To prevent or reduce frequency and severity of headaches:
|Nail parlor. A smelly place. Don't go there!|
|Puerto Vallarta, Mex. during the Day of the Virgin de|
Guadalupe. Crowded and noisy but outside. I can
tolerate crowds for a little longer outside.
- I ....... eat regularly, always carry food (fruit and nut bars) and water
- Eat good "clean," real food, very little packaged stuff.
- BREATHE! I don't do this too well. I tend to take little tiny breaths, and then, when I can't stand it any longer and am beginning to turn just slightly blue around the lips, a big gulp of air. Not good. You can do better.
- Always carry abortive and pain meds with me.
- Always carry earplugs, sun glasses and/ or specially tinted lenses available from http://www.axonoptics.com and https://www.theraspecs.com
- Always carry a neck pillow in the car, plane, train, etc.
- Exercise: walking and yoga regularly, swimming and biking whenever possible.
- Rest when I need to. I believe in naps when you need them - though not all the time.
- Communicate: blog, talk w/ my friends, husband, sons, etc. Keep in touch.
- Keep in touch w/ my son who also has serious migraines; although, thankfully, they're not as bad as mine. We share tips.
- Avoid loud, noisy, densely packed situations.
- Avoid "smelly" places (cigarette smoke, chlorine, nail parlors, chemical fumes of any kind).
- Limit screen time and choose to watch TV, movies, etc. that don't over stimulate me. Use tinted lenses.
- Schedule my life's activities to suit my tolerance level.
- Try to pay attention and be aware of how I'm feeling so I don't wait until things get bad to "take action." Don't beat myself up if I don't "get it right."
- Make regular visits to my mental health therapist to help me unload and come up with new ideas.
- Continue to do things that are really important to me and that I enjoy: art, taking care of my grandson, hanging out with friends and family, traveling, spending time in sunny places, reading good books, spending time outdoors.
When I'm not feeling good
- I......retreat to the futon in my room which is my own private hideaway and not a bedroom
- Use a heating pad to help me relax (low back or stomach)
- Use Ice packs for face, neck, shoulders, eyes
- Listen to music and relax; read if I can
- Take my medication: preventative, abortive, pain, sleep meds.
Cannabis. When things are really bad, I use medical marijuana:
This item deserves some explanation because there is a lot of misinformation out there. I'll give you the benefit of my experience and you can use it in whatever way you choose.
About once or twice a month when things get really bad, I use medical marijuana. I do this on days when I awake with a very painful migraine, and I know I'll be vomiting repeatedly - very soon. I take my DHE (abortive) by injection; then I use my vaporizer to inhale marijuana as medication for the pain and nausea. Cannabis does not make the migraine go away. The DHE does that - eventually. But marijuana relaxes me, eliminates the nausea, reduces the pain and lets me sleep through most of the worst of it. Sometimes I have to repeat use of my vaporizer in a few hours.
I count myself lucky to live in the State of Washington, which has a medical marijuana law. I have a prescription from my doctor. I get my medication from a legal, storefront distributor where they help me choose symptom-specific strains of the plant to suit my needs. I use a Volcano Vaporizer to ingest it, which means I don't have to smoke it. I hate smoking. I've never smoked, can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke which turns my stomach and will eventually give me a migraine. So the vaporizer is the only way for me. Oral products do not work for me nor does the sublingual tincture.
The next step:
When I'm in a place of chronic daily headaches, I am usually planning what to do next to return to episodic migraines. Right now I'm on a 10 day round of IV DHE which I administer to myself at home. The nurses from a local service come around to change the IV line if it clogs or gets too sore. More about this in my next blog entry. That's about all I can think of right now; although there is always more. "Good night and good luck!"