When I was a child my mom suffered from migraines, and I always just assumed she was being melodramatic or looking for an excuse to take a nap. Once I went to college and got my first full-blown migraine, I realized she had actually handled hers with the patience of a saint. Migraines are no ordinary headache, and they can take a great deal of time and effort to overcome, or at least learn to manage. I’ve managed to get mine under control over the years with these tools.
A Migraine Diary
In order to work out what triggers set off migraines for me, I had to start keeping a diary to record my sleep, food, menstrual cycle and any medication I was taking. It turned out that lack of adequate sleep, dehydration and PMS were all major triggers for me. This was a significant step forward in learning to prevent a migraine from hitting, or at least prepare for it.
To avoid my triggers, I had to learn to go to bed earlier, take naps when my children napped and keep a big bottle of water on me at all time. This helped me stay rested and well hydrated. I also improved my nutrition as much as I could in an attempt to keep my body as healthy as possible.
Despite my best efforts, nasty migraines do still occasionally hit me, and if I don’t treat them early on they can knock me out for as long as 2 days. As soon as they begin, I start alternating ice packs and a hot water bottle pressed against my head. If my husband is home I ask him to give me a head massage, which can sometimes bring some relief. If I still feel the pain creeping in, I take naproxen or ibuprofen, OTC anti-inflammatory medications that can dull a migraine early on.
There are prescription medications available to treat migraines, so if yours are really torturing you and none of these steps have worked, then do go speak to your doctor as soon as you can.