As a person that has long suffered the pain of migraines I actually get sick to my stomach anytime my menstrual cycle is coming up. Because I know for a solid week I am going to suffer with a menstrual migraine. Unless you have experienced the pain of a menstrual migraine it’s almost too hard to put into words.
I currently take Topamax daily to try to prevent my horrible migraines and Maxalt to treat them when the Topamax fails. I have lived off these two medications for the past two years and many others in the past. Lately the medications do not seem to work, and every day of my life I deal with a dull ache and roar in my head. It makes some days unbearable to even want to get out of bed.
When my menstrual cycle is due I start shutting out the lights, pulling out my sunglasses, ensuring the icepacks are in the freezer and lastly making sure a tube of Icy Hot and my bandana are all on hand. While this may all sound crazy to some it’s how I deal with the unsought of a menstrual migraine.
Ice helps freeze the nerves out and I use ice on the back of my neck to try to numb some of the pain. This begins to become troublesome for me though because I also suffer from Reynaud’s disease which makes it unbearable to hold the ice pack. Next I put ICY Hot on my forehead and tie a bandana around my forehead. I am not sure why this eases some of the pain, but it was something my mother handed down to me and who am I to argue when a menstrual migraine hits. I usually sit in the dark with no noise with sunglasses on due to the light sensitivity and searing pain that rips through my head when I look at any light.
As I write this and share my story with you I have an upcoming appointment to change my medications because they are no longer effective after two years of use. It feels like I have a very angry demon in my head and he is drilling his way out.
As any suffer of menstrual migraines know that during the time of an “attack” you do nothing and everything bothers you. Sound, light, motion, everything! It’s all you can do sometimes is get up to use the restroom without throwing up or passing out. One of the most important things you can do is build a support team of people who will support you during your menstrual migraines. Surround yourself with people who understand that it’s not just a common headache that a few aspirin will cure.