Hi, I get migraines. If you’ve had one, you know they’re awful. The fun thing (lol) about migraines is that everyone has a unique migraine experience. There are tons of different triggers and symptoms and if you want more info on that, start with the Mayo Clinic page here. I usually get intense stabbing/throbbing pain on one side of my forehead, sensitivity to light and loud noise, and nausea, all of which typically last a day or less, and my triggers include barometric pressure changes, stress, hormonal birth control (the Depo shot was murder), dehydration, and a few food-related things (like sage). I think right now, I’m averaging about two per month, but I’ve had periods of time when I was getting a migraine every other day or so.
I started getting them when I was 18, and here we are 13 years later, still going strong. Back in the before time, ya know, before kids, I would pop a pain reliever and crawl into the darkness of my bedroom as soon as possible. Of course, I’ve always had jobs that weren’t super accommodating about taking time off for something that wasn’t contagious, so I’ve worked through plenty of pain, which sucks, but I guess I should just thank my stars that I don’t completely lose all ability to function. Anyway, I’m now a work-at-home mom, which is worse than the most oppressive boss about allocating sick leave. Also, while I, once upon a time, took prescription migraine meds, I stopped when I was pregnant and, even though they worked, never bothered to get back on them because they’re fucking expensive. Anyway, over the years, I’ve found a few things to help deal.
- Drink water. Yeah, caffeine helps with migraines, but so does hydration. I drink a glass of water when I first notice symptoms, and I swear it reduces the severity.
- Excedrine Migraine. Or the off brand. I honestly can’t tell the difference. Their magic formula is acetaminophen + aspirin + caffeine. This one probably isn’t news. A Again, I take it as soon as I can after I notice symptoms. It doesn’t work as well as the prescription pain reliever I used to take, but it definitely takes the edge off forme. Plus, it’s cheap.
- Migrastick. I kept this in my desk and used it all the time when I had a “regular” job. It’s a little roll-on tube of mint and lavender essential oils that you apply to your temples. The smell helps with my nausea, and the cooling/soothing sensation of mint oil distracts me from the pain. I personally don’t think it does anything to help my migraines go away faster, but it does help with the symptoms. I buy it from a little local supplement store, but you can get it on Amazon.
- IMAK Compression Mask. I can’t lock myself in a dark bedroom anymore because I have kids, but this is kind of the next best thing. It’s like a soft, knit face mask for sleeping, but it’s full of these little balls that you can kind of mush around on your face so absolutely no light reaches your eyes, plus the pressure and weight of the mask helps with the pain. Also, you can keep it in the freezer, and the cold mask feels amazing if I have any kind of headache at all. I have been known to wear it pushed up on my forehead so I can have the cool pressure and still be able to keep an eye on my sweet little demon toddlers. I found it on Amazon, and it was worth every penny IMO.
I honestly hope you don’t get migraines (of course if you don’t, you probably didn’t read this post), but if you do, maybe something on here will help. Share your own go-to fixes in the comments.