- Does your head feel like you're severely hungover x10000000?!
- Does your head generally feel fed up of the constant throbbing pain?!
- Yes. Snap. Welcome to the world of the dreaded migraine!
I've suffered from horrendous migraines for the last few years now. When I do unfortunately get one, it knocks me out for at least a day. Sometimes I experience auras (flashing lights, blind spots), nausea and vomiting, and occasional sensitivity to light.
When my migraines first started happening, I wasn't too sure what was bringing them on. I'd initially seen my doctor who prescribed me a painkiller medication, Naproxen. My doctor then referred me on to a neurologist for an MRI scan (at my request) just to put my mind at ease. My results came back clear and I was advised to keep a diary of my diet and to continue living a healthy lifestyle (which I did/still do). I went through a phase of believing that fish was a trigger as I developed a migraine each time I'd eaten it - from tuna to smoked salmon. Subsequently, sadly all fish (sadly sushi) was off the menu for me! However, I noticed even after eliminating fish from my diet, I was still regularly getting monthly migraines despite leading a healthy lifestyle - both with my diet and exercise.
Then came a phase when my migraines were quite frequent - one every ten days or so - ouch!. At the time, I was experiencing some changes in life. Although I wasn't feeling particularly stressed out (or at least not consciously acknowledging it anyway), I figured my migraines were infact the result of subconscious stress and tension I was probably feeling.
I wanted to share with you the things I use and do to help relieve my migraines. Hopefully some of these tips might help you when you're next suffering from a migraine.
A (prescribed) pain killer
When we feel a migraine coming on, obviously a painkiller is the first thing any of us would reach for! Naproxen works for me. The only downside is you can't take it on an empty tummy. So if I'm feeling nauseous and have already been vomiting, then Naproxen is pretty useless! There's lots of specific migraine painkillers available, so speak to your doctor to find the best medication for you!
An eye mask
It's pink, velvety soft and has 'BABE' plastered across it (what's not to love!?) It helps to block the light out, especially when my migraine is making me feel particularly sensitive to light. If you don't have an eye mask, I would definitely recommend one. However, do invest in a pretty one, not just a plain boring one!!! It's bad enough suffering from migraines, at least lets try have some fun with the eye mask!! Mine was from eBay for very little.
MIGRAINE KOOL N SOOTHE STRIPS
I have only recently tried these out and they're pretty good. The strips are gel like and are really cooling on the forehead, essentially helping to numb the throbbing pain of the migraine. Again, I would definitely recommend them. I can only describe them as a modern twist on the traditional 'cold wet flannel'.
I know this may be a weird one, as sometimes caffeine is deemed a trigger, however personally for me I find that sometimes a good cuppa tea can help relieve the pain of a migraine. I'm not too sure how or why, but perhaps you could reach for a cuppa/can of Coke or lemonade next time you feel a migraine striking. Also, try keep hydrated when suffering from a migraine, so slowly and regularly sip on water.
Sometimes, I feel the migraine pain and tension at the base of my head and neck. Therefore sometimes I find a massage/stretches help relieve some of the pain and loosen things up.
When the pain of the migraine is so bad (which is usually every time), I like to use pressure to try relieve it. You can use anything to tie around your head, but personally I just use the tie from my dressing gown (laugh all you want!). I tie it round my head so it's comfortably tight, yet still applying enough pressure. I feel it helps numb the pain - bringing some much needed relief.
When I have a migraine, I simply want to be left alone in a dark room, in my cosy bed surrounded by fluffy pillows, cushions and flowers. Again, this goes back to the BABE eye mask - it's bad enough feeling knocked out from a migraine, so lets try make our surroundings and accessories comfortable and fluffier - well that's my outlook on it anyway!
It goes without saying, I absolutely hate migraines! It's worth noting that I'm no doctor. The tips I've shared are things that have personally worked for me over the years. In any case, if you have any concerns regarding your migraines, please do go and see a doctor for professional advice!