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!!