If you’ve never had a migraine then I would like you to come on a journey with me…just imagine closing your eyes for a sec, and just try and remember the worst headache you have ever had. A hangover is probably the best example. Now focus that pain on one side of your head and multiply that pain by a couple of hundred or so. Add in some funky flashing lights and an inability to bear external stimuli such as light or sound. Also, you may be sick a few times too. Now that my friend is a migraine.
Migraine is relatively common effecting about 18% of woman and 6% of men. There are two types of migraine, the first is “migraine with aura” which is what I have started to explain above, they tend to come with other symptoms. Then we have “migraine without aura” which is just the headache. I personally experience slight migraine with aura as I tend to feel very sensitive towards light as well as the headache. I have always suffered with terrible migraines, sometimes they would go on for days and I would end up feeling like the walking dead. They would get so bad all I would want to do is lay down somewhere dark and quiet, shut away from the world. As I mentioned before there are times where my eyes are especially sensitive to light and cause even more of a headache. It really can effect my social life as I just become grumpy and tired.
I wanted to write about how I ‘survive’ the migraines I do get in hope that I can help anybody reading this. I can’t promise that any of these tips will work for you as well as they do for me, but there’s no harm in trying! I simply take 3 steps…
Step 1 – My absolute savour; Peppermint Oil
Hallelujah to essential oils!!!!!! I only discovered what an absolute miracle peppermint oil is a couple of months ago. One day I was experiencing a bad migraine which is when my mum suggested dabbing a few drops of this onto my forehead, never did I think it would actually work, but it sure did. Peppermint oil is very strong so you do need to be careful when applying it that you don’t get it into your eyes (like I have) as it can badly sting. The best way I can describe the effect the essential oil has is soothing and cooling. It really calms down the pain from the headache and I love it. It really is my go to product and I’m so happy I discovered it. I would apply the Peppermint oil before taking any kind of medication.
Step 2 – Cool compress
This doesn’t have to be an ice pack, it can be any kind of cool compress. I’ve found that just by placing something cold onto my head it can really ease the pain. Whenever I visit my boyfriends house and I have a headache, they have these soft ice packs which you put in some kind of sling that you can wrap around your forehead…. Magical! I’m not 100% sure where they got them from, I believe it was Lidl but a very long time ago. I really recommend trying this method out. Try not to get brain freeze!
Step 3 – Of course, the painkillers
Now if you’re anything like me, you’re a complete baby when it comes to taking tablets. I’ve been like this for years and I drive myself mad. I don’t know if it’s just all in my mind but my body never seems to agree with swallowing tablets. I can’t do it with water. But still no matter how much fizzy drink I do it with I still sometimes manage to start choking on a it as it just won’t go down. I then get into even more of a panic. What a nightmare! During the past 2 years or so I have got a lot better at it though. Especially when it comes to a bad migraine, I can no longer stand the pain so I just have to force myself to do it. Ibuprofen is my best choice. I do try my best to not take any tablets… but sometimes there’s just no other option!
So, there’s the 3 steps that I take in order for me to somehow ‘survive’ a migraine. I hope it’s helped any of you who are looking for other ways to help your own experience with headaches. I’m not saying that the things I do work all the time, because they dont. There are days where the headache just won’t budge. Please let me know anything that you use or do to help with your headaches and migraines! I would love to know so I can try new things out.