Sunday, June 3, 2012

#NMAM Just shoot me now!

What's your worst Migraine trigger? Can you avoid it? How do you handle it? Huge weather fluctuations do me in. They're the worst... Huge. Inescapable Acts of Nature. Being a human barometer sucks, let me tell you. What did I do about it? I moved across country, to a higher elevation---Denver. I get botox every three months. I follow a sleep schedule as best I can. I pace my eating, and don't let myself get too hungry, or overeat. I balance carbohydrates and protein, and get my vitamins. I exercise regularly, using slow, paced exercises that don't make my blood pressure spike or fall rapidly. I have reshaped my entire life to beat this beast back down into it's rightful place of a slight, occasional annoyance. Every once in a while it's okay to be reminded: I'm a fragile human being.

I have one of those large back massagers (a dual headed vibrator) that I use on my head and shoulders. I have stretching exercises to help the muscle tension that builds up in response to my head pain. I have two medicated creams for my hands and feet for when the migraines make the neuropathy flare. I have medications galore that keep me in balance, and help off-set the break-through episodes. I have mantras that I tell myself to help me keep the faith, and keep pressing on, despite what my head is doing. For when it gets really bad, I have darkness and cold. And in worst-case scenarios, I have the ER. (Thankfully, my migraines have only required one ER trip in the last 5 years, or so.)

Now that I'm getting healthier, I'm also cooking from scratch a lot more, which I have noticed had had a huge impact on my feeling better. There's the sense of accomplishment in pulling off a fantastic meal, I can do some of my physical therapy while at the stove, and there aren't all the additives that come with manufactured food. Granted, there are some good foods you can buy off the shelf (Stouffer's is all natural, and they make an awesome mac & cheese), but they're a lot more expensive than cooking at home. Good in a pinch, but it does pinch the wallet. Fruits and Veggies I'll buy frozen, because they're frozen at peak ripeness. But learning how to make my own caramel and ice cream has been a wonderful time. Soon, I'll tackle more breads! (They're tricky at elevation!)

Mostly, the move has helped me. And when I visit places at sea level, the increased oxygen allows me to do well there, for just long enough to complete business trips and short vacations. When barometric pressure changes are what get you, go to where the swings in change aren't as drastic!

"National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by


  1. It is really fantastic that your relocation has given you some relief. Good luck figuring out the tricks of baking at elevation. I've also noticed improvement in migraines from diet and exercise. I'm down to one really bad migraine every two or three months. It's a huge improvement, and yet when I get one, it is still impossible to convey how incredibly agonizing it is. I'm still frustrated by that.
    Adventures in Anxiety Land

    1. I have no idea why it's so difficult to convey what migraines are like... not even "worst hangover" covers it.