Is Food a Migraine Trigger, Symptom or Craving?

Food is such a tricky thing to navigate with Migraine disease.  It is a trigger and I feel sick often when I eat a meal due to hidden triggers.  I’m often times nauseous during the day yet get sick if I don’t eat every few hours. I also crave foods as a symptom of an on coming Migraine.  It’s a constant struggle of how to eat food to nourish my body yet my body craves foods it won’t react well to or needs.

Here’s my story of how it reacts when it is having cravings prior to a Migraine:

Do you crave food before a Migraine?  Yes, sugar! Carbs!YES!YES!YES!

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Migraine Magick giveaway, review and discount code for Migraine natural spray

I was sent a bottle of Migraine Magick and roller to review* and have partnered with them to give away a bottle to one lucky winner!  I always have a roller of essential oils in my purse to use on my temples, forehead, neck, and wrists so I knew the roller would be handy. The roller is great for on the go but I really love the spray at home.

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What is Migraine Magick?

According to Lisa, owner and creator, it is “An integrative approach to self care, The Magick Brand™ bridges elements of ancient eastern medicines with the latest in western technology, infused with energy through precious minerals and gemstones….

The Magick Brand™ incorporates principles of eastern medicine focused on balancing energy within the mind, body and soul as fundamental to nurturing energy and well-being. Combined with the latest advances in biotechnology, quantum physics and frequency, the results provide an unparalleled synergy which noticeably transforms your body, mind and soul with each use.”

I will be honest in saying, I’m not sure how crystals work and how they balance or nurture the body. I tend to be a bit skeptical about gemstones healing me, but when I’m in chronic pain, I tend to be a bit more open towards options. I like the idea of stones and crystals and they are pretty but I haven’t been sure on how or if they can help.

I’ve been using the spray now for a few weeks and find it to be refreshing and light.  I love the spray because I spray my whole face.  With essential oils, I rub a specific pressure or pain point with the roller.  I like the spray because I can spray and treat my whole face. I get pain behind my eyes, temples, jaw, forehead, neck, shoulders and back of the head. I also spray my stomach when I’m nauseous and like it for treating the larger area. The spray can widely treat the pain areas without burning or too strong of smell all over.

Migraine Magick isn’t a “burning” type muscle rub.  I try a lot of different oils and rubs and this one isn’t strong smelling or burning (a slight tingle sometimes though).  I typically reach for it as I walk out the door with a raising headache, migraine or stressful day ahead of me.  I spray my face, neck and saturate my skin in Migraine Magick. It seems to be a product I keep reaching for.  It relaxes me and subtly soothes my wide spread pain without smelling like menthol.

The downfall is, Migraine Magick is a bit expensive.  With all the things I try, how do I know it will work for me and be worth the investment?  Well, I don’t know.  The only advice I can say is, try it!

I have 2 ways for you to try it today!

  1. Use code mymigrainelife to get $22 off your bottle. here

  2. Enter to win a bottle!!!!

Enter GIVEAWAY!

Ends 12/12/2017

Must comment on post and options for additional entries. No purchase necessary. See terms & conditions

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*Remember that there is no cure for Migraine.  The products I try often help relieve symptoms but do not make the Migraine “go away”.  I use products in my everyday life and at my own risk.  This post contains affiliate links but my opinions are my own.  Consult a doctor if you have any questions and good luck on your journey to finding relief.

I am Thankful Despite Migraine

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Happy November and welcome to the month of gratitude

My chronic illness has made me a thankful person in general.  I’m thankful when I’m not in my dark quiet room.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not in pain, but if I’m good enough to be out of bed, I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for many, many, people who love me for just who I am.  I have had to weed out the people who don’t understand but isn’t that life and maturity?  I’m at an age now where my confidence is at its highest.  I know who I am and have surrounded myself with people who truly deserve my time.  I can be knocked down and dragged out by my migraines at any moment so I don’t waste my time with people who don’t make me happier or feel better.

I’m thankful for cuddling with my husband and eating dessert while we watch our favorite TV show.  It’s the small things in life that count and I’m so thankful that I get to spend my life with him.  Waking up to his face allows me to put one foot in front of the other during my worst days and if I can’t walk, he’ll carry me.

I’m thankful for my kids more than words can explain.  I’m thankful for my body that carried those babies and fed them.  I had never been thankful for my body before my two children. Not many girls are in love with themselves due to way too many unrealistic expectations.  With that added to being chronically ill, I never gave myself credit for what it can do.  It’s easy to focus on how much my body restricts me but  I’m now grateful that my body gave me children that motivate me every day.

I’m grateful for my third child, who came to me first, my amazing dog.  She’s so much more than a dog, she gives me love that a human can’t and is one of my strongest therapies. (My dog my nurse my love)

As always I am thankful for my family.  My parents, my in laws, my sister and beyond are my rocks.  You don’t get to pick your family, but if I had the choice, I’d choose them.

The people that I have chosen and am so thankful for are my friends.  They are people who could have walked away from our friendships because of my illness.  Most of my best friends have seen me in a lot of pain, throw up, packed me in ice and have had me cancel plans due to my migraines.  But they love me, dry heaves and all.   I’m thankful to have the most loving, supportive, funny, intelligent and amazing women as my friends. They are great examples to my children on what true friendship means.

Up until last year I had been a stay at home mom and it was the most challenging and incredible experience.  I now have the opportunity to be a full time mom and part time teacher.  I am so thankful for the opportunity to join the work force again but mostly how I was received.  My boss and coworkers instantly became friends and confidants in life.  They are aware of my Migraines and not only are judgement free but are supportive.  They either have Migraines themselves, have a spouse who suffers or see Migraines as more than a headache and how it alters my life.  It is an accepting group and one that wants the best for each other.  My students and their family’s are people I go home each night feeling grateful that I get to be a part of their lives.  I love teaching and being able to go back while keeping my migraines in check during school hours has been a blessing. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to go back to teaching and it fills a void I had while being at home.

I’m grateful for the Migraine community and MyMigraineLife.  My life and confidence, once again, changed when I began my blog.  Fellow sufferers are so powerful in their words and encouragement and I am confident that it has saved and improved lives.  We have laughed and cried together while sharing stories, advocating for foundations and making steps towards greater health.

My list of thankfuls and gratefuls can go on forever.  I am so blessed!  I guess I can complain about migraines, and believe me I do, but being thankful is way more fun and productive.  Migraines are depressing and many people get sucked into the pain hole that seems too deep to come out of.  Remembering my blessings keeps me mentally battling with pain, nausea, aura, weakness, fatigue etc. in a more positive way. The mental battle is incredibly difficult and I’m so thankful I have so much to be thankful for and motivated to fight for.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting on my blog and thoughts.  I’m thankful for you!!!  Without your feedback there would be many days that I would not be able to continue my blog.  It is difficult and uses spoons I may not have.  Your comments, likes and shares motivate me because I know I’m helping you or someone who may stumble across this page.

Please add to my Thankful list.  I will compile the answers and post the list for Thanksgiving. Come back everyday and add something you are thankful.  Showing gratitude, even for the smallest things, gives strength.

What are you Thankful for?

The Excedrin Migraine Experience commercial

I have to say, I have not been happy with Excedrin Migraine commercials and advertising over the years.  I have not taken over the counter medication for my migraines in years.  Once I discovered it was giving me rebound headaches and causing my migraines to cycle, I stopped.  They never worked for the intensity of my migraines anyways, so it was not a problem to stop wasting my money.  I have been insulted by their, “shhhh mom has a migraine, not anymore now that I took an Excedrin Migraine” commercial.   It extends the stigma by saying I can pop one pill and my neurological disease will go away.

Things seem to have shifted in their advertising and understanding of migraine sufferers a bit more.  They have made a series of migraine experiences for a mother, a husband, a friend and a co worker.  This allows the person to experience the visual part of migraines a bit more.  Telling and seeing are different.  The experience cannot provide the pain that comes along with the visual disturbances but it does a good job of trying to break down some doubt in the “it’s just a headache” world.  I honestly would not want my loved ones to experience the pain that I have.  It would be ethically wrong to voluntarily torture someone.  The pain is an indescribable excruciating horror scene!   The focus of these commercials is on some of the other stuff that goes along with the pain. 

Overall, I have to say, bravo Excedrin Migraine.  You are moving in the right direction.  It’s more than just a headache.  It’s more than just a pill.  It’s my life.  It’s breaking down stigma, explaining and being judged by others, and suffering daily.  If you have a loved one, a spouse, a coworker, a friend or someone who may better understand by these commercials, please feel free to share it with them.

The Migraine Experience

Stomachaches and Migraines

I have always had severe nausea and vomiting with higher level migraines.  The pain becomes too much and my body just heaves in pain.  This weekend was no exception.  But lately I’ve had severe nausea with even my lighter daily migraines.  I knew it wasn’t a virus and I knew it was related to my migraines, but why?  I read a lot about my disease and since I started blogging have really taken better inventory on how I feel, when, why, and how I can treat it.  It has empowered me but also not gotten me much better. 

At my last neurologist appointment, we discussed my increased stomach pains during lower head pain migraines.  The results are that I’m having abdominal migraines.  I had guessed that this was what was happening to me but have only read about abdominal migraines in children.  I suggest that if you have a child with stomach issues to look more into abdominal migraines.  I have had migraines since I was a child but never really thought I had abdominal migraines.  So why now?

The conclusion my nurse and I came up with was Botox.  While my Botox is hit or miss and different each time, I have been getting it the most consistently over the last year.  While it is “freezing” my head, it is pushing my pain deeper.  It’s hard to explain to a non-sufferer.  While the exterior of my face and head have been treated, the inflammation triggers more deeply in my head and seems to radiate from the center of my head out.  It’s a burning poker pain being jabbed from the center to the exterior versus the outside in. 

How is this related to my abdominal migraines?  The conclusion we made was that the Botox is working but isn’t a cure, as we know.  So while it is working to help the “headache” it isn’t addressing the disease as a whole and leaving my stomach the opportunity to punish me more.  My head pain is so consistent and consuming that maybe I’ve always had abdominal migraines and never gave it much credit because my head was all I cared about.  Or maybe numbing some of the head pain made my disease morph into something else.  Let me preface this to say that my Botox is NOT causing my abdominal migraines.  Realizing that migraines are a neurological disease and not just a headache is something that ever suffer should fully grasp.  It is a wide range of symptoms and attacks on the body. 

So on to the next question…how do I treat it?  Migraine medication.  Which leads me to my next problem.  I take my migraine meds very sparingly.  I suffer daily and really only treat it when the level is rising quickly or been at a heightened level for days.  This may sound sacrificial but when you live in never ending pain, treatment becomes tricky.  I try to avoid rebounds, medication over use and more.  I try to save my meds for emergencies.  Now I’m advised to treat my abdominal migraines the same.  I get nervous taking meds for my stomach when my head pain isn’t heightened because I need to save those meds for when it is.  I can handle crazy stomach pains when I know what crazy head pains feel like.  Only so many triptans can be taken so often and I can’t risk taking one with an abdominal migraine with a larger ”head”  migraine looming.

So what do I do?  My nurse has no answer for me because her answer is to treat my abdominal migraine the same as a “regular” migraine.  So here’s my rock and hard place.  Pains if I do, pains if I don’t.  Stomach pain for my abdominal migraines, throwing up for my chronic migraines.  Lucky me!  So we think we figured out my new issue but once again my knowledge has not made me better.  One step forward in diagnosing abdominal migraine.  Two steps back on how and when I medicate my disease.  Sounds about right…..one step forward, two steps back.

Do you get stomach pains?  How do they relate to your migraines?  How do you treat it?  Remember that my story is not yours, but maybe we can learn from each other.

The Green Juice debate with Migraine

You have all seen it. The picture of the green juice with the red letters that say, Migraine Reliever. Then a list of fruit and vegetables excreta to relieve your migraine. Here are the two debates that I see. I love that this is a discussion.
1. Passing along buzz words, pins, commercials or whatever “miracle” item that is trendy is not going to cure me.
I am often subject to unsolicited advice. Kind of like when I was pregnant and a new mom. Way too many opinions but with great warmth behind it. I have been told many things to do, take and become in order to “heal” myself of migraines. Most of them prove how very uninformed non migraine sufferers are. Green drinks, Excedrin migraine, sticking my feet in a sink or whatever trendy pin that is being tossed around won’t heal me. The informed group that I do listen to is still grasping at straws and has been for my entire life. Unsolicited advice is often irritating but I’ve learned to take it in stride and try to learn or discard the misinformation given. I used to just roll my eyes at advice but now I see it as a sign that I am cared about. When someone sends me something, I know that they are thinking of me and trying to help. Now that I am more informed about my own health and headaches, I welcome any suggestions and add it to my bag of arsenal. Everyone is different and reacts differently.  I am no exception. One thing will not heal me but finding a combination that can balance me is always the goal. I, now, try to look into any advice given to me to see if it fits my situation.

2. As a migraine suffer, no magic potion is going to make my neurological disease go away.
Going along with what I said before, one thing will not “cure” me. The more I learn about myself the more I find that it takes a well rounded approach to health. Since my medication vacation, I have tried to refrain from being placed back on preventative daily medication so I have looked into alternatives. Green drinks do seem to make me feel better. My body seems to be less irritated when I eat/drink anti inflammatory foods. This is not to say that I don’t eat a ton of cookies and candy. I am not on a restricted migraine diet and only eliminate trigger foods. Once again, everyone is so different, but I see the green drink as beneficial to my life. I try to drink them when I can. With that said, I could never stomach the stuff while in the throes of a migraine. I get super nauseous, often throw up from the pain and can barely stomach water and crackers with my meds. I have never reached for a green drink during this time to “rescue” me. I could never live without my rescue meds. It is strictly a preventative for me that I use with many other tricks that I’ve learned over the years.

It’s all about finding the right balance for me!  I still haven’t found it  and am not sure if I ever will with  body and life changes.  I just continue to try and welcome any advice (even if some of it is completely asinine.)