If you follow me or my blog on social media, you may have seen me talk about migraines and how I am a chronic sufferer. I have previously written a post before called Living With Chronic Migraines where I shared what my daily life feels like and how it affects me.
I wanted to share this post to talk about how I deal with a migraine attack and what things help me get through them; they may seem like small little things to do, but this is what can help me. On average one migraine attack can last a minimum of 3 days and can vary from a forehead, head and neck pain as well as pain behind the eyes, the feeling of nausea or vomiting plus body aches and pains. The struggle to get up and about can be really hard and really effect my mental health.
The 8 things I do to help me get through a migraine attack are –
Take medication – Over the years I used to grab the paracetamol every time an attack started but over time they become ineffective and actually made them worse. For the past two years I have been taking prescription medication recommended by my doctor, on the onset of a migraine I take Sumitriptan and Cocodamol which can take up to and hour to kick in but, when it does, it helps reduce the pain in my head. I also take a anti-sickness tablets when I feel sick. I also have a steroid nasal spray to help relieve congestion in my sinus, which can become painful during my migraine attacks.
Drink plenty of water – By just being hydrated isn’t enough when you are a migraine sufferer and especially when I have one, I will make sure to drink plenty of water and to snack little and often. To keep my body fuelled and hydrated helps the recovery process.
Empty my bladder – Drinking lots of water naturally makes you need to empty your bladder and this is one way of the body realising toxins out of the body and during a migraine I find that this helps relieve pressure and pain in my head (It’s just how I feel). So replenishing my body through hydration helps keep me on my feet when I have the starting of a servere migraine.
Cold compress – Something cool like cooling pads or an ice pack on my head and the base of my head/neck help relieve some pressure and numb the pain.
Shower – A shower or bath to help ease the aches and pains in my body and I find a shower helps to again, relieve some tension on my neck and shoulders.
Brushing my teeth – This may sound strange but I use an electric toothbrush and when I brush my teeth it helps to ease the tension and pain in my jaw which, I suppose, is connected to the pressure points on my head.
Sleep/rest – As a mother, sleeping as and when I need to can be very difficult with little ones, so if I am at home on my own I make sure I close the blinds so the room is not too bright, I lay down with a cold compress/ice pack and rest up until I feel like I can get up without feeling dizzy or sick. If I am lucky enough to have my husband home at the time of an attack, I will go off to bed and put on my eye mask and try to sleep it off.
Vitamins & Coffee -Taking daily Vitamin B complex has proved effective over the past few month to help my recovery process after a migraine attack. A cup of coffee also helps me when I’ve taken my medication as the caffeine seems to help give me a little energy when I need it the most. Allegedly coffee also helps medication to absorb better into the body and be more effective, so I’m going with that!
For at 24-48 hours after the initial migraine attack, I make sure to continue doing all of the above to ensure that when a migraine hits I’m half way there in helping myself.
To ensure I keep on top of it, I daily –
Eat little and often – organic and wholefoods
Lots of rest and self-care
Ask for help – family, friends, partners every little thing they can help you with will ensure you recover well
For more on what self care practices I use, here is a post I have written previously.
*Just a little disclaimer, I am not an expert, this is all from my own experience. If you are concerned and need support make an appointment to see your GP, they are there to help and to listen to you. Migraines may be an invisible illness but it is still an illness and can be debilitating for many of us that suffer. Be kind and supportive if you know someone who is a sufferer, because we can feel very alone.
If you are a migraine sufferer and struggling or need someone to talk to, my inbox is always open, so feel free to contact me by email or reach out on social media.
I hope this post helps someone out there that may be finding their migraines difficult to live with, I want to help raise awareness because I know first hand how hard living with migraines can be.