14 Sep, 2016
There’s No Time For A Migraine
Picture it: You’re at the beach with your family and it’s a wonderfully sunny day. The kids are having the time of their lives. You are calmly watching your youngest dig a hole in the sand next to you. Life – is – perfect.And then … there’s a slight shift. You know the feeling. You know it means the beginning of the end. You know the kids will all begin to cry, but that won’t matter. You know that they will protest, but you won’t be able to be swayed. A migraine is coming and you have to pack everything up before it actually hits you because you forgot your medication. You are stranded on this sandy island and the only escape is back home and in your house. You are the ruiner of happy days, endless memories, giggles, and squeals, and you hate yourself because of it. But you pack your family up anyway, because you have no choice. If you suffer from migraines, you’ve walked in these shoes and know you have #NoTime4Migraines. This sense of defeat sounds all too familiar. I have let my family down countless times—at least that’s what it feels like. I know it’s not my fault. I tell myself that if I had issues with my heart, I would be much easier on myself. However, because my issues aren’t outwardly obvious, they are unforgivable. Migraines have taken so much away from me and from my family. They keep me living in fear. I never know how strong, how fast, how impactful the next one will fall on me. All I do know is that each migraine is a different monster… and I literally have to live my life ready with a plan of attack in hand. That’s why it’s so critical for me to have an open dialogue with my doctor. I need to be able to have different options for my different migraines, and I strongly suggest that you do the same. Only you can explain to your neurologist exactly what your experiences feel like. Together, the two of you can create a plan of attack for each of your personal migraine monsters and adjust that plan as needed. Just yesterday, I had a migraine that truly felt new to me. We had a horrific storm pass through New York and the amount of pressure that I felt all throughout my skull was almost unbearable. It made me feel like I was underwater and as if someone was sitting on me. This morning, I told my husband that I’d never felt anything like that before and, considering I’ve been suffering from migraines for more than 15 years, he was shocked. My next doctor’s appointment is in two weeks and I will be sure to mention that attack. What works for me won’t work for you. And, let’s be honest, what worked for you last month might not work for you today. That’s why this conversation needs to be continuous and you need to be your own best advocate. You need to understand that there are plenty of options out there that can help you control these horrible monsters. Keep a log of extreme examples—that’s what I do. Otherwise, I forget. It’s so easy to put these monsters behind us. After all, why would we want to remember these attacks? People who suffer from migraines don’t want to remember the pain, we want to get rid of it. Odds are you won’t recall all your attacks when you finally get to your doctor. A log will do all the remembering for you. If you don’t want to jot it down on paper, use an app! Whatever works. The more information your doctor has, the better. Then, when you get into your doctor’s office, make sure you have a detailed discussion about how your attacks vary and whether your treatment is working. Here are a few examples of things you can ask your doctor so you can create a plan of attack for your migraine monsters.
- I suffer from nausea or vomiting. Are there alternatives for when this is a symptom during an attack?
- When I suffer from a surprise migraine attack, what are my options to combat them?
- Can we create a plan that allows me to treat my migraines on a per-attack basis?
If you are like me, you have #NoTime4Migraines! Take action against your monsters by tracking your migraines and symptoms, talking to your doctor about treatment options, and visiting NoTime4Migraines.com to get more information about migraine variability. I’m sharing my personal migraine story in partnership with Promius Pharma as a paid spokesperson. The story, thoughts, and opinions above are expressly my own.