How to survive a migraine at work article goes into seven tips such a 1)React: take medication ASAP 2)Adapt:minimize light and sound 3)Prioritize: identify crucial tasks to focus on and reschedule rest 4)Hydrate 5)Eat 6)Recover: ease back into work 7) Prevent: plan for elimination.
I think this is grand advice for an episodic migraineur, but of course, if you have episodic migraines you can likely miss work without anyone batting an eye for a migraine.
Those of us with chronic migraines have a more consistent migraine problem to deal with. Migraines leading into migraines leading into migraines. So #7 we have been working of for Decades.
The first problem is taking medication right away. This is true for triptans. The faster you take them the better chance they have of working. However, with chronic migraines you have 15 to migraines every day. And you can only take 3 triptans a week generally prescribed 9 a month. So… you have to decide Real quick if that migraine deserves a triptan of if you can just suffer through it. And if you are going to just suffer through it, it means a lot of pain, fatigue and concentration issues affecting you at work. Secondly taking the triptan is not all fun and games, we get side effects from that. Assuming no unpleasant side effects like I get… they also can make you insanely tired and brain dead, which is just awesome at work.
Let’s move onto Adapt. I cannot turn the lights down in my office. Or the phone. I can dim the screen but news flash I am always photophobic so migraine or not the screen is dimmed. I really have little control over my environment. And no control over the massive amounts of perfume people wear.
So what about Prioritize? In my office, I have appointments I need to do, so I cannot just not do them. But I can prioritize the workload I have to do. Which means my workload will build for the next day. When I also have a migraine. And then I can prioritize again, and my workload will build some more for the next day when I will also have a migraine. In fact, I actually need to do the same amount of a work migraine or not. Somehow without error. Through the pain. With some concentration.
Hydrate? Sure, why not. Helps me not vomit.
Eat? Hell no, because eating means the nausea and diarrhea will get worse and I will spend the entire work day in the bathroom, which I hardly think my boss will like very much. I will have a very light lunch composed of a fiber bar and yogurt. Yum.
Recover? I will not be in the postdrome if the migraine hits at work. It will be migraine all damn day. But if I happen to be in the postdrome at work I cannot ease into work for the same reason I cannot prioritize. I have the same workload every day. The same migraine every day. I cannot create a massive backlog because I have a migraine all the time.
I can see how it would work for episodic migraines… but not so much for chronic migraines, which are a different beast. We just don’t get a break and so we have a different set of rules to play by. Mostly those rules are how to function and cope while in a crapton of pain. Crappy rules.
I would honestly love to know how to survive migraines at work. Really. Really. Really survive them when they are there all the freaking time. In a sense it is all of these tips, when you can do them, but so much More because it is incomplete. We have a larger pain component. More untreated migraines going on. More untreated migraines while trying to function. Knowing we are not functioning at full capacity.