The other night I was struck by an ungodly pain. I turned off all of the lights and laid down in my bed. The room was spinning and I felt like I was going to throw up. I felt as if there was a balloon being blown up inside of my head. The pain was so intense that the most logical approach to make it go away seemed to be to take a hammer to my head, so that maybe the external pain would distract me from the internal pressure. Anyone who has ever had a migraine knows what I am talking about.
June is Migraine Awareness Month, so what better time than now to talk about the serious implications of this illness, and what we can do to ease the gravity of this chronic pain.
I have suffered from migraines for many years. I had my first migraine around 10 years ago and I remember thinking that I was dying. The pain was unlike any other headache I had ever felt before and it was unbearable. Over the last ten years I have gotten them on average about once or twice a month, with the exception of a few different periods of time where I was getting them twice a week. Right now I am currently in one of those stages where I am getting them twice a week and it seems that I am not the only one. I have talked to other migraine sufferers who seem to have been getting them more frequently as well. Since we seem to be in a time full of migraine triggers, I would like to talk about them in more detail. If you have the luxury of not suffering from these evil migraines, after reading this you may not only be more understanding of those around you who do, but you may also be able to help them. And if you are a fellow migraine victim reading this, I hope that you will find the information and remedies here beneficial, or at the very least feel a sense of camaraderie.
First of all, let’s be clear, migraines are not just a headache. Not just because they feel nothing like a regular headache (although people who have never had one may believe so), but they are actually technically a part of a neurological disorder. It is very likely that if you suffer from migraines there is someone else (if not multiple people) in your family who do as well.
Chronic migraines are a debilitating illness and those who have them are often misunderstood or not taken seriously by those who do not understand the illness. They may call us lazy or dramatic or a whimp – when the truth is we actually act a lot tougher than most people enduring that kind of pain would.
People make fun of me for living in candlelight and even doing makeup in dim lighting and even for sometimes wearing sunglasses inside if the lights are fluorescent. I’ve been called a vampire, a freak, a cat, and much more. I’m actually totally fine with being any one of those things, but what annoys me is the ignorance of people who don’t believe my reasoning for such quirks.
Speaking of ignorance, for those of you who have never had a migraine, you should know that there are certain phrases you should never say to someone suffering from a migraine. Such as….
1. “It’s just a headache, you won’t die, just take an Advil”
– Migraines are not just a headache, and people who are having them feel like they are going to die, and telling them to take an Advil is like telling someone who just got shot to grab a bandaid.
2. “Is it that time of the month?”
– Just, no. Even if menstruation is a migraine trigger for some people, trying to categorize such a paralyzing disorder as a PMS symptom is offensive and sexist.
3. “Go for a walk and get some fresh air”
– I would if the blaring sun and honking horns didn’t make me want to die.
The only thing that has ever fully rid me of a migraine is going to sleep – however there are many ways that you can make yourself more comfortable and possibly make the pain more endurable…try any of the following remedies and see which ones work best for you, and if none of them work, I get it, but it’s worth a shot!
1) Drink a glass of water with lemon juice and crystal himalayan salt.
2) Massage lavender and peppermint oil into temples and the back of your neck.
3) Make a smoothie or juice blend with pineapple, kale, cucumber and ginger root.
4) Frozen washcloth saturated with eucalyptus oil.
5) Mix the herbs feverfew and dried lemon balm into tea with a diffuser.