There is no doubt about it . . . after 15 years of dealing with migraine headaches, I can assure you that the #1 worst thing about getting them is the pain. It always feels as if half your forehead is exploding. Sometimes that comes with extreme audio sensitivity. I once had a migraine while someone was mowing their yard – 2 blocks away – and the sound of the mower made the pain worse. Sometimes the migraine causes visual distortions instead – which can range from a slight “halo” effect to everything you see all the way to total blindness. I’ve experienced both extremes.
But, have you ever considered what the #2 worst thing about getting a migraine headache might be? It might surprise you, but not if you know that a migraine can last from 3-4 DAYS. It’s sleep deprivation. When you get a migraine, you can’t sleep properly, so you drift off whenever you can, and the pain wakes you back up as soon as it can. It puts you into a yo-yo cycle that just leaves you feeling drained. You don’t get the quality sleep that you need, so even the sleep you get doesn’t help.
Oh, and the #3 thing about getting a migraine? Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it is that I haven’t yet found a medication I can take for them that will actually control/prevent the migraine without causing worse problems. The last med my doctor tried me on actually triggered a migraine. The first 2-3 that the doctor wanted to try all were known to cause hallucinations, so I never attempted to take them.
I’d love to try one of those TENS units that is specially designed for migraine treatment, but at a cost of $400 that has to come out of our pocket . . . . .
I was talking recently with a friend I’ve known for years who is reading my blogs, and she asked about my migraines. Not just the sort of idle “How are you” question, but like she had something to share. So, I filled her in on the whole back story; what the likely cause is, when they started, how long I’ve been dealing with them, how often I get them – everything.
Then she confided that she also had a history of getting them. Then she told me about something a relative in Canada sent her, and shared this link with me: http://www.cefaly.ca/
It is a TENS-type of therapy, which is proven and reliable for other things, and even available by prescription for migraine therapy in the US. But for some reason (probably because the US has regulated it for prescription only) the company does not accept orders from the US. IMHO – that should be considered criminal. They sell TENS units without prescription for all sorts of things, including back pain, but I can’t get one for my migraines unless a doctor at the VA is willing to write a prescription for it (and that is assuming the VA even includes it in their schedule of therapies).
Well, I’ve asked the nurse at the VA to ask my doctor about it. If I can get one, I certainly will.
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Been up since before 9:00 yesterday morning, or nearly 24 hours with no sleep. Why? Had a full-blown migraine since 7:00 last night. The only pain-killer I’ve ever used that helps is Excedrin – which has a half-ton of caffeine per tablet. So, no sleep, caffeine buzz, and still got the headache.