Carole lost a lot of time to
migraines. Instead of playing with her children, she would lie on her bed in
the dark, with a bag of ice on her head.
"I kept thinking I could
stop the migraines if I would just lie down and be still and quiet," says the
41-year-old mother of two. "It hardly ever worked."
When a migraine
got really bad, Carole would take her over-the-counter and prescription
medicines to stop it. "Sometimes my migraines would still be bad
after I took the medicines. Sometimes they were lighter.
But I found that my migraines were worse if I waited to take my
After talking with her doctor, Carole realized that she
needed to treat her headaches right away. "I always used to wait too long to
take my medicine. Now I take it as soon as I start to feel the twinges of
"I've always been so against taking any kind of drugs,"
Carole says. "Maybe that's why I waited so long."
She even thought
it was a weakness to reach for her medicine right away. "I don't think that
Carole takes medicines to
stop a migraine when she gets a headache. And she takes another kind of
medicine every day to prevent her migraines.
medicine has helped. "I used to have a couple migraines a week some months. Now
I go several months without one. I usually can tell when
one is coming on, because lights start to look really bright to me.
And then I feel a stab of pain behind my eye. When that happens, I know the
headache will hit soon. That's when I take my medicine. Sometimes it keeps the
headache from coming. If I still get a migraine, it's usually not as bad as it
would be if I didn't take my medicine."
Along with taking
medicine, Carole is trying other ways to prevent her headaches. Stress has been
a trigger for her migraines in the past.
has reduced her stress by taking a yoga class twice a
week. She also walks several times a week. And she does relaxation exercises
for several minutes every day when she gets home from work.
exercises "give me a few minutes to calm myself and transition to the evening
with my family. I feel better and less stressed. I can't help but think it's
helping with the headaches too."
This story is based on information gathered from many people living with migraines.
For more information, see the topics:
June 4, 2013
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
& Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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