Much has written about taking your abortives early as the earlier to take them, the better they work. There are some good reasons for this. If your headache isn’t so severe, the medication has a better chance of working. If your headache starts out severe, it stops the pain process of reaching the state of “allodynia”. Allodynia is the feeling of pain or discomfort from something that does not normally bother you. Some examples are avoiding brushing your hair when you have a headache because it bothers you or wearing necklaces drives you crazy. There are studies showing that once you get to the point that allodynia has developed, medications have a decreased chance of working.
Take your medications early when you don’t have a chance to use alterative methods such as meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, biofeedback. However, here are some tips to help you keep them close.
1. Keep your medications, at least one abortive, in your purse or wallet. Keep two tablets at all times. Restock them.
2. Buy a small pouch that hangs from your keychain and keep your medications in those.
3. Do not keep your medications in the car. Cars get very hot and very cold. These temperature extremes are not good for the stability of the medications.
4. If you keep injections with you, make sure you keep other needed supplies, such as alcohol pads with them. Also, know in advance where you can go to give yourself an injection or who could administer it to you in the event that you can’t.
5. Have a small kit at home where your medications are kept. Make sure that someone else other than you knows what it looks like and where it is kept. If your headache is really bad, you aren’t going to be able to think or speak clearly. Trying to explain to someone what your kit looks like and where it is kept requires too much effort at this time of pain! Saying something like “headache kit” versus “Please go to the bathroom and get the red bag underneath the counter and bring it back to me” is probably more than you can muster.
6. Make sure your headache kit is stocked. Opening that bag when you have a severe headache is not the time to find out you are out of medication. Believe me, I have gotten many calls in the middle of the night to refill medication. It can be avoided.
What helps you? Please share any tips that you have to make another migraineur’s day go smoother.
Pharmaceutical companies make medications used for headache treatment. Some of these are over the counter medications (OTCs) like Tylenol or Motrin, and some of them require a prescription like Imitrex. In addition, these companies also make medications that were originally used for other diseases but were found to be good headache preventives. Combined, there are over 100 medications that are currently used to control headaches. These medications are synthetic chemicals which have been designed to block something or increase your headache threshold. While these medications have their purpose, they are only a part in decreasing your headaches. There are other options too.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where taking a pill for anything that inflicts us is touted as the answer. You can hardly get through your day without advertisement from the pharmaceutical companies. Large companies have large marketing budgets and alternative measures do not. That is why you may not be aware that they are effective too. But they don’t get rid of those self-defeating thoughts, environmental toxins, or poor nutrition that have plagued us for years, causing these physical or emotional problems in the first place.
If you have severe headaches or have frequent headaches, then use this as an opportunity to live a healthier life. Headaches are often an alarm letting you know that all is not well. By making changes to your lifestyle, you can live a radiant life without pain, doing things that you enjoy doing.
But what do you do if you are suffering now? Pharmaceutical medications can be used to buy time as you make the healthy changes to your life. As you learn to eat better, remove toxins bombarding your body, decrease your stress and redirect your thoughts, you will be on the path to wellness. Your headaches will decrease too. However, making these changes takes time – it is a journey. At the beginning, it may be best for you to keep the regimen that your doctor prescribes for you. You may also choose to take a more drastic approach and stop using any pharmaceuticals and that is fine too. Just make sure that you wean off slowing and under direction of your doctor. Make sure that whatever you decide is well informed and that you do so with support.
Before you start ANY plan, however, it is best to consult a doctor to rule out any underlying cause for your headache such as thyroid problems and tumors. These require special care.