What triggered a migraine for me may have no effect on someone else. For many people, coffee can relieve symptoms somewhat, but for me it was a trigger. You really have to find out what affects you individually.

-Morgan Fairchild

Aunt Flow Meet My Migraine

Cramps and migraines. Yep. Holy heavens. Talk about a doozey.

I’m currently on the Nuvaring, which is a small, flexible vaginal ring. You put it in for 3 weeks, take it out, then put a new one in a week later. It’s just as effective as the pill, and you don’t have to think about taking it every day. It’s great. I love it.

However, when I first got on the Nuvaring years ago, my OBGYN informed me I could “skip” my period…ahhhhhh!! This was some of the best news ever! You mean I could skip my period each month?!!! Like not have to worry about tampons and especially during the summer months?? This was amazing!!

My OBGYN had suggested I skip it because I was having such bad headaches and thought that because of the drop in estrogen just before Flow arrived that it would prevent my headaches.

After “skipping” Miss Flow on and off for a year or so, and finally admitting that to my neurologist this past year, I connected the two. Holy moly! I can’t do this anymore! For whatever reason, Aunt Flow had something to do with my migraines and unfortunately I have to surf the crimson wave in order for me to not have raging migraines each month. Once I stopped “skipping,” my migraines weren’t so angry anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I still have them but for me there is definitely a correlation between my hormones and my migraines.

For now, I’m on new migraine medications that seems to be working well even when my aunt comes to visit.

Medications

I’ve been on several different medications since my diagnosis of migraines about 15 years ago.  I’ve had side effects with almost all of them and I thought I would share what I’ve been on and what has and has not worked for me.

What worked for me may or may not work for you. However, when I read other people’s blogs I may discover an unknown medication and discuss it with my neurologist.

Work Modifications

So after my most recent wicked migraine attacks, I realized I needed to make some modifications to my work space. I’m very sensitive to light and noise when having an attack and I also almost always experience an aura that occurs prior to the migraine: blurry vision, dizziness, confusion. You get the jist.

I work as an executive assistant for two executives. Love love my job but unfortunately I work under some brutal fluorescent lighting. I tried wearing a visor but that didn’t really work so I ended up wearing my polarized Ray Ban sunglasses with a scarf to block the lighting from the top (see picture! And you can even see how bright the office is!). I’ve also turned down my monitor brightness and I’ve started wearing my glasses more than my contacts.

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However, our company’s lawyer advised me that I may offend others with my getup and I definitely do not want to do that by any means. I just want to get rid of all the lighting!!! Give me a dark room ASAP!!

So after some pleading, I was able to get some of the fluorescent bulbs turned off above my desk. However that is not a permanent fix and I’m looking for more realistic modifications.

I’ll take your suggestions and tips! Comment below!

What are Chronic Migraines?

According to the International Headache Society, chronic migraines are defined as more than 15 headache days per month over a three-month period of which more than 8 are migraines, in the absence of medication over use.  Which to me means, if you get migraines more than 8 times in 3 months, then yes, you have chronic migraines.

I don’t believe I ever thought I did not have chronic migraines but I also thought I never thought I did. I didn’t realize how bad my migraines were until two weeks ago, I had 8-9 migraines in 7 days.  Woah baby! What a week that was! I could barely function at work.

It’s Not Just a Headache

Unfortunately I have been suffering from migraines for about 15 years and in the last year they’ve gotten worse. I feel compelled to share my experiences with chronic migraines.  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve researched online and realized that I’m not alone when dealing with migraines.  I have never met anyone outside of my family who suffers from migraines like I do. So I want to use blogging as a way to connect to people who may suffer or know people who do.