Friday, May 2, 2014

Tips for Migraine Sufferers

Migraine. Might as well be a four-letter-word. This disruptive disease affects millions of people around the world. I've suffered from them off and on since I turned eighteen. Over the years, I've heard a lot of advice. Some good. Some not-so-good. All well-intentioned.

"Beware of anyone who promises you a "migraine cure." Migraine isn't curable — not yet. I can't promise you that you'll never have another migraine. But migraine is a treatable disease." 
~ Dr. Carolyn Bernstein author of The Migraine Brain.

Migraines can have many symptoms. I might say, "I have a migraine," and it means one side of my head throbs, my eyes are tired, light bothers me, I'm nauseous, and my shoulders ache. For someone else, a migraine might be a tight knot in their back, an aura, and dizziness. You don't have to have a headache to have a migraine! Unfortunately, I always do.



I've learned the warning signs my body might be preparing for one:

- extreme fatigue
- black mood--I literally feel as if life will never be good again
- tired eyes, my eyebrows ache
- noise seems louder
- light seems abnormally bright

When I become aware of any of the above, I drink more water, and I take ibuprofen (my doctor recommended this for me--see a doctor about the best treatment for you). I also try to get more rest, but if it's not possible, I continue to load up on liquids.

Many times, I have no warning. Why? Because I get migraines while I'm sleeping and wake up with them. Those are the worst. If you catch a migraine early, you have a good chance of stopping it either with prescription medication or over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen or Excederin Migraine. When you wake up with one, you're pretty much stuck with it.

Migraines can last for a few hours or several days. The longest one I've had was three days. By day three, I wanted to dunk my head in a vat of ice and be done with it.

If you're in the middle of a nasty episode, find a dark place to lie down. Put an ice pack on the aching area. Take medication (prescription or over-the-counter painkiller).

During a migraine, I can't read but I can usually watch television. There's always a marathon running of a show you've never seen. I watched the first two seasons of Dallas earlier this year. A few years back, I got hooked on The T.O. Show, which followed Terrell Owens and his entourage when he was still a big time NFL player. Did I watch a marathon of The Real Housewives of New York several years ago? Yep.

I know these tips are simple and don't solve the problem, but I hope you know you're not alone.

If you've suffered a migraine, what worked for you? 

Have a terrific Friday!!

4 comments:

  1. Light is one of my triggers so I wear sunglasses even on cloudy days. Stress is another trigger. If I wake up with a migraine, I use the shower gauge to determine if I can function for the day. If I know my name and can operate the shower, I'll be good to go. Otherwise, I prefer a cold, dark, quiet (no noise, music, tv) cave (my bedroom). I'll pop a couple of Tylenol (if I've managed the shower) or Ibuprofen if not. Leave me alone. Don't ask questions. Just let me die in peace.

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    1. "Just let me die in peace." Oh my word, I'm laughing so hard! Isn't that the truth??

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  2. I've heard that Inderal is a very effective prescription drug for migraine.

    Not having had them myself, I can only sympathize!

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2014/05/keeping-romance-alive-in-your-marriage.html

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    1. Thanks, Andrew! Appreciate the tip!

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