Paige has suffered from migraine headaches all her life. From elementary school she remembers going to the nurses stations often and grew up being told it was tension headache. In her 20’s she finally found a doctor who listened to her symptoms and started migraine medication to help with the daily pain. Along that journey though was a lot of bad advice, those who weren’t paying attention and even one doctor who told her that having 19 to 20 headaches a month wasn’t “so bad. I have seen worse”. However she kept looking and all the time trusting herself. After her VAD and stroke in 2013 she wasn’t allowed any migraine medication and has had to trust natural remedies she knew helped her all along.
The most important tool to dealing with her pain is having an understanding spouse. It is so easy for families to dismiss a person’s pain and can easily tear relationships apart. Holding space for a person and just let them communicate their frustration is key. No need to solve it. Paige’s husband also gives head rubs just by squeezing over and over for 10 min and many times the pain goes away or is less intense.
The tips below are just suggestions that have helped her and of course you should talk to your doctor and work with them to provide them lots of information as your awareness increases because even the doctors are still learning about the causes and triggers as well.
Lots of water - drinking lots of water and especially cold ice
When the pain is intense Paige takes a small cup of coffee - unsweetened
Peppermint oil - the kind that is safe to digest made from real peppermint (DoTerra)
Ice pack - on the back of the neck (top of the neck and bottom of head)
Keep feet warm - blanket or heating pad on the feet at the same time you do ice
Rosewater spray - organic and no alcohol added - spray in face and body to cool
Ginger ale or tea - ginger helps the stomach upset
Eye pillow - covering the eyes away from light
Lifting the legs higher than heart OR lifting the hips higher than head (Childs Pose) - hold for a long time taking slow and deep breathes
Warm shower and then nasal spray or netting the nose to help with the head pressure
Warm bath with epsom salts and get the neck and shoulders into the water - legs up the tub!
Acupuncture by a dr who has studied headache pain relief
Cranial Sacral Massage/Therapy - or when you don’t have time use two tennis balls in a sock and place at the neck to head area. Must be high enough to press into the neck - may need a blanket or towel at the neck as well
Soft or no sounds around you - dark room
Avoid too much food or sleep AND too little food or sleep - regularity matters
Learn about your triggers such as alcohol, food, barometric pressure & hormone changes (PMS)
Airplane and high altitudes will trigger - hydrate and follow tips above