How I Manage My Chronic Migraine in the Moment

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By Yuri Cárdenas, arsenic told to Evan Starkman

I’ve been surviving pinch chronic migraine for astir 9 years, and it’s taken maine batch of proceedings and correction to study really to get alleviation during a migraine attack.

The nonstop steps that activity for maine mightiness not thief personification else. Everybody pinch migraine illness is unique. The symptoms alteration from personification to personification and moreover from 1 onslaught to another. It really takes experimentation, learning arsenic overmuch arsenic you tin astir nan disease, and, ideally, partnering pinch a certified headache master to find retired what treatments and self-care techniques will thief you.

My migraine onslaught is not nan aforesaid arsenic yours. But hopefully, you’ll find immoderate thief from nan steps I return erstwhile I consciousness 1 coming on.

Take Abortive Migraine Medications Early

This is key, and it’s thing I didn’t do capable successful nan past. Abortive migraine medicines tin abort, aliases stop, a migraine attack. If your expert prescribes 1 aliases much of them for you, it’s important to return them astatine nan very first motion of an attack.

Currently, I return triptans, gepants, and NSAIDs for my abortive medicines. I effort to limit them to nary much than 2 to 3 times a week, because taking definite abortive meds excessively often tin bring connected rebound headaches. Sometimes nan abortives don’t activity aliases I’ve taken my limit. So I person a slew of rescue medications I tin return if I request to. Rescue meds whitethorn not extremity a migraine onslaught but tin thief easiness my symptoms while nan onslaught runs its course.

Migraine attacks tin alteration complete time, truthful nan treatments that activity for you now mightiness not activity later on. Find an abortive medicine that useful for you. Have rescue medicine options, too.

Practice Self-Care Techniques

After I return my medication, I extremity immoderate I’m doing and get arsenic overmuch remainder arsenic possible. If I’m astatine home, I dishonesty down successful a dark, quiet room. If I’m location else, I spot what I tin alteration astir my situation to make it much migraine-friendly.

While I’m waiting for my abortive medications to footwear in, I cheque connected my posture and effort to relax my cervix and shoulders. I return deep, slow breaths into my belly to support my assemblage successful a relaxed state.

Sometimes a lukewarm washcloth complete my eyes aliases connected nan backmost of my cervix helps maine relax. But if I’m overheated, which tin hap successful a migraine attack, I usage a acold washcloth.

I believe mindfulness meditation to enactment successful nan present and now. When my migraine onslaught causes beingness pain, I usage mindfulness to debar getting mislaid successful thoughts astir it. I do my champion not to get carried distant successful stories and meanings I spot astir that pain.

I besides usage an electrical nervus stimulation instrumentality designed to easiness migraine symptoms. I put it connected my forehead, and It helps maine hold retired nan symptom until my medicine kicks in. It’s terrific for nan worst attacks erstwhile nan symptom is excruciating.

Make Rest a Priority

If I don’t slow down during a migraine attack, it gets unbearable. We must return nan clip to fto nan onslaught walk erstwhile we can.

Pushing done a migraine onslaught is nan worst point I tin do, but astir of america person to push done an atrocious lot. When I do person to push through, I get arsenic comfortable arsenic imaginable and cancel immoderate upcoming plans that I can. 

We don’t want to cancel a plan, but it is truthful important to perceive to our bodies and remainder during a migraine attack. I strive each time to beryllium much gentle pinch myself and judge that immoderate things will person to get done later, and immoderate I person to fto spell of.

Let Loved Ones Know How They Can Help

Sometimes erstwhile I’m successful a batch of symptom during an attack, I inquire my fellow to put his manus mildly connected my back. Something astir that is really calming for me.

I besides helped him beryllium alert of my migraine triggers. I’m very light- and sound-sensitive, truthful a while ago, I gave him a migraine checklist: “Are nan lights down? Are immoderate sounds debased aliases off?”

Healthy Habits and Support

I’ve recovered that definite patient habits and support are captious for me, whether I’m having a migraine onslaught aliases not.

It’s important to get immoderate beingness activity. I purpose for astir 15 minutes of gentle activity each day. You tin inquire your expert what’s correct for you.

I besides return attraction of my intelligence health. A regular gratitude believe helps maine do that. It tin displacement your position toward nan things successful your life that bring you love, joy, and kindness. No matter what's going connected successful nan world, successful your mind, aliases successful your body, a regular gratitude believe is linked to reduced symptom symptoms, anxiety, and depression.

I can’t urge gratitude and mindfulness practices capable for those surviving pinch slump and anxiety, which are communal among group who person migraine.

I besides support successful touch pinch nan group successful my life who are loving and benignant and judge my disease. That includes group I link pinch done online support groups. There are dozens of migraine support groups connected Facebook, each pinch hundreds to thousands of members.

Furry loved ones tin supply support, too. My canine Katsu, who’s a trained assistance animal, brings maine comfort, joy, and laughter each day.

Looking back, I wish I'd known early connected that galore group unrecorded pinch chronic migraine for decades, and that it would beryllium a agelong roadworthy of proceedings and correction to effort to find relief. Most importantly, I wish I'd really accepted that my personality and self-worth are not based connected my productivity. Along pinch gratitude and mindfulness, being gentler connected myself is an ongoing regular practice. It’s for illustration continuously readjusting to nan assemblage you’re in.

SOURCES:

Yuri Cárdenas, migraine diligent advocate, Oakland, CA.

American Migraine Foundation: “How Gepants and Ditans Complement Existing Therapies,” “Medication Overuse Headache,” “Comorbidities of Migraine.”

National Headache Foundation: “Abortive Drugs for Migraine.”

MigraineDisease.org: “Preventive, Abortive, & Rescue Migraine Treatments.”

University of Southern California: “Practicing gratitude tin person profound wellness benefits, USC experts say.”

Anxiety & Depression Association of America: “Gratitude -- A Mental Health Game Changer.”

FDA: “Treating Migraines: More Ways to Fight nan Pain.”

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