HOW’S THE WEATHER
Well, I will tell you how the weather is! It’s rainy, dreary, yucky and it’s causing my head to hurt. The weather has always made me headache prone. How’s that for weather? Anyone else feel the same?
I have always been subject to headaches and usually the bad kind. Yep, you got it…MIGRAINES. I have been through years of medicines that didn’t work and years of pain. I have found a few things that work (for me, at least) and figured they were worth talking about.
Have I found some of this along my terrible road of migraines? Yes. However, I couldn’t even begin to tell you where I may have found it but I will try to let you know what I found on my own by trial and error.
I once was told to make a very small, very strong cup of coffee. Let’s face it, caffeine of any sort can make a migraine worse. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. For the most part, it didn’t. I tried all the heavily caffeinated drinks (the yellow/green ones) and that didn’t seem to help things let up, either. Despite the fact there are medicines out there that have caffeine in them, apparently this just isn’t the road for me. I am allergic to Acetaminophen too, so that limited me on what I could take without dying. I ended up in the ER once and don’t wish to go through that again.
To give just a small list of the medicines I have tried, here are just a few:
Imitrex (nose spray form, injection and tablet, also a migraine med)
Zomig (migraine med)
Fentanyl Citrate (normally used for breakthrough cancer pain)
Fiorinal (actually for tension headaches)
What did I find worked the most? Unfortunately the Vicoprofen and Fentanyl Citrate, which are narcotics. There are tons of bad things that come with narcotics, obviously. Also, the fact that the Vicoprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, well, we all know what that does to your stomach.
So I eventually had to stop the Vicoprofen and everything else and try to find a more natural way to deal with these malicious migraines. I started experimenting with massage to the temples, the back of the neck and manipulating pressure points. The pain would be localized to the back of my neck, just below where the bottom of my skull is. I’m sure there is a more technical name but the areas that are rounded at the bottom of my skull is what I would focus on.
I found a temporary solution as well, that I got from one of the health food stores. It is called “Migrastick” and a co-worker of mine from overseas had let me use it and it worked pretty well. It is like an essential oil and has a minty fragrance. I had read that mint teas and mint aromas could dissipate a migraine, so maybe that is why it worked so well. You apply it to the back of your neck (it is a small roll-on tube like old-fashioned lip gloss), your temples and in between your eyebrows. Bad thing was, I ended up breaking out from using it on my forehead and had to stop using it.
Oddly, I found a technique that seemed to let the pain up. I had rolled over in my bed one day grasping at any relief I could find and I happened to push my nose up against the railing of my waterbed. I found myself pushing the tip of my nose upward and it was letting up on the pain. I have a deviated septum so this could explain that. Just another odd-ball finding that I thought I would share.
I had read once (again I forget where) to put water in straws and freeze them and bite on them when you have a headache with your back teeth. Failed. To add to the failure, it really is a pain to fill those straws up because you have to cut them and then burn the ends to seal them shut trying to seal all the air out you can.
I also tried acupuncture. I was in a car wreck about 22 years ago which could explain a lot, also but someone had suggested chiropractics and my chiropractor also did acupuncture. Again, pain relief to no avail.
I had also resorted to Magnesium. I read in something my doctor gave me that low magnesium can help contribute to headaches. I was taking pretty large doses and wasn’t really making any difference.
So, still in search of what I could do to eliminate the aggravating pain. I then tried a baggie of ice to the back of my neck and that works pretty well. A heating pad wrapped around the top of my head worked pretty well, too. Figuring out which one to use is the tricky part. Usually I will know within a few minutes which I need to use.
While still not happy with my results, I was out shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond and found this handy little thing that has really been a lifesaver for me. It is made by a company called Earth Therapeutics. It has a “loop” strap or “handle” on each end. The tag says it is made out of 100% cotton. The body of it is probably 2.5 inches wide and probably 2.5-3 feet long. The fabric is super soft to the touch and feels like chenille. One of the best things about it is you can microwave it or put it in the freezer.
While this worked, the results weren’t quite where I would like them to be. So, I managed to find another goodie…a shiatsu pillow. Now, it is quite painful but you wouldn’t believe the tension it relieves. I can’t remember where I got it, maybe Macy’s? It has a little heat function but there are round rotating mechanics in it that massages your neck and I tell ya, it has to be the best thing since sliced bread.
This may or may not help anyone out there struggling with migraines or headaches but I know what I am about to do…head to the microwave and dig out my pillow!!