Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Migraine ToolKit: ways to manage your life with migraines

Migraine Mum hasn't taken a triptan drug for 12 days!!!

This is big news! Well may be it won't quite make the BBC news headlines, but I feel like I need to tell someone! I'm usually reaching for a triptan every 3 to 5 days but this last fortnight I seem to be able to rely on aspirin. I am having headpain every day now, not a migraine but a low level ache in my eyes and head/neck.

You may be wondering how or why the long term pattern of a migraine every 2-3 days has changed.......

Well to be absolutely honest, I don't know.
  • The children have gone back to school and my youngest is doing 2 more sessions at nursery than last year.......more space, less stress?
  • I have been trying to get more sleep (though the children have been waking me a lot over the last few weeks and I know I am very tired)
  • I have reduced the amount of sugar by eating a lot less cakes, biscuits and puddings.
  • May be finally the gluten and dairy free diets are paying off?
  • I've resumed my pilates stretches and a small amount of exercise.
  • Saw my cranial osteopath two weeks ago?
The puzzle continues. There is no one thing that is a cure. As we migraineurs know, what works for one person, doesn't for the next. But we are all like mechanics, carrying many tools in our toolkit in order to 'fix' this illness. What I firmly believe is that we can all build our own toolkits to manage our own migraines and the people around us effectively.

Here's some guidelines for building your toolkit based on The Pain Toolkit (

Tool 1: accept that you have migraines...this can help with how you deal with the migraine and how you respond to it emotionally.
Tool 2: Build a support around you: friends, a good Dr, family, other migraineurs, blogs(!), join the Migraine Trust/Migraine Action
Tool 3: Pace yourself: try not to over do it on the days you feel well
Tool 4: Learn to prioritize and plan out your days. Build in relax time and fun. What brings you to life? What calms you?
Tool 5: Set yourself goals and action plans
Tool 6: Be patient with yourself (the migraine is a sign that you need to  step back and look after yourself, be kind to yourself)
Tool 7: Learn relaxation skills (you have to teach yourself to do this!)
Tool 8: Stretching exercise (pilates, yoga) and Exercise (take it steady)
Tool 9: Keep a diary and track your progress
Tool 10: Have a set back plan: who can you call for help? Let others step in when you can't manage. You don't have to be superwoman.
Tool 11: look after your body: eat healthily, drink lots of water.
Tool 12: Keep all of this up! It is a way of life and it will help you to feel you have a life...

Good Luck! Oh and by the way, I am going to the Migraine Conference in London, this Sunday the 23rd September 2012. It is a public session, so anyone can go, see or phone 0207 631 6970. I will no doubt be blogging about it next week.

No comments: