head still hurt, but not as bad. The first ten days after I left the hospital were the best. After that, I went downhill quickly.
I was back in the hospital less than six months later.
The first 11 months went by with no sign of hope. My neurologist, while he assured me he was the best there was, didn’t make any promises. He explained that there was so much we didn’t know about the human brain, but with enough trial and error, we might eventually find something that worked.
And there was a lot of error.
He had so many patients, he didn’t know who I was most of the time.
He ran the same tests repeatedly. He relied on me to tell him which medicines I had tried and which ones I hadn’t. The problem with this was that my head hurt so bad I had no clue.
A Light At The End Of The Tunnel?
One day, when I was at the local emergency room getting treated for extreme pain, a local doctor asked if I would be willing to come see him for my migraines. Since my neurologist was a 45 minute drive and we weren’t seeing results, I decided to give it a go.
That local doctor got better results in less than a month than my neurologist had in almost a year.
One morning, I was taking the trash out to the curb and realized my head didn’t hurt.
It stopped me in my tracks.
I took a deep breath, smiled, and then the pain started easing back in.
But it gave me hope.
Sadly, it seemed like as soon as my body adjusted to the new medication, the migraines came back full force. I would have a good week when the doctor increased the dosage, but then my body would adjust and it would stop working.
Eventually, I was on the maximum dose, and my body had adjusted to the medicine. The doctor eventually apologized and said he had tried everything he could think of.
Learning About Migraines
About this time, one of my husband’s coworkers told him about a clinic that specialized in migraines. They had helped someone he knew, and he thought we should give it a go. It was a four and a half hour drive from where we lived, but at this point, my head had been hurting for a year and a half. We were pretty desperate.
Before the doctors at this clinic would see you, they required you to take a two-hour class about migraines. Part of me wished my first neurologist would have taken that class. By the time it was over, I felt like I knew more than he did. Which was frustrating, but also inspired hope.
These people knew their stuff.
If anyone could help me, I felt like it would be them.
I have a dear friend who drove me the four-and-a-half hours to the clinic once every three months to see the neurologist. This neurologist didn’t just treat my migraines; she acted like she cared. Sadly, the billing department at the clinic didn’t mesh well with our insurance company. Thus, I had to find another new neurologist.
Thankfully, the new, new neurologist is only two-and-a-half hours away and is just as wonderful as the last one. Maybe even more so.
Chronic Pain & Jesus
My migraines were starting to get better. I actually had a full day (24-hours) without a migraine in January of 2020.
But then they started getting worse again. I’m not sure if it was the stress of life (mother of four and distance learning) or my body adjusting to medication again, but that’s just the way it was.
My new new neurologist finally sent me to another new neurologist who specialized in spinal headaches. She thought maybe when they did the spinal tap back in 2017 it hadn’t healed right.
It took almost a year to get in, but in 2021 I had my first blood patch.
It was a complete success…
…for 10 months I was virtually migraine free. But then it failed and my migraines came rushing back. My second blood patch lasted three months. My third, less than a week.
The fourth blood patch they did a little differently. They used fibrin to mix with my blood all down my spine. That patch lasted 11 months before I did something to my back that caused it to fail.
I’m currently living on my fifth blood patch, knowing at any day my migraines could come rushing back. Especially if I’m not careful. And I still get intermittent migraines. Way back when I took the 2-hour class on migraines they explained that the longer your head hurts, the more likely it is for hurting to become your head’s default setting. After all these years, it’s safe to say that hurting is my head’s default setting. So every time my head hurts, everyone asks about my patch. All I can do is suggest they pray it’s just a regular migraine and not a failed patch.
And if I’m 100% honest (which I always am) I’m not okay with that. I still get migraines 3-4 times a week. That’s a lot of pain, but it’s still better than having the everyday-all the time-pain that comes from a leak in your spinal cord. We are trying new medications and techniques and re-trying some that didn’t work before my patch to see if they will work now.
In the beginning, I had good days and bad days. I had days when I clung to Jesus with all I had in me and days where I felt empty inside. But after 1K+ days of migraines, the pain has worn me down. In all the posts I’ve written, they are partly to share my story, but also to remind myself that even when it hurts, God is still good.
I am an author, but writing with a migraine is hard. When your head hurts, it just doesn’t work. However, writing is still how I process thoughts.
I don’t write to be the best in show.
I’m not trying to win any awards.
But if you are reading this and going through your own chronic pain journey, I want you to know that you are not alone; and it’s my hope that you find Jesus here.
From one sufferer to another,
I had no idea that first couple of days that I would still be dealing with it over seven years later, yet here I am.
Chronic pain takes a toll but the good news is that Jesus remains the same – yesterday, today, and forever. And His love never waivers.
Life is hard, but God is good.
Read My Blog Posts About Chronic Pain
I returned to Joni and Friends podcast on July 15th, 2021 to share some of the tips from my book,…
July 8th, 2021, I was interviewed on the Joni and Friends Podcast. Below you’ll find the episode transcript. You can…
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I willed myself not to cry. I knew my memory wasn’t what it used to be, but I wasn’t prepared…
Roughly a year after my chronic migraines started, I realized my faith was suffering. I realized I was no longer…
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