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Migraine Savvy Monthly Newsletter Issue 6 August 30th 2011 The Biggest Mistake Migraineurs Make
August 30, 2011

The Biggest Mistake Migraineurs Make – Pushing Through

August 30th, 2011 – Issue #006 – Social

Welcome to Part 4 of my 6 Part series of aspects to cover for Migraine health and well being.

Physical – Emotional – Intellectual – Social – Spiritual – Financial

Editors Note: I don’t know just how your migraines affect your social life overall, but mine have wreaked havoc on most of my close friendships and relationships. Here are some helpful tips to help cope more effectively with maintaining social contacts and using stress management for yourself. There are so many things to take into consideration and so little time, so let’s get started!

Part 4 - Social

I don’t know how your migraines start or how they impact on your social life overall, but mine have certainly destroyed some dear friendships and close relationships. And they stop me from going out regularly and from working full-time. A lot of people in my past, when I had to cancel last minute for attending an event or doing something, were sure that I was cancelling because I really didn’t like them or figured I needed an excuse to get out of doing something I really didn’t want to. Actually saying “no” used to be a problem for me because well - I just wanted to do everything – I like to go out and play with my friends!!! It’s fun. Anyway, most of my relationships over time have suffered due to these restrictions. And I imagine very few people can relate if they do not get migraines themselves.

So I think the biggest mistake migraine sufferers make is to push through the early warning signals - ignoring them until it’s too late or just refusing to acknowledge that yet another attack is coming. Either way – it’s too late to get effective and sufficient pain relief. The pain level is already too high to bear never mind think straight or sensibly.

Stress can play a huge part in triggering a migraine. Pressures at work, being somewhere at 3pm to pick up the kids, having to see your mother and mother-in-law for that monthly visit, whatever your obligations are, might bring additional stress into your life. If this is a trigger for you then it might be an idea to practice some stress management techniques. In the book 10 Simple Solutions to Migraines Dr. Marcus says that we “can learn to change our body’s response to stress”. Here is my interpretation of her examples:

1. STOP. When you feel your heart rate accelerating and you want to scream....stop yourself.

2. Take a deep breath. Count to 4 on the in breath and 8 on the exhale if that’s comfortable. Try to relax and identify if you are having a migraine early warning symptom. Breathe at least 3 times deeply. Give yourself some space.

3. Turn on some relaxing comforting music and repeat a calming phrase to yourself – something like this “I have planned for this migraine, I know what to do. I am a responsible person. I will get my list of what to do and who to call - I am prepared for this time out and priority now is to recover from this migraine”.

4. Acknowledge whatever the stressor is and change your response to it.

5. Take the next action you need to take care of yourself (and your responsibilities like your kids obviously). Make the call, send the text, take your medications, get home to bed, etc. Remember to breathe.

Some people lead busy lives and are totally ok when you need to rebook an appointment or an event, some are not. See how to deal more specifically with relationships who do not understand your need for flexibility in our next three issues around relationships.

So a tip when you are at work – make sure your employer knows that you get migraines but not all the gory details. Let him/her know some of your symptoms and what you need to do – for are bothered by the lights so you will need to dim the lights or wear sunglasses for the next hour until the pain subsides and your pain medication starts to work. Something like that – make sure you tell them the outcome. Don’t dwell on how horrible and frustrating it is or how it interferes at home. Chances are – if they only get the occasionally headache – they will not understand why you need to rest just for that. They will not comprehend the pain levels – keep it simple but informed and emphasize that it will not impact overall on your work load. It’s temporary.

Ask the Editor

Do you have a question you’d like to ask the editor on this topic? If so please click here to Contact Me. I will respond as soon as possible.

Your Input – Give YOUR Migraine A Voice

This is a safe forum to express your troubles – tell your story – show your art - find solutions with new ideas - and get professional health advice . Just click on the links underlined above if you would like to contribute.

Remember that your contribution will help others too! We are not in this alone, even though it feels like it most of the time. Our stories and input can help each other.

My Question to You

What has been the impact of migraine headaches in your life socially? And have you found an effective way to deal with it? We’d love to hear from you. Click here to tell us.

Other Migraine Aids

Please click here if you’d like to see any of the books or CD's I’ve referred to or used throughout the website.

I find using a CD very useful during an attack. I have used numerous relaxation CD’s for over twenty years now. I don’t think I would have made it through the anxiety stage without them. It’s important to discover what works for you in finding effective pain relief.

The next issue is: Issue 6 - Part 4a – Social - Friendships

Migraine – A Strain on Friendships

Tips to maintain and nurture friendships between migraine episodes.

I hope you ENJOYED this issue of The Pain Chronicles!

If you’ve missed an issue click here to read the back issues.

And before I forget!

Please send this to your friends and family. It’s time to spread the word about Migraines and educate our loved ones! They can click on this link to subscribe as well.

Talk to you next month, until then, I wish you many Migraine FREE days.

From Holly at

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