Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Things Friday: Migraine Edition

So my grand plans to type up my 5 Things Friday last night was thwarted by a migraine.  Nothing like a visual aura and really bad headache to knock you out for the night.  Poor Phil had to deal with me saying things like, "Please don't bang the dishes" and "Don't move the bed, please."

It was a fun night, for sure.  And you know what helps you be productive?  It certainly isn't a migraine.

It's a little better today, but definitely not gone.  I have a feeling the gym is out for lunchtime today.  Pretty much anything other than laying down is out for lunch today.

So in honor of the current state of my head, today's 5 Things Friday are my tips for dealing with a migraine.

It was this or nothing.  I probably should have stuck with nothing.

{Image stolen from the Wall Street Journal}

1.  Take something

Excedrin Migraine works really well, but sometimes I just can't take it.  First of all, we don't have any at our house.  Second, the caffeine has proved to be too much for me.  The last thing I want when I'm dealing with a headache is to be jittery.  Plus my headache came on at 8:30 at night and I like sleep.  Excedrin Back and Body contains the same acetaminophen and aspirin dose as it's migraine counterpart without the caffeine.  Score.

Or if you are like me and foolishly took straight Tylenol thinking it might help and therefore can't take something else containing Tylenol (because I like my liver), I like to throw a dose of Advil in there as well.  It was my saving grace last night.  Took away just enough pain so that I could sleep.

2.  Cold wash clothe

Phil seems to fight me on this one when he gets a headache, but really a cold wash clothe on your temples/eyes/sinuses/forehead is nothing short of magic for headache relief.  Doing this early in the headache process seems to keep it from getting worse (sometimes).  When Phil starts to get his headaches, I usually don't even ask if he wants the wash clothe.  I just get it for him.

When I reached for the wash clothe last night, Phil knew I meant business.  I think until then he thought I just had the aura without the headache (which happens for me sometimes).  Nope.  Not this time.  Lucky me.

3.  Loose hair, no socks

It's amazing what a difference cool feet and no tight hair makes.  Loosen the pony and air out the toes.  Trust me.

4.  Caffeine

I didn't have any caffeine last night (because I wanted to sleep) but you'd better believe I will be having coffee this morning.  In migraines, blood vessels expand and caffeine helps to constrict the blood vessels thereby helping relieve migraines (hence why it is in Excedrin Migraine).  Or vice verse.  Whatever.  It counteracts whatever causes migraines.  That's all you need to know.

I just used hence and thereby in the same sentence.  Can you tell I don't feel well?

5.  Cool, dark, quiet room

Most migraines are made worse by loud sounds, bright lights, and heat.  Let your body cool off and relax as much as possible.  This can't always be helped.  Thankfully last night, my migraine started after Henry had gone to bed.  But if he had been awake, I wouldn't have been able to do the quiet room thing.

And here's a bonus since I know nobody is still reading this...

Avoid migraine triggers as much as possible at all times, but especially right after having one.  Typical triggers include alcohol (especially red wine), chocolate, MSG, dehydration, changes in sleep, hormones (i.e. some birth control), etc.  I am pretty sure mine was caused by the weather change and not eating/drinking enough.

So there you have it.  I'm off to drink more coffee and slowly make my way through the work day.  I hope everyone is feeling well today!


  1. I really hope you're feeling so much better!!!

  2. I was reading! And I found it rather useful as I can suffer from migraines. I think I can feel one brewing and I hadn't even thought it would be related to changes in my hormones. So that makes me feel better :)

  3. I don't know if I have migraines because I've never mentioned them to the doctor... I think maybe mild ones, because I do have a lot of headaches that get so bad that I feel sick to my stomach, and sometimes flashing lights in the rhythm of my heart beat. But not unbearable as some people describe theirs... so I don't know? I will try the cold wash cloth thing. I noticed the part about loose hair (I can't even stand to comb my hair when I have a headache) but never knew about loose feet. Mine also seem to be related to the weather and whether I drink enough water.


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