SMACK! It’s like my head was run over by a semi.
Usually I’m pretty lucky, in that there are warning signs so I can prepare a bit. Nausea, neck tension, vision issues, worse tinnitus, light and smell sensitivity are all little warning signs that I might be having a migraine in the very near future.
So far I’ve been unlucky in being able to stop one right in it’s tracks, but I have gotten good enough (or lucky enough) to be able to make them more manageable by using some pretty basic tricks.
- Taking pain medication right as soon as the signs show themselves. No risk taking, hoping it’ll go away on its own. It doesn’t and I’m always worse off when I try to be strong and brave about it.
- A strong cup of coffee, espresso is even better. Some people trigger migraines with caffeine, while others it can actually help. I am one of the latter group, at least if I catch it in time (if not the strong taste and smell makes the nausea much worse).
- Loud music and dim lights. This also can be very individual. It may seem counter-intuitive to turn up the tunes, but in my case it prevents SUDDEN loud noises from being as jarring and with 3 little ones under 10 running around the house, a lot of those happen. A steady loudness of something I like along with dimming the lights keeps away the intense throbbing that comes along with yelling, crashing and booming.
- Cold pack on the back of neck. I have a love hate relationship here, I know it helps but I hate the cold (go figure where I live right?). While heat is soothing, in the end it causes even more blood flow, the cold helps numb the area and shrink the blood vessels, again meaning less throb.
- Neck massage and/or stretches. While neither thing can prevent a migraine of mine from getting worse, sometimes they are the only thing that can help me from balling my eyes out in a dark corner of the house. Mr. Mango is an absolute angel when he comes to my aide here, something I definitely miss when he’s working and doing it myself just doesn’t cut it.
- Water, water and more water. Flush out toxins and keep hydrated since migraines really kill my appetite and crying also creates a lot of dehydration.
- Fresh air. Not something that’s feasable here in the great white north all year round (at least without the heating bill sky-rocketing or risking pneumonia). Out of all the tips here, this one is the most likely to help, dare I say even ALMOST stop a migraine, if its early enough. Just sitting and relaxing in a shady spot outside is immensely helpful.
In the end though, there are days like today where it just hits, out of nowhere and I am powerless to do anything but give in to it. On days like today there is only one thing I can do that helps (along with trying some/all of the tips above if possible) and that’s to put on Dan Gibson’s Angels Embrace album. I don’t know why this one does the trick and others do not, but it’s been my go to since…. well since I started getting migraines as a pre-teen.
Fingers crossed it does the trick and I can make it through this long evening with Mr. Mango working over time, some nasty weather outside and all 3 munchkins feeling icky.
Anyone got any other go-to migraine relief tips?