If you’re someone who suffers from migraines, then you may want to read this post in case one of my tips happens to work for you too – and likewise, feel free to leave your own tips in case they work for me!
I really do believe that migraines are part of your genetics in a family sense. There are more women in my family affected by these things than just me, and this suggest a family link. However, it could just be a big coincidence. I first had a migraine when I was 11. I felt awful and had no idea what was going on – migraine is different feeling from a regular headache. A trip to the doctor confirmed what it was and that it was probably triggered by lights and he gave me a needle, I spewed on his carpet and felt instantly better.
Unfortunately I can’t afford tp and don’t always have time to visit the doctor for every migraine to get a needle to clear it up and the cure relies on me fixing it. Identifying triggers is a good way to keep a handle on them and I don’t get as many as I used to after discovering them all and avoiding those things as best as I can.
Triggers for me include:
- Lights. Not specifically bright ones, but more how the light catches my eye or bounces off surfaces. The neutral, muted colours and muted lights of big buildings like universities and hospitals can give me one for instance, as well as some projectors. Hard to totally avoid as you don’t know what building will have them before you go in.
- Hormonal changes that occur naturally in your body. Impossible to avoid forever.
- Straight sugar. Long gone are the days when I can lick whizz fizz. Rich cake is also a no.
- Spasms in the eye that happen when tired. Uncontrollable.
- Very loud noises. Outside of one’s control.
- Any food with orange food colouring (I discovered it was the colouring and not flavouring by being able to eat orange tic tacs migraine free!)
- Tension in neck and back
- Tooth aches / pressure on teeth caused by a dodgy orthodontist. What a bi-atch.
So! To cope when I get one…
+ Because I don’t ingest caffeine on a day to day basis, drinking Coke helps. Luckily, I stopped drinking soft drink everyday a couple of months ago so I don’t get as many sugar ones. Only drink 1 cup though, you only need a little caffeine / sugar hit.
+ Water after the cup of Coke, and a few sips of a sports drink. For all those sports I do when I have a migraine of course.
+ Actually, sometimes depending on the type of migraine, doing something light active helps. A bit of cleaning or walking.
+ Sleep. Sleep actually doesn’t work for every kind.
+ Eat spaghetti. Yep! Carb it up. I don’t know why but a few pasta noodles with a bit of tomato helps. Or something a bit salty.
+ Ice pack on the forehead, top of the head or back of the neck.
+ A foot rub or / and a face massage.
+ Don’t let hair fall on your face but don’t tie it back tightly.
+ Watching television from a distance. This might sound nuts but actually, so long as it’s not a show with flashing lights, this provides a distraction from the pain and doesn’t require much work for the eyes. Do not read or look at the computer, though.
+ Light. Some people say pitch black is what they need but this strains my eyes unless I am sleeping. Sitting in the dark does not work – I need ample light to see so I don’t have to strain.
+ Dissolve-able aspirin.
+ Silence. Like some people need pitch blackness, I need silence. I unplug everything and just pray nobody yells. (The television at an okay volume is okay for some migraine forms ^ because there are different levels and kinds)
+ Lastly, if I can manage it, vomiting. Go ahead! Throw up! It will help! Unless you’re me and have a body that takes 3 hours to vomit. Seriously, a stomach flu for me goes on for so much longer than other people because my body insists on being at that pre-vomit state (you know just before you do it) for 2 – 5 hours. Not kidding. I hope the talk of vomit has not disgusted you.
The worst thing about migraines, though? People telling you how you should be avoiding them as if you’re giving one to yourself on purpose. I had somebody tell me once, “it’s a pretty good excuse because you can’t prove it.” she was someone who had taken it upon herself to be personally offended by my illness (illness is correct to describe this?) and to tell me how I should be dealing with them…. despite not suffering them. It’s times like this I wish I was the type of person who tells nosy people to ‘fuck off’. You can prove a migraine simply by looking at the person’s white face, unfocused eyes, wobbly balance, squinting, vomiting, falling down etc. and generally looking they want to die. You know. Anyway, thank you people who don’t suffer from migraines for trying to help but sometimes, you’re not helping at all – you’re just acting like we’re doing the wrong things on purpose and aren’t trying to fix them. I avoid all my triggers as best I can and no longer suffer migraines every 2 days like I used to, and I do it without medication, a feat I’d say.
May a migraine cure be found soon. Identify triggers, avoid them and get through them as best you can and if you live somewhere with good healthcare visit a free hospital for one of those needles or drips to stop bad ones in their tracks! Good luck, fellow sufferers!