I have been a long time sufferer of migraines since my early teens.
Migraines are very different to headaches, even severe headaches. Symptoms include a severe headache that gets worse when you move, nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light. When I get a migraine, I’m usually pretty much bed ridden for the duration. As a parent, of course literally staying in bed the whole time isn’t possible, especially during the week when there are school runs to do etc. But that will be all I do. I ensure my son is fed (usually relying on ready meals), goes to school and meet I meet his basic needs but anything else is impossible.
A few years ago, after a series of CT and MRI scans, we found that for me, the cause of my migraines was hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a build up of fluid on the brain. The excess fluid puts pressure on the brain, which can cause damage and even prove fatal if left untreated. In my case, two of my four brain ventricles were so swollen that my neurosurgeon remarked that had someone acquired such swelling suddenly (for example through an accident) they would be unlikely to survive.
In December 2013 I had an endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV). My neurosurgeon made a hole in the floor of the brain which allows the trapped CSF to escape to the brain’s surface, where it can be absorbed. Since my surgery my migraines are now a lot less frequent. When before I was having a few migraines every month, now I might get one every three to four months.
My Top Tips to Dealing with Migraines
As the years have gone by, I’ve learned what works for me.
I can tell when it feels like a migraine is coming and at the first sign, I try to deal with the migraine by taking a migraine reliever medication like Sumatriptan.
Cancel plans. Even when the migraine hasn’t fully hit, I cancel plans so I can rest in order to try and prevent it getting worse.
It is important to ensure you drink plenty of fluids and continue to eat.
I tend to spend the day in my bedroom, with my black out curtains drawn meaning it is cool and dark with very little light. I also have a bottle of water on my bedside table and drink regularly.
I switch my mobile phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’ meaning I will only receive calls from contacts that are in my favourites, people like my husband, other close family members and the school. I also set alarms to ensure that I take the medication at regular intervals.
Sleep. For me, there is no doubt about it but sleeping in the dark is by far the best way to relieve migraines.
Do you suffer from migraines? How do you deal with them?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.