October 31, 2022
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It took me years of learning to finally get to a place where I feel confident managing my migraine symptoms.
When I was first diagnosed, the world of migraine was brand-new to me.
It’s taken years of learning, and a lot of trial and error, to get to a place where I feel armed with the skills and tools I need to navigate life with chronic migraine. I hope that sharing these common migraine mistakes, that so many of us make, will help you on your own journey of learning to live with and manage migraine.
Whether it’s to your doctor, your colleagues, your friends, or even your partner, downplaying your migraine symptoms is never a good idea. Migraine is already extremely stigmatized and misunderstood, don’t add to this by minimizing the extent migraine affects you.
It can sometimes feel like we are protecting those around us by downplaying our symptoms. Sometimes it can feel like there’s pressure to just push through and “soldier on.”
However, in reality, by doing this we are just adding to the stigma around migraine and making life even harder for ourselves.
Unfortunately, many of us who live with daily migraine symptoms start to accept their occurrence as the “new normal.”
It’s really important to remember that whatever you’re experiencing is valid and your pain may not be normal. It’s essential that we make sure to communicate our daily experiences clearly to our doctors.
Migraine diaries can provide fantastic insight into the nature of migraine. However, many people will only record the days on which they have a full-blown migraine attack. This can be a big mistake.
It’s important to make note of all of the days in a month when you have pain or symptoms that could be related to migraine.
Someone with daily head pain and migraine attacks on 3 days of the month presents a very different picture if they just report 3 attack days versus saying they have 30 head pain days and 3 attack days.
When keeping a migraine diary, try to record the days you have a migraine attack and the days of the month you’re symptomatic. Reporting more thoroughly can help your doctor better understand the extent of your migraine and make a more accurate diagnosis.
Preventive migraine treatments can be accompanied by an array of unpleasant side effects. Because of this, sometimes people give up on preventive treatments quickly.
However, it’s important to give preventive treatments enough time to work. Many migraine prophylaxes can take weeks or months to have a significant impact on the frequency or severity of your attacks.
It’s easy to throw in the towel too soon if you don’t see progress and are experiencing side effects. It can take time to build up to the correct dose of a particular medication and often side effects will become less severe over time.
If you’re experiencing uncomfortable side effects and are considering stopping treatment because of them, discuss your concerns with your doctor.
Your doctor may be able to help figure out if it’s worth sticking it out and if there’s a way to make the side effects less troublesome.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to rely on medication alone to manage migraine.
If you haven’t already, spend some time building a migraine toolkit that has all the things that help you during an attack.
Putting all the items together in a bag or purse makes it so much easier to access what you need when you have an attack. Consider including ice packs, heat pads, neuromodulation devices, ear plugs, eye masks, and anything that helps you to manage the pain and symptoms that come with a migraine attack.
It can be useful to put together some mini versions of your toolkit to take out and about with you or to keep in your car or at your office.
If you’re struggling to think of what to include in your own toolkit, it can help to connect with the Bezzy Migraine community online.
Check out the Complementary Therapies forum and the Medication and Treatments forum to get some ideas from people who get what you’re going through.
A common migraine mistake that many of us are guilty of is not treating at the first sign of
We often wait, deliberating on whether we need to treat the attack or not. In turn, we can miss the window to take medication that can help us treat the attack successfully.
The earlier you treat an attack, the better your chance of successfully aborting the attack. Some abortive migraine medications cannot be used more than about 10 times a month without the risk of complications. If you have more than 10n attacks a month, this creates a problem.
It’s extremely stressful to feel like you have to pick which attacks need medication and which ones just need to be toughed out. If you find that you’re having more migraine days a month than you can take acute treatment for, speak with your doctor about figuring out a prevention and treatment plan.
If these mistakes sound all too familiar to you, know that you are not alone.
There are so many positive changes you can make to ensure you’re setting yourself up for migraine success.
Medically reviewed on October 31, 2022
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