I’m a migraineur and this is my personal formula for dealing with migraines
DISCLAIMER: The information shared in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is written for entertainment purposes only. Please consult with your healthcare provider for the management of your specific health concerns.
I’ve had migraines for as long as I’ve had a memory and the ability to communicate my experiences. These nasty migraines put a stop to my day (sometimes days). The worst migraine of my life was when I went a whole week without taking any painkillers. I was trying to use aromatherapy oils to manage my migraines instead. Big mistake. It hit me so hard while I was at work. The waves of nausea with pain were so intense. I felt I wasn’t in my head and that at any moment I would collapse. Thankfully, I was able to assign my responsibilities to someone else and leave.
There was also one time when I was at university and had to spend a few hours at a clinic where I went out of desperation due to not being able to manage my migraine by myself. They gave me anti-nausea medication and ibuprofen. And they let me sleep in one of the exam rooms with the lights off and covered me with a little blanket. I am so grateful they understood how to care for me and that they let me stay there until I was able to go back to my dorm.
A few years ago, my doctor prescribed a tiny pill called topiramate. For the first time in my life, I experienced what it is like to live without the anguish that comes with having a migraine. It was such a bizarre and beautiful experience. I had to stop this pill unfortunately due to some side effects, but I really enjoyed that weird pain-free, migraine-free life while it lasted.
Last month, I made an amazing discovery. I discovered the exact combination of ingredients that have the power to cure my migraine in just a few hours! This formula is years in the making. I’ve tried each of these ingredients in various doses and various combinations over time. However, it’s only when I’ve used them all together have I noticed a significant reduction in the time it takes for my migraines to go away.
Here’s my new personal formula for managing migraines
Ingredient one: Ibuprofen.
Generic or brand names from anywhere in the world will do the job. I’ve tried syrups, tablets, chewable versions, and gel capsules. My preference is gel capsules. Ideally, these should be taken earlier into the start of a migraine. Ibuprofen gets less effective if the migraine has persisted already for a few hours.
Ingredient two: Fast food. Fries are a must.
Usually they say that fast food triggers migraines and is best avoided. In my case, it’s the only thing my body wants and needs. Fries and Coke, sometimes with a burger (or shawarma). My go-to used to be McDonald’s fillet-o-fish combo. It’s the one that worked best. But recently I tried baked-from-frozen fries (McCain’s), with ketchup and mayo. No Coke or sandwich. It worked!
Ingredient three: Lime water.
Homemade. Made with cold water and a decent amount of lime squeezed in. Lemon can be used instead, but lime is best. Enough for small sips over an hour. This helps with nausea and hydration.
Ingredient four: The song.
I have a playlist saved on my Apple Music called Headache Cure. There’s one song in that playlist. It’s 29 minutes and 52 seconds long. I play it on repeat, either while in bed or laying on my sofa. I recommended this soundtrack to another migraineur and they reported back that IT REALLY HELPED.
And that’s it. That’s my new formula! Four simple ingredients.
Beyond these four ingredients, I’m currently practicing lifestyle changes (like sleeping well) and taking supplements (like magnesium) for different reasons, but I know that such practices help with reducing the occurrences of migraines as well.
Some soothing extras, but they aren’t part of my formula
- Gently brushing fingers through my hair (preferably someone else’s fingers — the sensation is much nicer)
- Pinching my eyebrows (particularly on the side that is affected by the migraine)
- Tapping my eyes (also on the side most affected by the migraine)
Three things to avoid for the formula to be most effective
- Lights. Definitely no sunlight — in my case it’s often a trigger in itself, along with heat. No bright lamps or desk lights. No light from screens either, especially TV and laptops. Dimmed phone screens can work, periodically.
- Sounds. Again no TV and no music except for the one song identified above. No loud places, no parties, schools, offices, malls, construction sites, social Zoom calls…
- Conversations. This is not just about the sounds they produce, but also the energy that goes into understanding the other person and even more with articulating myself.
I’d love to know what other migraineurs do to manage their migraines, if anyone relates to any of my strategies, and if anyone else gives that song a try!