I went to bed Tuesday night with a headache. I get them every so often, and only Excedrin seems to help. But Excedrin is full of caffeine, so I didn’t want to take one so late in the day.
By Wednesday morning I was making out my will.
I had a migraine so severe that I couldn’t see straight. Or stand up. I knew serious trouble was brewing when I couldn’t even stomach my delightful morning coffee.
Fiddledaddy assessed the situation and sent me back to bed with an ice pack perched on my head. He came back a while later and announced that he had a diagnosis for me. As far as I was concerned, I was certain that I had the Swine Flu. The really really bad strain that just kills you.
It seems that Fiddledaddy has been tracking my migraines. And funny, but they seem to show up right around my menses. I suspect he keeps track of that too, just so that he can plan on being away from the house. Just sayin’.
Fiddledaddy is the kind of guy that likes to look things up. You know, research stuff. On the internet. In books. Wherever there are words, he reads them. He even follows the directions that come with EVERYTHING. My motto is DIRECTIONS ARE FOR THE WEAK!
It’s a wonder we ever got together really.
He came back armed with two articles he had found. One was How to Prevent Menstrual Migraines, and the other was How to Soothe Menstrual Migraines. Oh no. Here we go. This is the part where everything I love is to be avoided. Just let me die peacefully.
WRONG. Check out #4 of this particular article:
“Increase your caffeine intake. Eat some chocolate to help open the blood vessels and increase the flow of blood. Make yourself a hot cup of green or black tea. Have an extra cup of coffee. Take a caffeine pill to decrease the intensity of your menstrual migraine.”
And with that, after spoon feeding me some toast, he brought me a coffee drink made to perfection. I choked as much down as I could manage, and then fell into a deep sleep. The rest of the day was fuzzy, but I improved as I trudged along. Swigging coffee and popping Excedrin.
I wish I could say the same for my house.
This is what my kitchen looks like when the Mommy is out of commission.
A small price to pay.
I’ve been pouring over the research presented to me on Menstrual Migraines, in the hopes that I NEVER let it get that bad again. And I went to my bloggy friends and readers and asked for their advice on my Facebook page and Twitter.
I’ve compiled the extensive data and made a few graphs and color coded charts.
Just kidding. I thought that if my dad were to ever read this he would think HEY, ALL THAT COLLEGE TUITION REALLY PAID OFF.
In reality all I learned was how to give the correct amount of cash whenever I drove through Jack-in-the-Box for middle of the night taco runs.
Here are a list of things to try:
- Of course, increasing your caffeine intake ranks #1 in my book.
- Reduce stress. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT ONE IF YOU HAVE KIDS! But I do like the idea of aromatherapy.
- Chart your migraines. They very often will follow a pattern, and you may be able to recognize triggers.
- Check with your doctor, once you recognize a pattern, to see if a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug might help if taken a day or two prior.
These are the suggestions given by some bloggy friends. I often refer to them as my gURLfriends: (I’m totally paraphrasing and combining suggestions)
- Over the counter medication such as a 2- Tavist D and 2 Excedrin combo. With a Dr. Pepper chaser. Or a Frappuccino. Either way, I like it.
- Something to relieve the sinus pressure, like warm moist steam and even Vicks Vapo Rub. Also Sudaphed or Advil liqui-gels.
- An over the counter product called Head-On (applied directly to the forehead) and Activ-On (applied to the back of the neck).
- An ice pack for where the pain is most intense. (This is one that really helps me.)
- Getting plenty of sleep. (Again, good luck with that one if you have kids…)
The key is trying to recognize the warning signs and try to catch it before it gets bad by taking something to ward it off. I have several friends that swear by Excedrin Migraine formula. I remember this was the advice my gyn gave me when my cramps were so severe. She said to start taking (Motrin) a day before the onset of the cramps, and try to stay ahead of the pain by not missing a dose. This worked VERY well for pain management.
Also, diet can play an important role in how this can affect you. Thank you Melanie for this article! (But when you get to the line about avoiding chocolate, just do what I do and close your eyes, stick your fingers into your ears and hum your happy song.)
Menstrual Migraines are generally caused by the hormonal shifts that you experience as you enjoy your time being a WOMAN. This leads me to believe that I am going to TOTALLY ROCK MENOPAUSE and all the fresh hell that life experience will usher in.
If you have any other tips, thoughts, or observations regarding Menstrual Migraines, I would love to hear what you have to say!