From the community: the crazy things that help

Community Thoughts -The “Crazy Things” That Help

We all know that sometimes the meds don’t work as well as we’d like them to in the case of Migraines. As one of our community members put it: “desperate times call for desperate measures.” Along those lines, a recent article on Migraine.com recounts the author wearing two pairs of sunglasses to battle an oncoming migraine while driving.

So we asked our Facebook community: “What crazy things have you found that help?” Here’s what you had to say!

I use household items in different ways…

  • I have found that a Ziploc bag of frozen peas (I keep two in the freezer in case I need another one) works very good for easing the pain. Any kind of pressure on my head makes it worse, and the peas are lightweight enough to allow me to get some relief & sleep it off.
  • Pop a rice pack in the microwave, peppermint oil (or Vick’s Vapo rub) under the nose & hot pack! If that doesn’t head it off a BC powder helps. If those don’t work I know to duck & cover the migraine train is on its way!
  • Lying on my dog’s chewed up bone, digging into the pressure point in my neck. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
  • I have a soft pillow I cover my head with like a band-aid:-)
  • I wrap a thick, black sock over my eyes.
  • I found a new thing that works for me, which is frozen Gatorade in ice cube trays to suck on when I’m so nauseated can’t keep anything down, and cold Gatorade from fridge if I can keep anything down. The second thing is a very, VERY hot shower on my shoulders and neck and top of my head (my hair hurts when I get a migraine) – followed by an icy cold pack from freezer on back of head and neck, The salt in Gatorade to calm stomach enough to accept imitrex and then maybe some coke …if I get this far, I know it will ease some. If I can’t keep down Gatorade, I don’t waste my time with abortive and go straight to shower… then try again.
  • I keep most of my second freezer filled with ice packs for my migraines. I like the medium sized Cryomax ones because they stay cold so long.
  • I work from home and my office has blackout curtains and a comfy sofa for switching to when I can’t handle sitting upright. When we video chat, my manager says it’s like seeing me working in a cave but it’s the only thing that gets me through the day. That and lots of peppermint oil!
  • I keep the blinds closed on sunny winter days (the blue reflections off the snow make me do a Dracula at dawn routine); keeping the shades on if there’s too much light, especially fluorescents and most especially “naked” ones like in track lighting or vanity fixtures.
  • Hot pad on my head face or neck. Traction can be a quick relief. I have an awesome hubby. My traction guy.
  • Grapes for dehydration.
  • Ice on the back of my neck helps
  • I bind my head very tightly with a long scarf and go to bed. Helps the pain but looks really strange.
  • Three ibuprofen chased with something cold and caffeinated, with a handful of salty potato chips (helps the nausea) is my go-to treatment. Usually works in about 30 minutes if it’s going to work.

I work with my body in ways that provide some relief:

  • I have my husband or son squeeze my head as hard as they can for about 30 seconds and then let go. It’s only a temporary pressure relief but I will take it.
  • I have someone squeeze the back of my neck as hard as they can. I’ve considered getting one of my fiancé’s vices and using it.
  • I let my jaw hang loose with my mouth open… It seems to relieve tension build up in neck and shoulders. It also makes me ignore the pain as the action is known to lower cognitive responses. Seriously try to do a math problem with your jaw hanging its strangely difficult. It also stops you biting down creating or increasing jaw tension.
  • I lay my arm across my already shaded eyes if need be. My photophobia is persistent, but gets worse in the premonitory phase.

 When out and about…

  • I find it’s mostly fluorescent lighting that messes me up. I wear my sunglasses at night and indoors at stores, restaurant etc. Bare bulbs are violent…that’s the word that best describes it for me.
  • I wore sunglasses in a cinema once, as I didn’t want my kids to miss the film.
  • Hoodie up indoors at the mall AND double diphenhydramine for sinus pressure and allergies which make the migraine worse, especially during the spring and fall weather blowout months.

I use specific tools:

  • My ophthalmologist recommended Maui Jim sunglasses for me. They can be made for your vision prescription. They do seem darker than other prescription sunglasses and the F 41 migraine glasses I see online. He said I would be addressing two issues with one pair.
  • Computer software for Apple computers makes the screens easier on the eyes. There aren’t any privacy screens but there is software: Screen Shades and Shades. You can slide the scale to make the screen darker when your eyes hurt and lighter if you need to make out something easier or your eyes don’t hurt.
  • Much of mine starts in my neck/base of skull; Biofreeze on neck, BedBuddy heating pad for the microwave and a ColPak from Amazon have helped.

How about you? What’s the craziest thing you’ve used to counter an oncoming migraine or provide relief during an attack?

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