I grew up watching my brother shutting himself in a room and not responding to the family for hours. My mother used to tell me to not bother him as he has a migraine attack. This is how I was introduced to the term “migraine”. Little did I know that my adulthood will be affected by this disease.
As I grew up I experienced hormonal fluctuations, stress and also fell prey to the much-dreaded anxiety-disorder. All these factors contributed to the migraine headaches I experienced.
- More than 5 million Americans experience migraine attacks at least once a month.
- 91% of migraine patients are unable to be productive at work or perform normal activities during an attack
- 70% of the migraine patients are women
What I experience during a migraine attack
- Sensitivity to light and sound: I hate any form of light or sound. Even the most calming music irritates me. Sometimes I struggle with my blanket to keep light off my eyes.
- Zone out: The throbbing pain on one side of my head makes me zone out. I forget about my work, food and everything and the entire focus shifts to struggling with the pain. It stresses me out as well. Migraine headaches are definitely way different from a regular headache that can be fixed with an aspirin.
- Vertigo: Sometimes I experience vertigo; it feels like the entire world around me is moving.
- If I am at work and looking at the computer screen, I sometimes experience blurred or disturbed vision.
What triggers migraine?
My dependency on coffee and tea often triggers migraine. Too much of caffeine from chocolates and coffee acts as a potent trigger.
I suffer from sleep disorder which makes me a troubled sleeper and somedays I wake up with a migraine and the rest of the day is also spent sleeping off.
Sometimes stress also acts as a trigger. I remember during my brother’s wedding, I had migraine attack that lasted for five days. I was completely on medicines so that I can normally attend all ceremonies and help with the entire wedding process.
What I do to fix it?
- I try to sleep well. I take medications to induce sleep sometimes if required. Some of my friends say “don’t take sleeping pills. it has side effects”. But don’t we take medicines when we puke? Do we just go on puking to avoid medicines? Sometimes our body just does not produce enough serotonin and it is a disorder that requires treatment. So be open to going to a therapist, talk about your sleep issues and go for the prescribed medication.
- I try to avoid coffee and tea as much as possible.
- I also include workout three to four times a week as it helps to keep stress at bay. the idea of a healthier body is also a feel good and keeps migraine away.
- I keep medication handy.
- Aromatherapy- Eucalyptus and lavender oil help with migraine attacks like magic!
- When I recover from a migraine, I try to leave it behind and do something that I like. For example, I woke up this morning with an ugly headache and when I recovered, I picked up my laptop to write down about my struggle with migraine. Writing helps me to free myself from thoughts that bug me.
What do you do when you experience a migraine attack or any sickness that stops your life? What makes you feel better? Share your stories with me.