I spent all week looking forward to my 4 days off in a row. Last weekend I traded my rostered day off for a Sunday shift, then I got offered over time and took that, only to get to my days off and end up with a migraine. I slept for around 24 hours, in between toilet trips, drinks and pain relief that just numbed it enough to manage. Sleep is the only escape at these times.
I know it’s only a headache, but it takes so much out of me. Now I feel so exhausted and tired from it. It seems so silly, but I feel like it ruins all my days off lately. Funnily enough I don’t seem to get them on work days lately. I’ve had friends and family tell me in the past that it’s probably because I’ve finally had the chance to rest, but I think it’s a combination of things depending on the circumstances. This time I think it was dehydration and most of the time I wake up with one which makes me wonder if it’s my neck. The problem is there really isn’t that much evidence out there on migraines, and there are a number of different treatments. I find the easiest way to take mine on is to load up on analgesia and drink plenty of water if I’m not experiencing nausea, but I would love to know what I can do to prevent them. So maybe it’s time to reach out to the Chiropractor.
One thing that is known for sure is that there is a hereditary factor there, my Dad always gets headaches and my Mum used to get migraines, so based on that alone I tend to think there’s no hope of it disappearing. I’d tried antihypertensives as a prevention method, but that didn’t seem to work either, so I’m getting ready to go to the doctor and ask about other options. Of course I will be armed with some research.
However I would like to share some tips that do help me a little. Options that don’t include pharmacological treatments, and these options don’t always work but they can help minimise the pain.
- Yoga (yes, I know this sounds unusual but yoga really does help sometimes, I assume it’s got something to do with blood flow, I thought it would make my headache worse but it actually works)
- Relaxation – for me I used this at a water park a few years ago, I didn’t want to ruin the day so I spent a few rounds in a tube floating around the kiddies water rapid (very gentle), I just closed my eyes and focused on the gentle ride and it actually disappeared
- Essential oils – I use a migraine stick which has peppermint in it, it cools the area and relieves the pain by changing the sensation
- Ice/cool packs – This works in the same way as the peppermint essential oil
- Tea – I know it sounds silly, but I do sometimes feel some relief from drinking and relaxing with a cup of tea
Of course sometimes a dark room, some analgesia and a good sleep can be helpful, but I like to try natural remedies. I get migraines so often that I’m looking elsewhere. I don’t know how much food has to do with migraines, I know that some people get them from MSG, caffeine or chocolate but that’s not the case for me. Mine often seem to be random, I wake up with them, or they seem to come from dehydration. I just think it’s a good idea to look for other options, and I don’t like taking medication unnecessarily.
This week we’re back to some kind of a detox, I have a lot of afternoon shifts this week so my plan is to be prepared with plenty of veggies and protein, exercise my yoga mat and hit the gym as tolerated. Getting all organised, hopefully my tupperware will be here soon. Means more potential for freezing food for work, which means more organised for work and home. I need to find something my partner will eat from frozen.