Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Managing Migraines

How to manage migraines

I have been afflicted with migraine headaches since I was in elementary school.  My first one occurred during the 4th grade; I was getting off the bus and had to sit down on the curb because the sunlight was so intense I couldn't open my eyes.  I was 8 years old.  Ever since then I have had a migraine almost yearly and some years (like during pregnancy) I have had more than one.

My particular migraine comes with an "aura"; a visual obstruction that looks like a squiggly line that is moving, in my peripheral vision.  It also comes with a numbing in my face or hand, sensitivity to sunlight and loud sounds, dizziness and nausea.  (And is also the reason why I can't take full hormone BC- it could cause a stroke!) 

And I had my first migraine just the other day after a year "break".  For me the onset to migraines is random but can usually be contributed to lack of sleep, stress, extreme brightness from sunlight. Some foods like chocolate and buttermilk can also trigger migraines.  Well, it so happened I pretty much had a combination of little sleep (teething baby) + stress (from lack of sleep) + M&M's for breakfast (chocolate) = that ended the day with a migraine.

Once a migraine hits, I basically go into panic mode and run around like a chicken with its head cut off.  Or that's how it feels anyway.  Since I can't completely shut myself up in a dark, cool room without sound (especially with two kiddos) I have to delegate and prioritize:

The very first thing I do once that aura strikes, is take a pain reliever: Tylenol or Excedrin work well for me.  Then I minimize visual stimulation (turn off T.Vs, lights) and reduce noise. I also soak a washcloth with cold water and drape it around the back of my neck. I was very lucky that Brian was off the day I had my migraine because he watched the girls while I attempted to sleep off the nausea.  I actually didn't throw up after this particular episode which I will call a win because that usually signifies that the migraine is over.  It's a small victory but I'll take it!

The next day is basically like living with a hangover; still a little nauseous, sensitive to light and noise and the stomach can only handle light foods.  It's pretty crazy how intense headaches can be and how it affects your whole body!

It is said that migraines can be hereditary but I'm praying for my daughter's sakes that isn't the case.  But if they do end up getting them at least I have some tricks up my sleeve to help alleviate pain and keep them as comfortable as possible.  I guess only time will tell. 

Anyone else dealing with migraines? Have any tips/tricks to share? 


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9 comments:

  1. well that is just a bag of sucks. I don't get migraines but I do get headaches often. They were terrible when I was pregnant with Aria. My hair has been giving me headaches lately so I had to switch how I wash it.

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  2. My husband has had migraines since he was a child. I feel for you, I have a lot of headaches and sinus pain with pregnancy and I find that hard to deal with, so I can't imagine what migraines feel like. I just heard that grape juice helps.

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  3. I've been getting them since I was 19. Usually 2-4 a month. They're awful! The only thing that helps is migraine medication and laying in a hot bath. I really wish there was a better solution. I'm so sorry you get them, too!

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that Stefanie (we're sisters in strife now ;) Migraines are debilitating and really nothing completely makes them go away. I haven't tried a hot bath I'll have to keep that in mind for the next time (hoping it's a long time from now!)

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  4. My hand is raised in the air. My first bout with a migraine was in college, and I had no idea what was going on. I literally locked myself into my room and had the shades drawn, lights off, and everything as quiet as possible - for about 24 hours. It was the worst.
    I've discovered since then a few things actually trigger my migraines: red whine (so sad, it's my favorite!) and 'that time of the month'. I have to keep a supply of Excedrin Extra Strength on hand at all times, just in case. When a particularly bad one hits me I have to call Scott away from work because I pretty much shut down completely. Ugh.

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  5. Oh goodness lady :(. So sorry to hear about the migraines. I have a friend who had chronic ones that would leave her completely out of sorts. She started have acupuncture done and found some relief from that.

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  6. Don't shot the messenger: I've had one headache/migraine. It was July 3, 2013. I woke up feeling out of sorts and by 12, I was completely overwhelmed with this horrible pain in my head. Like it was being held in a vice. It was horrible. I ended up sleeping for 7 hours!!!! and woke up to feeling a bit hung over but able to function. While I'm so lucky to never have had one since, I know now what folks are experiencing. That's just horrible!

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  7. We do hope it's not hereditary, as well. I guess sleep is a reliable way to relieve migraines, or at least a lot of rest, though a pain reliever would ease the process. In any case, it's all about keeping the brain from not being overburdened, or not pressured at the very least. Though it would help to seek professional medical assistance for this, so you can really be sure of the root causes of why you suffer them, as well as potential countermeasures.

    Cynthia Bowers @ Bay Area TMJ & Sleep

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    1. Oh yes, Ive been to a doctor and a chiropractor both for treatment and it helps to relieve pain but for the long run OTC painkillers and sleep are the best remedy for me!

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