My first Migraine
I experienced my first migraine when I was 27, about 4 or 5 months after giving birth to my daughter. It was mid-morning on a Saturday, my husband was in the living room with our daughter, trying to let me sleep after a rough night with the baby. At some point my husband came in to check on me and found me in the fetal position, crying from the pain. He knew something was very wrong and we went to the ER. The pain was so bad, I couldn’t remember my own phone number as I was trying to fill out the paperwork. I don’t remember much after that but at some point, the pain got even worse and I began throwing up. Now, I’ve been through pain before. I have Crohn’s disease and I’ve been through childbirth so, I know pain. This was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.
At that point, the doctors weren’t sure if I was having an aneurysm or a migraine. But the only way to check if I was having an aneurysm was to check my spinal fluid. One of the side effects of having a spinal tap done is a very bad headache that can last 2 weeks. I was given the choice and chose to skip the spinal tap. Since I was still nursing my daughter, I wasn’t able to take migraine medicine. So they sent me home. I don’t remember how long it took for that migraine to go away. The IV fluids they gave me in the hospital helped and I’m pretty sure the migraine was lessening when they sent me home. I was told ways to avoid another migraine and was told what to keep an eye out for if I was indeed having an aneurysm. Luckily it wasn’t an aneurysm.
Here’s What Works for Me
Since then, I’ve had many, many migraines. While migraines are not caused by my autoimmune disease, it is something I know a lot of people suffer from. I created this blog as a way to help others dealing with similar issues, so, here’s what works for me when a migraine strikes.
Obviously, avoiding a migraine altogether is the best thing, so, stay hydrated and avoid the things that are triggers for you. But, we all know, we can do our best and still get a migraine. For those times, here is a list of things that I always try to keep on hand and travel with:
- WATER – sip or gulp as much as you can, without throwing up. If nausea is a symptom for you, gulping might not be a good idea. But get that water in your system ASAP.
- Peppermint Essential Oil – this is such a great oil to keep on hand when you feel the first hints of a migraine – whatever that might be for you. I rub a drop across my forehead, my temples and the back of my neck. It is so soothing and can help me bridge the time if I need to get home before taking my migraine meds (which I try to avoid taking while out of the house).
- Eye Mask – I keep an eye mask by my bed to help block out light during a migraine. My room can’t get as dark as I’d like, especially in the summer or on a sunny day. I thought I wouldn’t like using an eye mask because my head and eyes are so sensitive during a migraine, but I have never noticed an issue. I’ve used several different types, even the kinds you get on an airplane, and they seem to work great. My favorite, though, is one that has a velcro strap and foam mask with earphones. I can connect it to my iPhone and listen to relaxing music or an audiobook. Here‘s the one I use but a washcloth or other small towel would work, too.
- Pepto Bismol – For nausea and/or vomiting. I prefer the tablets, but the liquid kind is fine, too.
- A Bucket – For possible vomiting.
- Audible & Music – There are 2 app’s that have helped me a lot during a migraine. Audible is an audiobook app and I have a specific book I always keep saved on that app for when I need to zone out. It’s a book I’ve read many times and don’t feel the need to pay attention to the story. Plus, I happen to like the narrators’ voice of this particular audiobook, so that helps. The other app is called Relax Melodies. It has lots of white noise type sounds pre-loaded and you can choose one to play for as long as you want, or you can play several sounds all layered on each other at the same time. I like these app’s because they help me focus my mind on something while trying to relax.
- Migraine Medicine – I always keep this with me. If I’m at home, I take it as soon as I realize I’m getting a migraine.
To try to avoid migraines altogether, I try to stay hydrated but I also take a couple supplements daily to try to ward them off.
- CBD Oil – As stated in my guest post about CBD Oil, it gives people an all natural, organic, non-GMO way to help with pain. While I do not use Hempworx brand, I do use an ingestible liquid form that is CO2 extracted. In my view, if it can’t hurt, why not.
- Natural Vitality Magnesium supplement drink – This drink is marketed as a stress reliever and maybe that’s why it works, but magnesium has been shown to help migraine sufferers (you can read up on it here and here). This drink mix works for me and I buy it here.
I hope both lists help you think about what things you might want to add to your arsenal for when you have a migraine. Best wishes to as few migraines as possible!! And as always, if you have anything to add or wish to tell me about a product that works well for you, I’d love to hear it! You can email me here or leave a comment below!