Migraines...This Thirty-Something Moms Worst Nightmare

Migraines...This Thirty-Something Moms Worst Nightmare

I started getting ocular migraines in my early twenties. If you have never experienced one, let me tell you...they are trip. The first time I had one I was convinced I was going blind. I remember calling my mom super worried...but I also remember being glad I called her because she knew what was going on immediately (Moms know everything). See, my Grandma also had ocular migraines much the same as me. 

In my early migraine days it was like the 4th of July was going on in my vision. I had firecracker like halos. But that also seemed to be the only migraine symptom I had a the time. I figured, no skin off my back...I totally can handle this. Then I had my first child and I noticed the ocular portion of the migraine got more frequent. Apparently hormonal changes can cause ocular migraines to be more frequent during pregnancy. But I still didn't seem to have any of the other migraine type symptoms. Then I had my second child and I had my first full blown migraine. For those who have never experienced a migraine....Feel blessed. It's like this soul sucking event that takes you away from being a functional adult for 24-72 hours, or sometimes even longer (and I haven't even mentioned the rebound headaches yet...yep, that's a thing). By the time I got pregnant with my third child, I was experiencing migraines frequently. It seemed like with every pregnancy the migraines got worse. Again, hormonal changes. But here I am, six-month after the birth of my third child and the migraines seem like they are here to stay for a while. 

That being said, I've noticed a pattern of symptoms I tend to have leading up to a migraine attack...

  • Exhaustion sets in: The kind where I could curl up and sleep for hours. But I usually can't because I'm chasing the kids around.

  • I get really cranky for no particular reason: I'm usually always apologizing to my husband for snapping at him. And I don't realize why until after the migraine attack.

  • Nausea: I notice I sometimes get really nauseous a day or so before the onset of a migraine. 

  • The halo: About thirty minutes to an hour before my migraines sets in I get the halo. It used to be the firecrackers (like I mentioned above) but now my halo seems to be more of a zig-zag effect. I usually can not see out of my right eye very well while this is going on. 

  • Numbness in my arm: I was convinced I was having a stroke the first time this happened. I was pregnant with my third child and I called my husband freaking out because my entire right arm was numb. I could not feel a thing. Turns out it is another symptom of a migraine coming on. And sure enough, thirty minutes later...boom, the migraine hit. 

You would think all these symptoms would be a big yellow bus that a migraine is on the way, but I often don't put two and two together until the halo sets in. And there are so many other symptoms out there...these are just the ones I've noticed regarding my particular migraine pattern.

I've also noticed certain things that seem to set my migraines off....

1. Candles: I can no longer burn candles for long periods of time. The smells seem to trigger a migraine attack. Which is incredibly sad to me because I LOVE some candles. That being said, I've made the switch to essential oils (more on that later). 

2. Dehydration: This is probably the one I struggle with the most. I keep a water tumbler with me at all times as a reminder to drink. I've noticed if I get the littlest bit dehydrated I will have the onset of a migraine. 

3. Stress: We all have it and it's hard to avoid, but this is definitely a huge trigger. I think this is the most well known migraine symptom. I have noticed I have a migraine three to four days after I have gone through a large amount of stress.  

4. Sensory stimuli: Want to feel old? Loud music and strobe lights...ya, they usually cause me to have a migraine now. I took my son to a roller skating party a few months back and I spent the next day regretting my decision. Smells, like the candles I mentioned above, also fall into this category.

5. Alcohol (which probably leads to my dehydration): Alcohol can cause dehydration. I've noticed as I have gotten older, if I drink a large glass of wine I really have to make sure to drink water with it. 

6. That time of the month: Hormonal changes. Enough said. Yep. 

7. Eating bad: If I go on a junk food bender, it's migraine city for me. I've noticed that a moderate keto based diet really helps keep my migraines in check. 

This is just my particular journey through migraines. Everybody's will be different. That being said, here are some of the items that help me get through a migraine attack.... 

1. Excedrin Migraine: I have a big bottle of this at home. BUT the kicker is, I always make sure to keep some in my purse or diaper bag in case a migraine hits. The second I have a halo I immediately take it. Note though, you can't take excedrin migraine while pregnant, so you'll need to talk to your OB about what you can take. Also, be careful of taking too much migraine medication as you can end up with rebound headaches. I know, when you are in extreme pain all you want is for it to stop. But I have experienced rebound headaches and they are not fun. 

2. Essential oils: I talked about sensory stimuli and candles. Some are more sensitive to particular smells. This might not work for everyone but it has worked for me. I use Plant Therapy KidSafe Tension Tamer in my diffuser during a migraine attack. I rotate thirty minutes on, thirty minutes off. They also have a roll on (pre diluted) that you can put on the back of your neck. I also believe DoTerra has their own version, I haven't tried it but it might be worth having a go. I've listed the link to the undiluted version below for ease.  

3. BeKool Soft Gel Sheets: These are a nice (like a migraine could ever be nice) added touch when I am in misery. Again, I listed the link below for ease.

4. MigraSoothe: Much like essential oils, this is just another roll on I tend to use. Again, listed below for ease.

There is hope though. Research has shown that as you age, the migraines tend to get less and less frequent. So I guess, here is to getting older.....?

I would love to hear about your journey through migraines, or if you have any particular products/things that help. Please feel free to leave a comment. 

With love, 

Brittany

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