How to survive migraines at work? Really?

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.

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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. But it is good advice. Sort of. It just has problems if you have migraines every day. And cannot take a triptan every, single day.

Those of us with chronic migraines have a more consistent migraine problem to deal with. Migraines leading into migraines leading into migraines. So we Prevention have been working on 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 migraine you have 15  a month to migraines every day. And you can only take 2 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 can’t 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 impaired productivity and concentration. This is called presenteeism… there but not There.

Hydrate? Sure, why not. Helps me not vomit. Sometimes.

Eat? Hell no, because eating means the nausea and diarrhea will get worse and I will spend the entire workday 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.

So maybe on a triptan day, if that triptan happens to be effective which it very well may not be. If it is a triptan day. Of the 2 days of the 5 day work week.

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.

 

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