Just Sleep It Off – My Battle With Migraines

I am one of the many people who suffer from migraines and like them, my story is unique. I have suffered from migraines for almost ten years. My day can be going fine, but then a slight tingle in my head will slowly turn into a more pressing pain, one that mere Tylenol and Ibuprofen can’t fix. As the pain gets worse, the nausea sets in and before long the only thing I can do is wait it out. I am one of the many people who suffer from migraines and like them, my story is unique.

Many people’s experience with migraines is that their headaches are so bad that any exposure to light or sound both exacerbates and prolongs the pain. In my experience, however, it is not light and sound that are the enemy -it is consciousness itself. I have tried various over the counter headache medicines, but they are too ineffective for such a great pain. Indeed, swallowing anything during a migraine only sets off the nausea. Instead, I simply curl up in bed, close my eyes, and sleep away the pain.

Luckily, my migraines have grown increasingly more rare with time. What was once a fortnightly occurrence has turned into maybe two or three a year. Therefore, I do not consider my situation bad enough that further medical attention is needed. However, for those whose condition shows no sign of lessening, I would definitely recommend a doctor visit. Even if these powerful headaches aren’t something worse like a brain tumor, doctors can provide further assistance to help prevent frequent migraines such as with prescription medication or a change in diet. Surprisingly, many people find that something they have eaten is a migraine trigger. Writer Meg Cabot discovered that diet soda, red wine, and exposure to cigarette smoke, among other things, were huge migraine triggers for her.

When my migraines were at their most frequent I decided to chart what was going on on the days I got them, including food I ate, the weather, and any unusual smells or environmental factors. I soon discovered that what had been bothering me was the typical fluctuating Tennessee weather. It is not unusual to have one cold day, followed by a warm and sunny one, where the air is rife with pollen and cut grass, and then back to cold again. Whereas my family would get the typical allergy runny noses and sore throats, I seemingly drew the short straw and inherited migraines. After I discovered that those conditions were giving me such debilitating pain and nausea I started taking pre-emptive measures before going outside by taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen before the pain started and by limiting my time outside on days when the grass and pollen smells were at their worst.

My advice for anyone who is suffering from migraines is to keep track of things that could be triggering their condition and make the necessary changes. Then, if things keep getting worse, consult a doctor. You may never be able to prevent every migraine, but there are definitely ways to cut down on their frequency -and if you have migraines, you know that even one less is a huge relief.