Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I'm Not a Pig ... I Have Migraines

If you've ever gone on a trip with me or attended a work event with me or just read this blog, you'll know that food plays a huge role in my life. I can't wait to eat the next meal.

No, literally. I can't wait to eat.

It's not that I have a gluttonous nature. Yes, I do like food - both making and eating it. But what I don't like is getting a migraine. And while I sometimes get migraines for no reason, there are a few things that I know for sure cause me to get a migraine:
  • standing on my feet too long in unsupportive shoes
  • lack of sleep
  • going too long between meals
I basically have to eat every four hours. That's when my stomach starts to growl and if I don't silence it with something, I run the risk of my head starting to growl.

So, yes, I do always need to schedule breaks for lunch. I do always need to have a snack with me. Not because I'm such a food-obsessed pig but because I'm trying to remain pain-free.

Migraines are no fun. (Helpful hint: don't ever suggest to someone with a migraine that they take a Tylenol. Migraines don't usually respond to traditional pain relievers, which is why there is a major difference between headaches and migraines, and a plethora of prescription migraine medications.) 

I usually have pain on the left side of my forehead. I might also feel it in my left temple, the back of my head, and my neck. It's a sharp, often throbbing pain. All I want to do is close my eyes and go to sleep. Sometimes I can't lie down, though, because doing so makes my head throb even more. Sometimes I dry heave because the migraine makes me feel sick. Sometimes it hurts to use my eyes and bright lights bother me. Sometimes it hurts just to move. It impairs my driving. It affects my ability to work. It interrupts my day, and what I really want to do is stab myself in the forehead with a spoon and scoop out the pain.

Luckily, I do have a prescription medication (Maxalt) that works if taken immediately at the onset of a migraine. It's the fifth migraine medicine I've tried. I have yet to find a migraine preventative that works or that doesn't have super wacky side effects that just don't seem worth it. 

"Pain" layout from 2008
No one knows why some people (mainly women) are more prone to developing migraines than others. There are so many potential migraine triggers, too, and not every potential trigger is an actual trigger for every migraine sufferer. There are so many unknowns when it comes to migraines, and that's where organizations such as the Migraine Research Foundation come into play.

June is Migraine Awareness Month, and the Migraine Research Foundation is spending the month chronicling the day-to-day life of a girl named Meghan, who is a young migraine sufferer in NYC. If you want to know just what it's like to have migraines (without actually feeling our physical pain), follow the hashtag #TheMeghanFund on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

It's also possible for you to donate to the Migraine Research Foundation to help with the organization's research into finding migraine causes, improving migraine treatments, and finding a cure for migraines. The organization says that 100 percent of donations go toward funding research.

And you can click here to find out more information about migraines from the Migraine Research Foundation's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment