Migraine.com The state of chronic migraines
“So people suffering from chronic migraine have more headache days than not. It is estimated that between two and three million Americans live with chronic migraine. But what is the real impact on their daily lives?
The Chronic Migraine in America study was conducted to find some answers. The survey was open for 30 days and includes the input of more than 1500 chronic migraine sufferers. Participants were required to be American citizens aged 18 or over, and meet the criteria for chronic migraine. What exactly did they have to share?”
It is great to see a study on chronic migraines specifically. I was intrigued to see the details on this.
Obviously these symptoms are not restricted to chronic migraines, but it is good to think about. You have 15 to daily migraines in a month… and it is not just the pain you are contending with here. It is this mix of neurological symptoms… and other symptoms such as digestive or nausea or vomiting. Just think of that. Every second day, or more, your brain goes nuts, with pain, and random chaos. Light and sound and smell sensitivity to the extreme. Cognitive issues. Maybe visual auras or numbness and tingling. Mood changes. Vertigo.
This is the battle with chronic migraines. Once you hit this chronic phase it is a battle to get ‘less’. Preventatives to decrease frequency or intensity. We try just about anything to squeeze in a day or two less. Because a decrease of any amount means a lot. And we are aware any decrease is a battle and medications only do so much and will only get you so far, if you find them and if they continue to work. Sometimes we have a steady increase in frequency and have never seen an improvement. Sometimes there have been years where we have seen a slight reduction but it did not last. Sometimes we have found things, or a combo of things, that have reduced our frequency or intensity. Personally I see a lot of hope in those success stories because I know it is possible I just need to get that right routine or that right balance or that right combo for my brain. What is clear here is that chronic migraines are complex and difficult to treat but not impossible to see improvement.
I get that. Nothing is really better than laying down in a dark room. When you can. If you can.
Just not always an option.
Everything. Anything. A bit of anything and everything.
Some triggers as you might imagine we can mange and control. Some are just there in life. Like environmental triggers, light, fragrances, hormones and such. Lack of sleep is a brutal one. You would like to think it is one you can manage but chronic migraines make it rather difficult… with all that fluctuating neurotransmitters, migraines at night causing so much pain the pillow itself hurts against your head and you cannot get any sleep causing the migraine to persist into the next day… not as easy as people think.
Chronic migraines are a beast of a condition. They are migraines and they perpetuate themselves and they complicate themselves. And they do not respond well to treatment. Nor can the person actual treat the existing ones very well due to the fact the more frequent they are the less they can treat them… don’t want to cause rebound headaches, or imply slightly that you are overusing medication. No less is more they say. More pain they mean. So more suffering. So more ways to try and manage that suffering. Yes, complex indeed to try and manage that and somehow have a life. Tricky, tricky.