Migraines have been a part of my life since primary school. For those who don’t know, a migraine is similar to a headache in that it’s an ache in your head, but they frequently come with other symptoms including nausea, photophobia (aversion to light), audiophobia (aversion to sound), brain fog (a feeling of not having your normal cognitive capacity), and auras (visual disturbances) to name a few. There are a few medications that can help but they don’t work for everyone. There are prophylactic, or preventative, medications for preventing your triggers from converting and acute medications which aim to stop it once it’s taken hold.
What I Do
My routine when I get a migraine (if I spot it before I get brain fog… after the brain fog hits I have a tendency to just suffer and not recognise there’s treatments) is to take rizatriptan, paracetamol, and ibuprofen, to take a cold compress (I use Theraflex packs which I keep in the fridge – not sponsored), shut myself in a room with as little light as possible (the first thing I do to my bedroom when I move is be sure I have blackout blinds), and put something on Netflix (not sponsored) on my phone with low volume and the screen faced down. In my last job I even took one to work and kept it in the fridge (I hope I remembered to retrieve it when I resigned, otherwise it’s likely to sit there in perpetuity!)
I rarely have headaches. For the longest time it was my word for migraine because I didn’t have the vocabulary to know the difference. When I do get a headache it often will trigger a migraine (whether the trigger is the headache or the same trigger which caused the headache I can’t say). My most common triggers for migraines are stress and dehydration. This creates a vicious circle as, when I’m stressed, I will often forget to drink (since I very very rarely actually feel or identify thirst). When I then fall into a migraine I don’t want to move, which makes me also not want to drink or forget to drink due to brain fog etc etc ad nauseam (literally!)
A massive turning point, for me, was a few years ago when a GP finally confirmed that it was migraines that I was suffering from and put Rizatriptan on my repeat prescriptions list; for me, Rizatriptan (or Rizzos, as I sometimes call them) gets rid of a migraine writhing half an hour. This turned my migraines from a thing that would wipe out my whole day and sometimes more to something from which I can actually bounce back and function again. They still suck majorly, but the knowledge that they won’t wipe me out for the day reduces the chronic stress that I used to carry constantly.
Do you suffer from Migraines or another debilitating illness? Or have you experienced having had something you suffered from for a long time finally named/confirmed? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!
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