What’s in your toolbox and why?
So the following is what I do Acutely when I have a migraine. At home.
Magnesium oil- there is some research for using magnesium sulfate acutely actually. But besides that I do routinely use magnesium oil, as I cannot digest magnesium well and when I have a migraine I give myself some extra. I have in the past taken liquid based magnesium, by Quench, but I am not right now because I am currently out. But I prefer easy to digest methods as I am one who typically gets the ‘digestive complaints’ from magnesium, which makes it pretty much impossible to take the typical pill form you see in the pharmacy.
Ice treatment- I do use ice treatment for a minimum of an hour. It tends to work well for lower pain intensity but you have to give it a bit of a go, not ten minutes. I rest in the dark and try to do some meditation at the same time, depending on pain level.
Oksa Pulse– This is an external stimulation device. I am sure people have heard of the Cefaly (forehead) and gammaCore (vagas Nerve). Well the Oska is a PEMF external stimulation device for all pain, so not just for migraines. I use it preventatively to help with frequency and intensity, as well as acutely. It has been giving me results, so I continue to use it. My intensity is astonishingly lower overall and I do have migraine free days. Not to mention it also helps me manage my fibromyalgia pain, so two birds, one stone. Literally as soon as I get home I use it. About five to six times because I figure don’t want these results to stop, do I? Started off at 7 to 9 times to get it going which is a tad more than recommended at around 7ish but those migraines… stubborn.
Migraine Balm- I use migraine balms of different sorts for topical relief. I quite enjoy Japanese Mint oil right now. I think I like it because it is mostly menthol based. And I tend to use those the most, but I have used ones with eucalyptus and things in them as well. I do use a menthol cream on my neck as well, because I get pretty nasty neck pain from migraines (not nearly as bad once I began this first round of botox. In fact that was the only change that happened… far less neck pain. But that in-itself was awesome.)
Ginger– I take my zofan for nausea but I also take a ginger pill and ginger candies called gin gins a fellow migrainuer introduced me to. They taste awesome and help settle my rather persistent nausea. My nausea has improved from severe to mild/moderate over the last few months though, so much easier to manage.
Aromatherapy– I use a few; eucalyptus, sage, lavender or peppermint. Peppermint, I find, just the scent helps with nausea. Lavender actually has a study on it when it comes to migraines. Either way, we are very scent sensitive with a migraine and I find Certain scents to block out others and to be very relaxing. Other times, I can’t handle anything, so it depends on the day really.
Triptan- I take relpax for my Triptan. Carry that everywhere with me, just in case. But I get, mostly, daily migraines and they can only be used 2 times a week. Thankfully my intensity has been managed lately so this has been feasible… as in not torture. Because it IS torture to have unmanaged migraines 7 days a week and only able to treat, maybe, 2 of them. Just saying. So with my intensity in a decent range I have been able to use the triptans on insane migraines. Generally on work days.
Tramacet- My rescue medication, for when that triptan utterly fails, which it can, or when the migraine comes back, which it tends to do, is tramacet. It is tramadol and Tylenol. Also, as a rescue, only to be used 2 times a week. If I do not use it on a horrific unmanaged migraine day, I may use it on another unmanaged day instead. I find it mildly effective. Better than nothing at all and it doesn’t cause an after headache like some painkillers do for me.
Bottle of Water- Have to keep hydrated. Pretty much as soon as I even feel any indication of a migraine I drink a bottle of water. I always feel maybe it will help right away. But who knows. Preventatively it would help More, which I need to remind myself… Keep Hydrated. But, yeah, I seem to remind myself when I get the migraine well enough.
Migraine specs- I wear my FL-41 tinted lenses. I have both Axon Optics which I have reviewed and TheraSpecs which I am currently reviewing. As far as I am concerned these are a Migraine Must. I am extremely photophobic all the time. Worse with a migraine but even when not having an attack, it is still there.
Now, away from home, my emergency kit is less complex. It includes my meds (Zofran, Tramcet and relpax) and my migraine balm (Japanese mint oil) and I always carry some gin gins (ginger candies). I keep reminding myself to buy some portable ice patches because they would be Awesome for work, but alas I am a very forgetful person. I have yet to bring my Oska to work with me, but I have thought about it. The reason I have not it because it runs on a 30 min timer and my lunch is only 30 min, so it is tight timing. It has a band you can use to wear it anywhere on the go, but when I use it for migraines specifically I am using it in the neck or head region which would be tricky but not impossible… more noticeable.