Not coping with migraine? Where Do You Turn For Help? Who do you turn to for help?
You need to build a good support network, and must stay organized and disciplined.
Help is available, but you need to find it. One thing is for sure, you must find a good doctor and neurologist to help you work on finding your best form of pain management.
Our society under-rates this neurological disorder; the statistics show only half of all sufferers find effective pain management. ONLY HALF! And only half get the correct diagnosis.
Diagnosis can be half the cure!
You will have to, no .... I would recommend that you gather some tools to build your own pain management strategy. This is what I have come to appreciate.
I've re-created the forms I use and used with the intention to help you too.
Like taking notes on the migraine pain medications at doctor's appointments and asking the right questions, to help create your own pain management strategy.
These are all available to download and print out throughout the site and in our help for migraines handy toolkit article.
I hope they all help you get more organized and prepared to cope with this condition.
The right diagnosis, in many cases can mean the right plan. Diagnosis can be half the cure. Knowing if it’s migraine OR NOT is crucial to how you treat it.
Your doctor will run routine tests and suggest medications. Be aware of your expectations. They can't just cure you over night. Unless you find a really good one .... stay hopeful.
Regular exercise releases 'feel good' endorphins. Get some! And remember to have: variety, balance and fun in your every day.
Ask your doctor what they would do if they had migraines? What would they take, what would they do and when?
Acupuncture, biofeedback, meditating, there are numerous options to work with, so persevere and keep on trying new things. Ask the doctor what works best for his/her other patients with migraine.
If the doctor can't help you with migraines, find one who can. Get a referral.
Luckily most doctors take head pain seriously. They run numerous tests, scans and MRI’s to rule out more serious causes of the pain like brain tumors.
This is common practise to diagnose by process of elimination, so do not be alarmed when your doctor says they are testing you for things you can’t pronounce, as well as brain tumors.
It is just to rule out the worst-case scenario.
Your health workers will typically prescribe medication next to help deal with the pain. It is up to you if you want to go down this path.
There are a number of effective migraine medications, especially in the triptan family, however it can be trial and error.
Don't give up even when you feel like you are in a maze!
Many years ago, my first step was to be assigned to a psychiatrist. So 20 years ago, 1992, I was told it was all in my head – that I was imagining the pain.
How ridiculous, but I believed the specialist. That old shameful stigma still lingers on (for me).
But you know not to listen to that one. OK!
Oral medication is not always an ideal way to treat migraines, due to nausea which often accompanies the attack. The side effects of medication can be quite severe, too.
Also, medications just do not work for some people. When the over-stimulation begins, even before we become aware of it, the stomach will often slow down its functioning. It focuses on stopping the oncoming storm.
This makes for poor digestion and the nausea just can make it impossible.
There are numerous delivery forms now - nasal spray, injection, and Maxalt is a wafer that dissolves on your tongue.
Waring: the Zecuity patch has been recalled. If you have one please stop using it.
Consider ALL your options.
There is no cure for this medical condition, so being proactive and using prevention is our only solution to coping with migraine right now.
Once a migraine hits, there is nothing that will stop it if left untreated. Plus, there are only a few things you can do to stop it up to a certain point, after that it will just run its course.
Taking an abortive medication is the only way I have found that works to stop an attack.
Coping with migraine effectively means making healthy lifestyle choices as prevention too.
Being proactive between attacks, I believe, is essential to reducing the severity and frequency of migraines we have.
Be informed. The Migraine World Summit gave me new ideas and I've been doing this for over twenty years. You need tools for coping with migraine. Join the mailing list to stay informed.
Avoiding certain food products like: milk, chocolate, eggs, wheat, salt, processed meats that contain sodium nitrate additives, MSG, alcohol and any food you are allergic to. In my case: wheat, dairy, sugar, almonds, and pineapple.
I believe the food we actually digest is a very important factor in both reducing the occurrence and intensity of our attacks, and our remaining healthy in between them.
Click here for the safe migraine food section.
Feel free to submit your favorite migraine recipes so we can all share our successes and broaden our scope for yummy food and the simple pleasures in life.
If you have any other tips for coping with migraine, then please share them here.
Share your coping tips here.
You will be helping thousands of other readers each month.
Think of a tip you wished you knew when you were newly diagnosed? One that you take for granted now.
Read the other submissions from your fellow migraine survivors:
Coping With Migraine: Where Do You Turn For Help?