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!!


  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.

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

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

    Not having had them myself, I can only sympathize!


I love to hear from you!