Are you coping with migraine attacks? If not, here are some tips and tools you can use to learn new coping skills and to build a good support network. And be able to stay organized and disciplined.
Help is available, but you might need to search around to find the right help. One thing is for sure, you must find a good doctor and neurologist or headache specialist to help you work on finding your best form of symptom relief and pain management. Ensure they deal with migraine specifically. That's really important.
Now... let's look at some tools you can rely on. Oh! And never ever underestimate the power of your own mind. Try to stay as positive as possible...
First off, you are not alone in struggling with migraine disease. Our society underrates this neurological disorder; the statistics show only half of all sufferers find effective pain management. ONLY HALF! And only half get the correct diagnosis.
Getting the right diagnosis is so important. Diagnosis can be half the cure! So let's start there...
The right diagnosis, in many cases can mean the right plan. 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 overnight. Unless you find a really good one... it's good to stay hopeful.
Speaking of which, find ways to stay hopeful. Your doctor might suggest speaking to a qualified counselor for some extra support or pain counseling.
Regular exercise releases 'feel good' endorphins. Get some! And remember to have: variety, balance and fun in your every day.
I'd pick meditation and exercise as my top 2 tips for coping with migraine.
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.
So the routine tests are just a process of elimination. Don't be alarmed when your doctor says they are testing you for things you can’t pronounce, as well as brain tumors.
It's just to rule out the worst-case scenario.
Your physician 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.
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.
Here's my article on that - Hail The Almighty Triptan.
Take the time you need to consider ALL your options.
You will gather some tools along the way to build your own pain management strategy, use what's best and throw away the rest. Here's whats essential:
I've re-created the forms I use and used with the intention to help you too. These are all available to download and print out throughout the site and in my help for migraines handy toolkit article.
I hope they all help you get more organized and prepared to cope with this condition.
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. They can impact your life in every way... so to cover all your bases in coping with migraine, here's what your support team might look like:
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