By Mikayla (Guest Blogger) –
It starts with blurry vision, like maybe my contacts are a little dry, so I rub my eyes. Then come the flashes of light and the black spots floating in my eyes. The left side of my face begins to feel heavy, as well as my left arm and leg.
This is a hemiplegic migraine.
If you’re one of the few who suffers from these rare migraines you know that this is when the panic starts to set in. No matter what type of migraine you or your loved one suffers from you know there is going to be a degree of anxiety accompanied by it.
Now, after 5 long years of fighting migraines I’ve learned that prevention and preparedness is key, which is why my migraine rescue kit is so valuable to me.
Prevention is Crucial
Let’s start from the beginning: preventing the migraine. A few things I do to prevent migraines are take my prescribed prevention cocktail, stay hydrated, and avoid triggers. My current prevention medications are Propranolol and Topiramate with Fiorcet as my rescue med. So far I’ve had great luck with these medications as they act not only as migraine prevention but treat my tachycardia and essential tremor as well! However, everyone is different so do your research and consult with your doctor.
I am also notorious for carrying water or Gatorade around with me because I know that dehydration is a huge trigger for me. Other triggers for me include bright lights, flashing lights, not eating often, my period, and heat. I try to avoid my triggers at all costs whether that means looking away from flashing lights or lugging around my water bottle.
Preparing a Kit
Okay, so we’ve been feeling a little sluggish lately and think a migraine is coming on. Instead of working us up, and getting upset about a possible migraine let’s prepare. I cannot stress enough making your own migraine rescue kit, tailored to your specific needs.
Now, your rescue kit doesn’t necessarily have to be a kit. It could just be a collection of items that help you win the battle against your beast of a migraine. A few things I can’t live without are two things of opposite temperatures, my ice pack for the sharp pains behind my left eye, and my shower chair to just sit in the shower and let the warm water soothe me.
Another thing is my bedroom, of course, and a trash can. When the nausea hits and stays with me, I find that it intensifies when my head starts pounding. You know when your head feels like it has a heartbeat? Yeah, me too. I keep a trash can, as close to the edge of my bed as possible — JUST IN CASE! I can go from a little nausea to vomiting quicker than you can say, “Ew, that’s gross.” If none of those things are working for me I lay on the hardwood floor; it’s so cool and during a migraine I’ll do just about anything.
Finally, please keep your cellphone on you during a migraine. I keep my phone on me to text during migraines because my words are completely jumbled up and generally others can’t make sense of them. This is common for hemiplegic migraine, but can happen with other migraine types as well.
If you’re a multiple chronic illness fighter like myself you already keep your phone on you at all times in case of an emergency. However, if you aren’t please do! My cellphone is one of the most vital parts of my migraine rescue kit, and although it doesn’t give me any relief it does ease my mind knowing that I still can communicate during a severe migraine.
Unfortunately, I know I will face many more migraines in the future but my rescue kit puts a lot of my anxiety to rest and I completely encourage creating your own!