Stacking the Deck In Your Favour

I have chronic migraine. I’ve always looked for that ‘trigger‘ that got me. Somehow I got caught up in thinking that if I could find that one thing that set me off, I could avoid it and not get, yet another, migraine. Sometimes I get in a cycle of migraine for weeks and can’t seem to break the cycle. I use Triptan drugs when I have to. Sublingual Zomig is my go to, but never more than two a week in case of rebound headache. Sometimes my only option is the ER and an IV.

Recently, I decided to adopt a new strategy for myself. It’s based on the concept of using a large group of strategies TOGETHER to battle the things we have stacked against us that we can’t change. Nothing new or earth shattering, but using things we already know and grouping them together to do battle! I’ve been having a lot of success so I thought it might be worth sharing …

Think of migraine triggers like cards in a deck of cards. I, personally, have the genetics card, the hormone card and, periodically, the weather (barometric pressure) cards ALL STACKED AGAINST ME. These are factors that I CANNOT control or change.

So I am determined to stack the deck in my favour with the things I can control and change. I believe it’s groups of things that tip the scales for us. I believe I can decrease my incidence of migraine by stacking the deck with at least a dozen things all at once to counteract the big factors stacked against me. Stacking the deck with lots of preventative measures all at once may out- weigh the factors that are pushing us into another migraine.

Things that I have found I can “stack the deck” with to help myself (in no particular order) include:

* staying in a strict daily routine of eating at the same time
* no alcohol
* no gluten
* no sugar
* no processed foods
* taking chelated magnesium daily
* getting an excellent sleep (go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time)
* Botox treatment every 12 weeks
* Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture (weekly)
* limit any stress and/or anxiety (I no long work or commute in rush hour and this really limits my stress)
* exercise daily (for me it’s walking)
* one tiny espresso in the morning
* when I wake up, no matter what, I sit upright – even in bed
* never, ever fall back to sleep after I wake up
* meditate daily
*limit screen time/ tv time
* wear blue light filtering eyeglasses (for screen time)

Am I so discipline that I can do all of these things perfectly everyday? No. Will I never again eat a piece of candy? No. Frankly, it’s isolating and difficult to maintain this kind of self discipline. So far, I’m having many more good days or good portions of days using this management strategy.

I believe, it’s not just one or two things, but rather a lot of things together that need to be in place, to keep migraine at bay. I welcome any suggestions of other things to use to “stack the deck” against migraine.

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.

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