I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.
There is no doubt that a migraine is more than just a headache. I have been suffering with migranes for over 20 years now. They started when I was a teenager – and they were so severe then that I would miss school quite often. I remember covering my head up to block out the light, and the severe nausea and vomiting that came with it. I still have them. I was even hospitalized about 5 years ago because the pain and vomiting were so bad.
Now, there aren’t days when I can hide under the covers. I almost always HAVE to be out of bed and working, even if I have a migraine, and it can be hard. Here are a few tips that I have learned to help manage my migraines:
- Watch for triggers and catch them early. I have migraines that are tied to my hormonal levels, as well as stress migraines. While I can’t control my hormones, I can be aware of when one of these migraines might hit, and I catch them early and follow my doctor’s prescribed treatment as soon as I feel a migraine coming on. I also try to keep my stress levels low and get lots of sleep when I can. This seems to help prevent migraines.
2. Keep a migraine journal. This is how I figured out what my triggers were. Keep a migraine diary and figure out what your potential triggers are and avoid, avoid, avoid.
3. See Your Doctor if You Don’t Improve. I know from experience that not every treatment works for every person or migraine. Don’t give up if one particular treatment doesn’t work for you.
4. Create a Migraine Survival Kit. For me, this involves my doctor-prescribed treatment, a pair of sunglasses (my morning commute with a migraine is horrible with the sunshine), a washcloth (a cool cloth helps my nausea), and if I’m lucky to be home, a heating pad, which often relaxes me enough so I can sleep off the headache.
5. Let People Know. My coworkers know that when I sit in my office, with the door closes, the blinds drawn, and only a small lamp on on my desk, it’s a migraine day. They try to speak softer and even lend a hand know that it can be tough to be at work when you are under so much pain and are coping with additional symptoms like light and sound sensitivity and nausea.
Having a migraine can make you feel limited. I know I feel most limited when a migraine affects my ability to spend quality time with my kids. But the for me, the best thing is to realize a migraine is more than a headache, and try to rest and let it pass.
So if you are having symptoms like mine, it’s worth checking with your doctor and coming up with a plan to help manage your migraines. If you are struggling with these symptoms, you can also visit More to Migraine, which has a lot of great information for migraine sufferers or those who might be thinking about talking to their doctors about their headaches. Check it out today!