The first time I got a migraine was in high school. I can vividly remember sitting in my typing class and suddenly not being able to see clearly. Talk about a scary feeling! Imagine sitting there and suddenly you see these jumping lines in your vision. I put my head down for about 20 minutes it was gone. However, that was only the beginning.
For the next two days, I had a debilitating headache. What I didn’t realize was that blurry vision was a warning that a migraine is starting. It’s called an aura. It usually comes on about an hour before the migraine begins. It’s flashes of lights in your vision and blind spots on either side of your peripheral vision. Some people get migraines with and without the aura beforehand. I will say that as I’ve gotten older, my migraines have lessened and I no longer get auras.
I started to notice things that might trigger a migraine for me. The biggest culprit at that time was chocolate. I couldn’t even eat a bite of chocolate without the headache beginning. So for many years, I avoided milk chocolate. Now, I could eat white chocolate with no problems but the milk chocolate was a problem. As I got older, I also discovered that red wine also brings on migraines.
When I was in my early twenties, I started to experiment with milk chocolate again and found that it was no longer affecting me. You can imagine how crazy I went finally being able to enjoy it without being down for the count for days. Unfortunately, to this day, red wine still bothers me. That’s okay, though. I don’t really like the taste of it anyway.
Years ago, I told my doctor about the aura and migraines and was prescribed a medicine that didn’t help. He also gave me a nasal spray to try. That helped a little in the sense that it took the edge off the headache. I wouldn’t feel actual pain but just pressure. The downside to the nasal spray was that I had to use it immediately when the aura began. That was tough at times. I certainly wasn’t comfortable squirting something up my nose in public.
One day, I decided to try Excedrin Migraine. Since that day, it has changed my life. Excedrin Migraine is the only medicine that will stop my migraine. Maybe I should rephrase that. Excedrin Migraine is the only medicine that will stop my migraine UNLESS it’s hormone or weather-related. If it’s either of those two things, I can pop Excedrin all day and it won’t help at all.
That’s what made me decide to write this post. I just experienced a weather-related migraine. Two days of being so uncomfortable. We had a cold front approaching with rain and for two days I had this nagging headache. I took Excedrin all day long yesterday. It helped a little but after the four hours wore off, the migraine would rear its ugly head, once again.
What I do
So what do I do when I feel a migraine coming on? I first take an Excedrin. You can also use a generic brand. They have the same ingredients and it’s much cheaper. 😉 The dosage is two caplets but I usually take one at a time. That’s really all I need. It has caffeine in it and two caplets make me feel too hyper. If that doesn’t help, I will use an ice pack that I keep in the freezer. I like to use that to sleep at night. Just wrap a towel around the ice pack and go to sleep. This is similar to the ice pack I use. I’ve had mine for many years so I don’t think they even sell it anymore. I like its size and flexibility. This one states that it provides 30 minutes of cooling but mine lasts hours. Arctic Flex Flexible Ice Pack
Another thing that helps is taking a hot bath. I will lay in it for a couple of hours preferably with just a nightlight on. At the same time, I will use my earbuds and listen to binaural beats on YouTube. According to migraineagain.com, binaural beats are “Binaural beats are two tones that are similar yet distinctive frequencies. Each tone is played into a different ear, and when your brain interprets the two frequencies, it makes a third tone, called a binary beat. BBT can be used to promote states of extreme relaxation.” I’ve linked the video I use most often below. It really does work. Next time you need relief, give it a try.
If you get migraines like me, what are your go-to remedies? Is there anything that you reach for first because you know it will give you relief?