Not coping? Finding the right migraine help, at the right time, in the right place, at the right cost… well it can be indescribably difficult.
I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are newly diagnosed with migraines you will soon discover that not only do you need to learn how to survive the pain phase, but that you have many other aspects in life you may need to change.
That's where I come in! Let me point you in the right direction.
Getting the right diagnosis, the right doctor, the right tools and support at the right time, is vital to surviving migraines. Don't get me wrong ... it can be easy I'm sure. That's just not my personal experience or my clients.
You will also have to be smart financially, whilst looking for what works for you. You will have to learn new coping skills and become resilient. You will have to cope with added emotional stress and be more organized with time management.
Is that too many have to's? It is, but you will be OK. Being educated and informed is vital to making future decisions. Well informed future decisions.
And I am here to help you. Let's start with medications.
There are an overwhelming number of migraine headache remedies available to you right now.
Let me tell you right off the bat, there's no magic bullet migraine headache cure. Some doctors and many alternative therapists will suggest options with no evidence behind them that can be costly and often don’t work well enough. And this can cause the attacks to get worse.
The internet is a wealth of information. But, you might find a lot of conflicting information. It's hard to weed out the effective from the wishful. So tip #1 is to find a good doctor who can work with you on your migraines. If your doctor isn't migraine savvy, ask for a referral.
The second thing is then to find effective pain relief. The sooner you can treat the attack... the better chance you have to abort the pain phase and reduce symptoms.
There are number of medications you can consider. There are abortive medications for acute attacks and preventive ones you can take daily. Just a warning here that it can take some time to find what works effectively for you.
So you might need to look at more than just medications to get you through an attack.
To help you with that, my help for migraines tool kit has free printouts and some new ideas that can assist you in learning to reduce your pain, and calm down your nervous system.
And if you feel desperate for some pain relief... ice packs consistently reduce the intense pain and provide relief. Here are the links:
There are also other alternatives to taking approved triptans, like prescribed hypodermic rescue migraine medications, taking herbal remedies, and using some migraine home remedy alternatives like coffee.
Forging your own path to become migraine pain free is an individual journey. Sadly, there is no one size fits all in the migraine help area. And you most likely already know that.
What has worked for me, may not work for you. You are unique, and whilst you and I can be affected by different triggers there are some very common things that do work.
You must act fast to abort an attack. Being able to sense when an attack is on it's way will help you take action. Check out my migraine pain management course. The first module is free and it will tell you all about the timing you need to know to stop an attack.
Acknowledging the other stressful impacts migraines can have on our lives in other areas like finances, relationships, and processing our emotions can be really hard. Don't let your pride keep you from seeking help and support.
Here are some posts for everyday coping tips in the migraine help section:
The bottom line is finding what works to give you the migraine help you need, and the support you need in all areas of life. Chronic migraines change everything and it can take some time to find what works.
Migraine help to me includes: practical physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional support. One idea is to find a network of other migraineurs, so that you don’t become isolated (online support groups can be good for that) or local groups for short notice extra help when you need it.
If you are a mom, a network means you can swap child care at short notice, or just get general assistance for food from a local center that may help disabled individuals. I know that sounds extreme, but some need more help than others. This migraine help page is link heavy, to help you with ideas and solutions.
Make a list of what migraine help might look like for you. In a perfect world I would have: "the children fed at 5 pm, the dog walked by 6 pm, lunches made for tomorrow, and the laundry done."
Now, some of those things can just wait. The laundry will be there tomorrow, but the children need to be fed. Other moms with migraines will understand your situation. So try to find a migraine buddy!
Keeping a diary will help you to detect patterns and provide invaluable information for your doctor. You can read all about it's importance here - Migraine Diary: Why You Need To Keep One.
You can download the diary and medication tracker I use by joining the mailing list.
If keeping a diary manually doesn’t work for you, then try using technology to track some data for your doctor and for your own detective work. Here are my top picks:
Don't expect those without migraines to understand your pain on any level. But do have a strategy with your family.
Do leave an “in case of migraine” list on the fridge for your family members to help with, or a saved text for your spouse, while you take your abortive medication, prepare your ice packs, dark room, and hot water bottle.
If you can, treat yourself with tolerance, compassion, and be gentle. If you feel angry, it’s most likely the adrenaline rush before the migraine attack.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help. It might make them feel useful instead of useless. A good result all around!
Finding the right amount of help, the right kind of help, at the right time to reduce your migraines is so, so important to surviving chronic migraines.
Until next time, be pain free