Dealing with migraines

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I started have migraines when I was in my early 20s and they are so painful. I just had one yesterday and it inspired me to do a post. I wanted to talk about migraines here because I know a lot of people get them and it’s hard to really understand what it’s like unless you’ve had one. Although they present in different ways for everyone, it’s a pain that only migraine sufferers know.

For me, I usually start having symptoms several hours before the migraine starts. I feel tired and confused. I can’t think straight at all. I will have a touch of nausea, but never actually get sick. Then the pressure starts. I get unbelievable pressure on my head, specifically the right side above my eye. I also feel slight numbness on that side as well. That’s the point that I know I’m definitely going to have a migraine. Then eventually the pain starts. It’s a stabbing pain right above my right eyebrow that is so persistent that it makes you feel like you will do ANYTHING to make it stop.

My mom gets migraines as well and she suffered from them really bad when I was in high school. Over the years we have tried to figure out exactly what triggers them for each of us. The only thing we have in common is that they seem to come on when the barometric pressure is high right before a storm. They can also be caused by hormonal fluctuations for me.

Obviously, I’m not a doctor, so if you think you are having migraines it is best to talk with your doctor about what is right for you. I just wanted to share my own personal experience with what helps me.

Below are a few things that I always do when I feel a migraine coming on.

  1. Take two Excedrin immediately. Taking medicine at the first sign of a migraine can help to keep it under control. Not always, but it can. Excedrin is better than any other medicine I’ve tried.
  2. Drink a glass (or two) of water. Sometimes even the slightest bit of dehydration can make the migraine worse. I drink a lot (read: too much) tea every day, so I often don’t get enough water.
  3. Take a hot bath. Nothing is worse than a migraine hitting right in the middle of a work day, but if I am lucky enough to have it happen at home this helps. I’ve found that taking a really hot bath helps to relax my muscles and alleviate some of the pain. I usually throw in some Epsom salts, too.
  4. Lie down. I’ve found it is best to lie down and close my eyes if I can. Just staying still and trying to find a comfortable spot can help a lot.
  5. Wait it out. Once I’ve done everything I possibly can, there’s nothing left to do but wait it out.

Do you have any tips or advice for dealing with migraines?

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