Migraine Chronicles


If you have ever suffered from a migraine headache, you know how trill and truly debilitating the pain and symptoms can be.

Nearly 30 million people in the United States have migraines, and three times as many women as men have them.

Migraines are pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head. Physical activity may intensify the pain, but symptoms can vary from person to person and from one attack to the next.
Migraine headaches are sometimes preceded by warning symptoms. Triggers include hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, stress, and exercise.
Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.

I was diagnosed with my first migraine at the age of 5; I couldn't articulate my symptoms, but I knew I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced, so when my mom asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital - I quickly said YES! After a week in the hospital and a CAT scan and I an MRI later, they determined that I had experienced a migraine. Unfortunately, I've been dealing with them ever since!

As I got older, they got worse. I began to experience "aura" symptoms - such as tingling and numbness in my face and arms, seeing black dots, sensitivity to light and smell, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.Some patients have auras without a migraine-type headache or any headache at all. I've even been hospitalized as an adult due to migraines.

The Diamond Headache Center in Chicago asked me to cut caffeine from my diet, or significantly decrease my intake, in a n effort to manage my migraines. I must admit, it has helped. Until yesterday, I hadn't experienced a migraine of this magnitude in years. Usually if I have a headache, its been a sinus headache. So when I was awakened out of my sleep with a pounding headache, I assumed that was what it was and took a trusty Advil sinus and got back in bed. An hour later, my head was still pounding and now I was nauseous.


Here is where the problem comes in, Excedrin Migraine is the only thing I have found to give me relief for my migraines, but it can't be taken on an empty stomach or it will make you more nauseous-but the longer you hold off taking meds, the longer you have to suffer through the pain. I took the excedrin, with a protein shake, and threw it up 5 minutes later. UGH! Le struggle! But I did feel a little less nauseous after that. My head was still pounding, however.


Luckily, I had just recently purchased some essential oils, including peppermint oil, which is supposed to be helpful in treating headaches. I dabbed a little bit on my temples, pulse points and under my nose. I think it helped! Combined with my refrigerated face mask pictured, I was able to fall asleep for a couple of hours and when I woke up my stomach was settled. Then I was able to take the excedrin and keep it down, along with some crackers and a smoothie. This was an all day thing people! Sheeeesh! The key is to catch them early! At the first sign of a headache, I used to always take excedrin migraine so that it wouldn't escalate to the aura symptoms. Looks like I'm going to have to get back to that practice because I cannot afford to be out of commission all day. I have things to do!

If you suffer from migraines, what have you found to help prevent them or provide relief when you are experiencing them?

Loni SwainComment