migraines, Personal Life

How I Reduced the Intensity of My Migraines

Today marks my fifth migraine day this month. I woke up with an aura around 4:45 a.m. and immediately took the meds I take at the onset. Now I am tired and have a mild headache, but I can function thankfully.

For a quick recap if you’re new to my blog and my struggle with migraines. I have suffered from migraine with aura since I was 16 years old. 

In the first years of my migraines I would get one migraine attack a year with aura. What is an aura? An aura starts out as a tiny blind spot in my right eye and eventually moves to cover my entire field of vision in one eye. 

I refer to it as the blindness stage of my migraine because at this point it is very difficult to see as the aura slowly fills my entire vision. My peripheral vision is usually completely gone during an aura.

The aura part of the migraine also usually precedes the headache for me.

When I initially started having migraines, I didn’t have them often enough to really research effective treatment methods.

So, my method of treatment initially was to get past the throw up stage of the migraine and then take Nyquil. I would then pass out in hopes that the pain was gone by the time I woke up.

However, once I had my first child in 2010 the frequency of my migraines increased dramatically. I went from having one migraine a year to two to three a week. It was brutal!

I’m sure it was a combination of the added stress of having a baby and not getting much sleep.

Fast forward to 2019 and I typically have no less than four migraine attacks in a given month. 

In 2017 I started using Evernote to keep a migraine journal. I use this migraine journal to track my attacks, triggers, and treatment.

If you are a migraine sufferer, I would strongly encourage you to keep a journal and track the time of the attack, the duration, and the intensity of the attack. 

Also, write down what you did the night before or anything you think may have triggered you.

My known triggers: stress, sleep disturbances, sugar, cheese dip (so sad I know), and potato chips. I think I may need to add wine and microwave popcorn to that list but I am not emotionally prepared to let those go yet, especially since I can’t have cheese dip.

So, as I stated earlier, this is my fifth migraine with aura this month. From my notes/migraine journal I have noticed that half of the migraines I’ve had in the past month and a half are triggered upon waking, or I’m right in the middle of an aura when I first wake up.

Here is what preventative and onset medication are working for me right now:

Daily: Drink 90 oz of water and take 250 mg of magnesium. Since starting magnesium daily, I have noticed a decrease in the intensity of the migraine once I do get one. However, it did take about eight weeks of consistently taking the magnesium for me to notice a significant difference.

The first time I tried magnesium daily, I was taking 500 mg, which ended up being too much for my stomach and I quit taking it. I noticed a significant increase in the intensity of my migraines once I quit taking magnesium.

When I resumed taking it, I cut my dosage down to 250 mg.

Onset of attack: At the first sign of an aura I immediately take two Excedrin and one CBD capsule. I know CBD is controversial, but as a chronic migraine sufferer I am inclined not to care. If you suffer as well, I would encourage you to have an open mind.

Most CBD does not contain THC, which is what is found in marijuana and is also the part that gets you high.

The CBD not only helps with the pain but it also reduces the significant anxiety I usually get in the days following a migraine attack.

Also, I’m not 100% sure of this, but I used to also throw up when having a migraine and that has since stopped. The nausea is still with me, but it is mild. I’m not sure if this is because of the CBD or because of the magnesium. I suspect it is a combination of both.
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The next preventative thing I intend to add is melatonin. I do believe migraine and poor sleep go hand in hand for me. I also came across this article about the “Benefits of Melatonin for Migraine Sufferers” while conducting migraine research.

I plan to start using Melatonin tonight and see how it does for me over the next 30 days.

I’ll keep you guys posted. I am extremely grateful to have gone from 2-3/migraines a week down to one a week.

What treatment has worked for you in your battle against migraines? Let us know in the comments below. 

To your continued healing.

Hugs,

Bria

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Office Life

Migraines, Toddlers and the Struggles of Adulting

Sometimes my employees make me believe they like me when they buy me stuff. Molly brought me a new coffee mug Wednesday and it is so adorable. It says “Boss Lady” on the outside and on the inside it says “I’m not bossy, I’m just the boss!” The accuracy.

Migraines continue to be a struggle for me. Sometimes I get an aura with a headache and then sometimes I get the aura and no headache. Over the years I have slowly identified my triggers. This morning I remembered that I can’t sleep in because sometimes that triggers a migraine, not sure why. I slept in this morning and BAM migraine. I didn’t get a  headache with this one though, just the aura. Praise God for that. Any day without a migraine is a good day.

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I let my boys sleep in the same bed Tuesday night. I don’t know what mom crack I was smoking when I thought letting them sleep in the same bed might be a good idea but it ended up working out.

The first night it worked out perfectly, and it was the cutest thing and they actually went to sleep. Wednesday night….ehhhh….not so much. First John didn’t want to sleep with Manny, but then he did because toddlers change their minds constantly. I agreed, against my better judgment because I was trying to avoid a major melt down at bedtime. When we let him sleep with his brother though he WOULD NOT go to sleep. He stayed up talking for about an hour after that and I could hear his little giggles. I’m like kid if you don’t go to sleep. I ended up moving him back to his bed. That didn’t go over well but sometimes when you threaten to beat them they end up conceding defeat and going to sleep.

 

I’m considering a career change right now too. Regularly wanting to punch your boss in the throat is probably a sign that it’s time to move on. A friend, who owns a staffing agency, called me Wednesday about two different jobs he thinks I might be interested in. I meet with him next Thursday at lunchtime to discuss. I am going to take in all the information before I make a decision. There are several reasons I’m considering leaving my current job:

Number 1: I feel like I have ENTIRELY too much responsibility. There is more coming at me than I can handle in a day, which makes my chest hurt and my head hurt. Not a good combination.

Number 2: I am no longer motivated to work there. I have had a lot of bad days strung together. I’m burned out, and I think the burn out rate in my position is probably pretty high.

Number 3: I am the complaints department. I have seventeen employees, most of which half are complaining about something in a given day, then there are volunteers who are just a whole different level of stress in and of themselves. Not to mention we have 5000 members and in any given day at least 10 of them are bitching about something.

I will take in all the information and then make an informed decision. That is the adult thing to do right? My brain is like nahhhhh just quit! Why do I have to constantly fight with my rational self and my impulsive self. It’s exhausting.

Why didn’t anyone tell me adulting would be this difficult?

Brave Bonnie