I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
I’ve personally suffered from migraines for about 3 years now, although it’s just been in the past year that I’ve began to label my chronic headaches as such. I always thought that a migraine was a headache so bad that you had no choice but to lay in a dark room for days. In my life, as a Mom, that just isn’t possible, which is why I questioned my headaches and whether they were truly migraines. I even found myself googling “Do I Have a Migraine” and finally deciding that yes, my chronic headaches definitely fit the bill of migraines.
That was the first step in my journey of dealing with migraines… the realization that yes, that is the label that I will use for the conditions that I exhibit. For some reason that label was so hard for me to apply to myself, but it’s important to really understand what you’re dealing with when you have chronic headaches like I was experiencing. My migraines seemed to be sporadic, I never knew when one would hit, which made finding the underlying cause of migraines difficult to pinpoint. That was before I started a Migraine Diary.
Keep a Migraine Diary
This is the best thing I could have ever done when it comes to dealing with migraines. The chronic headaches that I thought were sporadic actually had quite a pattern that I would have never realized without writing everything down. When I feel a migraine starting, I immediately pull out my diary and write down the date and time, the activities that I’ve engaged in over the last 24 hours, how I felt before the migraine hit, and the food that I’ve eaten in the last 24 hours.
It turns out that my seasonal allergies do seem to play a big part in the process, as well as my hormones. My migraines have started occurring on almost the same day each month, which is fascinating to me since I was unable to see that pattern before I began keeping my diary.
Make a Migraine Kit
Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from migraines so it does feel good to know that I’m not alone. However, everyone’s symptoms can be different so it’s important to recognize the signs of a migraine early to help lessen the severity. That’s where a Migraine Kit comes in for me and it’s something that has definitely helped me when dealing with migraines. I tend to feel nauseous and not want to eat, but at the same time I feel like my body needs fuel so I always have a granola bar on hand in my kit to help me through those feelings. Inside the kit I also keep a water bottle, to remind myself of how important my water intake is during my migraine days, and a wash cloth. I love a warm compress on my head when I’m feeling bad, so it’s a nice relief.
A few other items that would be great in a Migraine Kit are sunglasses and even ear plugs to help dull the brightness and loud sounds that often cause severe pain during migraines.
Dealing with migraines is never easy, but the one thing that gives me the most relief is resting. If they’re available, I always ask my parents to watch the girls so I can just take a couple of hours to do nothing. Along with seasonal allergies, I believe over-stimulation is a trigger of my migraines, which is why I often seem to get them while we’re on vacation or a fun day trip. Being able to take a few hours just to lay, sometimes not even sleeping, but just laying down and clearing my mind does wonders when dealing with migraines.
Sometimes the headache that comes with a migraine is only part of the problem, which is what makes dealing with migraines so tricky. It’s important to evaluate your symptoms, keep track of your headaches to be aware of patterns or triggers, and learn how to deal with your migraines. For more information on migraines and how to deal with them effectively, visit MoreToMigraine.com.
Do you have Migraine symptoms other than the headache?
What do you do to help deal with the symptoms?