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Migrony: Migraine + Irony

Migrony: Migraine + Irony

Living with migraine is complicated. With no shortage of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situations, seemingly sound decisions can quickly lead to unintended consequences. Here are five examples of just how tricky it can be to navigate living our best with this debilitating disease.

1. Abortive Medication

Take your abortive medication at the very first sign of migraine, BUT don’t take it too often!

If you are taking an abortive medication, you’ve probably been warned about the danger of medication overuse pain and “treating at the first sign of symptoms” in the same breath. When my migraine attacks were chronic, this drove my batty! With three or four attacks a week, and no distinguishable return to a non-migrainous state, how was I supposed to know when to take my meds?

For a long time, I tried to predict how severe the oncoming attack might be and decide whether or not to take abortive medication based on that. Turns out my psychic abilities are terrible.

I eventually figured out that a detailed planner was the only way for me to make informed decisions about when to take an abortive med or not. That way, if I feel the pain coming on, a quick glance at my calendar will let me know how many pills I’ve had so far this week, and if I might need one to get through an unavoidable triggering event in the near future. If I decide not to take a triptan to avoid overuse headache, I immediately turn to damage control and employ every other non-triptan tool at my disposal to try and rest comfortably.

2. Social triggers

For the sake of your health, you should avoid the triggers typical of most social situations, BUT social support is more important than ever for the sake of your health!

Welcome to life with migraine! You will be more isolated than ever in your dark, quiet, scent-free cave of pain, but don’t forget: reaching out to a network of support is one of the best ways to get through this!

But… I need to stay in this dark room by myself all day…sooo, how?

We have to be creative about this one. Connecting with people online instead of in person can be a great way to get support, even from near strangers. While many relationships can slip away because of illness, we learn how to truly cherish the people willing to adapt for us.

3. Financial stability

You need more financial stability than ever to afford medication and treatments BUT your ability to work is suddenly on shaky ground!

This is just the worst. And there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Well, except universal healthcare that includes integrative medicine… But I’ll save that rant for another post.

Many of us find ways to work from home, or actually manage to win the workplace accommodations to which we are legally entitled, or are lucky enough to have a partner who can carry the weight. Sometimes we try to work harder to afford treatments and end up worse off from pushing too hard. Any way you look at it, health and money are often at odds.

4. Foods to eat and avoid

It is essential that you eat protein-filled food every three hours without fail, BUT also, avoid half the food in the world!

Okay, maybe “half the food in the world” is an overstatement, but it certainly feels this way sometimes. Planning gluten-free, additive-free, high-protein goodies every time I leave my house is almost second nature now. But no matter how prepared I try to be, I occasionally find myself in a situation where I must choose to either eat some trigger-ridden food, or risk the trigger of low blood sugar. Gah!

5. Stress and anxiety

It is more important than ever that you reduce stress and anxiety in your life to avoid migraine attacks! Psst, by the way, your inevitable migraine attacks are a source of great stress and anxiety!

This one is almost funny. Almost. Especially when you consider that historically, it was typical for Western doctors to blame women’s pain on their stress levels. Try it the other way around, boys.

***

There are just so many situations where we can find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. This is why it is so, so, so important that we learn to trust our instincts, experience, the data in our migraine diary, and hopefully our doctors, and why we must do our best to let go of guilt and self-blame.

The pain is never our fault, which is made abundantly clear when looking at the kinds of difficult choices we must make every day.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • DinaMay
    2 years ago

    I know exactly what you mean! I would add the fact that some nebulous expert somewhere decided that I can have no more than 9 migraines per month (assuming that each migraine requires only one pill). Since I could easily use up those 9 pills in the first week, I never take one at the first sign. Unless, of course, the first sign is that neon “7” or backward “c,” the dreaded aura. That definitely calls for immediate treatment! Except that it usually strikes at the worst moment, when access to pills and water to wash them down are not available. Migrony!

    I prefer to blame all this on the demented hamster running constantly on his squeaky wheel (the brain’s engine).

  • ccf23
    2 years ago

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. All so true. And on top of it, migraines change over time, or at least mine have. I get new symptoms each year so just when I think I have a plan to kind of treat them most of the time – nope. And then try to explain all of this to people who don’t have migraines. They look at you like you are insane!

  • Tamara
    2 years ago

    Hahaha this gave me a laugh because it’s all 100% true. the first one is the hardest right now … if I take triptans and zofran at the beginning of a migraine it stales the pain (most of the time) but then I get migraines 4-5 times a week. But if I choose not to take meds because I’ve taken too many …. My migraine will ALWAYS be over 3 days and I’m forced to take extra pain meds for days until it finally stops. The last one was 10 days long because I didn’t take anything at the first sign and needed ER and high high dose opiates to even sleep for 20 minutes at a time and still ended up in hell and suicide thoughts like usual when they get that bad. Then they tell me it was so long because I’m taking too many meds ….. well fudge! What do I do then?

    And yup all the rest I’m fighting really hard right now with chronic migraines, having trouble working part time even (boss has been good but sale numbers just aren’t there so it’s not working for both of us), moving further and further in debt each month, maybe having to sell my house and move back in with parents at 28 years old; all of which are increasing stress and anxiety and giving me more migraines ….

    A migrony ….. going to use that word a lot now. Lol

  • KSMc1984
    2 years ago

    Hang in there!! Everything that you are saying is so true for me too!

  • tiggmom1
    2 years ago

    This is so true! I like to call #1 Migraine Math. The “Migrony” is I’m terrible at math, but in my migraine-addled state, I can figure when I took how many triptans, when I can take another, how many are left in the bottle and exactly how many minutes this triptan should start working in if it’s going to work. Migrony at it’s finest 😉

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