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Migraine - how do u cope?

(32 Posts)
Bluebirdsky Thu 26-Oct-17 14:10:54

Hi Everyone,

I have suffered with chronic migraine since my early 20's I get about 10-15 a month but they are generally well managed with dissolvable aspirin and triptan medication.

I got my BFP on Tuesday, first pregnancy, and have literally had a migraine ever since. It's on the right side of my head rather than my usual left (this has happened before but it's rare for me). I have taken paracetamol and ibuprofen on the advice of my GP but not surprisingly they have had little to no effect.

I'll be honest I am feeling pretty miserable right now. I can't work/function and the thought of being like this for weeks (or months) longer is getting me down. I feel terrible for saying this as I am genuinely delighted and very grateful to be pregnant but this has completely taken the joy away.

Can any fellow migraine sufferers please give me hints, tips or advice on how you have coped? I am desperate and will try anything.

Thank you smile

hotcookie Thu 26-Oct-17 15:30:02

Ice pack on the back of the neck, stimulate acupressure points (temples, between eyes, fleshy bit between thumbs, just in from the point of elbow)

Sleep, & plenty of water. I take Magnesium supplements too. (I used to take CoQ10 but stopped when got a positive test)

Gentle dialogue TV shows to drown out the thumping helps me too.

I'm not able to take triptans due to the type of migraine I have it increases the risk of stroke apparently, so for years I've had to just cope with co-codamol. Now it's paracetemol only. have tried acupuncture but it doesn't really help. Heat pack to the neck sometimes helps (as neck pain/trigger points can play a part in migraines)

Just to say-I was told no NSAIDs (ibuprofen etc) by doctor and midwife, so I would double check that.

lookingforthecorkscrew Thu 26-Oct-17 15:37:24

GP just prescribed me codeine for first trimester migraines - so have a chat to yours!

redexpat Thu 26-Oct-17 15:42:10

Gingerale helps with the nausea.

Bluebirdsky Thu 26-Oct-17 16:47:43

Thanks everyone,

Codeine tends to give me rebound headaches so I try to avoid but good to know it's an options as a last resort.

The latest NICE advice says the ibuprofen is ok in the first and second trimester but not in the third; https://cks.nice.org.uk/migraine#!scenario:2

Just ordered myself a big ice pack from Amazon and bought some 4head hoping they will help a bit smile

Lulublu Thu 26-Oct-17 18:22:19

I find 4head helps alleviate, and codeine can pretty much stave them off if I catch it developing in time. Talk to your GP about the options available. I get weekly migraines when not pregnant, but three or four in nine months when I am so hopefully pregnancy will have a positive impact on yours too. I know you said codeine isn’t great with you so the gp may be able to advise you of alternatives. I found some gps much more willing to prescribe to pregnant women than others so do push it if you feel you are not getting the care you need.

Hannahf89 Thu 26-Oct-17 18:24:29

@Bluebirdsky sorry to hear your suffering. I suffered with menstrual migraine before pregnancy and hoped the lack of periods during pregnancy would mean they'd go. Not the case, think the hormones have just made it worse. I have a 3 day migraine every few days. I've been smothering my head in 4head which is quite good. My Dr did say that the triptans aren't strictly no no, but try to avoid. Has your Dr said anything about the use of them?

Bluebirdsky Thu 26-Oct-17 21:33:15

Thanks everyone, it's good to know I am not alone even though I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I think I will make an appointment to go and see my GP for a chat as I have only spoke to them on the phone so far.

Hannah they did say Sumatriptan might be an option if I was desperate but she didn't sound keen.

tootsieglitterballs Fri 27-Oct-17 07:56:30

Luckily pregnancy is the only thing that stops my migraines (unless I’m extremely stressed then nothing helps) , however at 36 weeks, I’ve had one this week.

I find heat on my head is the best relief for me rather than cold.

Another relief is cool on my neck, heat on my feet.

4head helps a little but not enough for me.

There is a thing called migracap on amazon - I’ve not got one but heard it’s great.

Someone else mentioned tv dialogue... this is one of my ‘go to’ things when it’s really bad and I’m not able to sleep. David Attenborough documentaries work wonders!

Failing that, Big Mac and fries for some reason helps alleviate it enough that I can get to sleep sometimes!

Good luck - I don’t envy you at all. I’ve been so lucky in pregnancy with migraines, they only come once every couple of months - I’m dreading after pregnancy again when I go back to normal!

Hannahf89 Fri 27-Oct-17 14:37:31

@tootsieglitterballs I swear by McChicken sandwich and fries when I get mine!

tootsieglitterballs Fri 27-Oct-17 14:46:11

@Hannahf89 I’m so pleased it’s not just me that needs a heavy carb fix!!

Hannahf89 Fri 27-Oct-17 15:51:51

@tootsieglitterballs I've just asked DH to go through the drive through on his way home - talking about it gave me a craving and I don't even had a headache today!

tootsieglitterballs Fri 27-Oct-17 16:15:00

@Hannahf89 haha! We are having it for dinner this evening - sadly having my cat put to sleep tonight, and if the last couple of days are anything to go by, the amount of crying I’ll be doing will bring on another migraine, so trying to head it off!

Zoo33 Fri 27-Oct-17 16:19:41

I was diagnosed with chronic migraines last year. My consultant recommended some herbal tablets from the US but they can’t be taken in pregnancy, so I started having acupuncture instead with Chinese herbal medicine. (Touch wood) it seems to be working...

mydogisthebest Fri 27-Oct-17 16:28:28

I was getting horrendous migraines. Three days of not even being able to sit up in bed without throwing up. Having to crawl on the floor to get to the toilet. Not being able to keep even a sip of water down and, even without drinking or eating, vomiting every 20 minutes. My DH had to keep calling the Dr out to give me an injection to stop the vomiting. This was happening 2 or 3 times a month

Obviously because I could not even keep a sip of water down there was no point taking painkillers because I would just bring them up again.

Luckily I found a Dr who was sympathetic (probably because he had suffered from migraines when younger) and I now take 2 tablets a day to try and prevent migraines.

I rarely get them now thankfully but if I do I have Naratriptan to take and if I can take it quickly enough at the first sign of one, it almost always stops me getting a full blown migraine

Bluebirdsky Fri 27-Oct-17 17:22:49

Thanks everyone for the help and advice, so far today I am migraine free so fingers crossed the awful run of them is over 🤞

My ice pack arrived today and I have bought a new 4head and some cooling head strips but am definitely up for trying the Big Mac/Chicken sandwich idea 😂😂

I often have a massive carb craving after a migraine so intrigued as to what the link could be now!

Bluebirdsky Fri 27-Oct-17 17:23:42

@tootsieglitterballs so sorry about your cat 😢

Hannahf89 Fri 27-Oct-17 18:20:04

@tootsieglitterballs sorry to hear about the cat - hopefully the carbs will make you feel a tiny bit better!

Wishing everyone a migraine free weekend...

confused123456 Fri 27-Oct-17 18:24:03

I suffer from headaches and the occasional migraine. I swear by 4head. It always works for me. The actual migraine strips didn't help at all, but the normal stick is my lifesaver. I never go anywhere without it.

Moanyoldcow Fri 27-Oct-17 19:23:38

I'm from a West Indian background and we always have this in the house:

www.boots.com/boots-cologne-water-400ml-10097116

Or this

www.boots.com/boots-lavender-water-400ml-10097117

I pour it over my head (don't get in in your eyes), soak my scalp and then pop on a turban. It cools very well and takes some of the oppression away.

I take codeine when it gets too bad though.

Bluebirdsky Fri 27-Oct-17 19:30:42

Thanks Moany I will definitely try this, do you normally have the turban quite tight?

woollyminded Fri 27-Oct-17 19:32:13

I don't know if this is OK with pregnancy but my GP started me on domperidone to settle the stomach, taken 20 mins or so before painkillers. He said that he had read something about migraine interfering with normal gut function meaning that the painkillers just sit there without doing any good (or we throw them up). I have found it has worked quite well.

Moanyoldcow Fri 27-Oct-17 19:40:20

Reasonably tight but my hair is quite short so it needs to be st stay on. Another good way is getting a cotton scarf or big hankie, soaking it and tying it around the head so it's sort of soaking your forehead.

It's such a good low-budget way to manage the symptoms.

My grandmother is full of tips - she's always bloody right, too grin

Hazandduck Sat 28-Oct-17 00:10:20

There are some great tips on here! @moany I find lavender oil on a handkerchief helps me sleep when I’ve got a migraine, I like the turban idea.

@tootsie I was on Cerelle (Cerazette) for 9 years and I think it works by giving you a synthetic progesterone, you take it every day, and it tricks your body in to thinking you’re pregnant, and I found it drastically reduced my migraines. Since being pregnant my migraines have stopped so I thought - get in! Being pregnant is my prevention! Up until this week (38 weeks tomorrow) when I had a stressful day and had my first migraine in ages!!
It was scary because I usually have my routine of taking my prescription tabs as soon as aura starts but couldn’t; I lost my vision for an hour and went numb all down my left side. I know it’s silly but it hadn’t actually occurred to me until then what I would do if I had a migraine when home alone with the baby and now I’m scared about it sad
I also blindly took the only painkillers I had; 1 paracetamol and 1 ibuprofen as well as a prochlorezapine (safe in pregnancy.) I feel so guilty about it now, I’ve avoided ibuprofen but didn’t realise it was worse in the third trimester!

Moanyoldcow Sat 28-Oct-17 00:32:33

@Hazandduck - never thought about lavender oil - will definitely get some.

Unfortunately for us we're a headache family and pregnancy has really exacerbated it as it did last time. Thankfully full-blown migraines are reasonably infrequent for me now,but awful when they happen. Coping with a baby was tough - those were days where the bouncy chair and 'Little Baby Bum' on YouTube proved invaluable. As soon as the baby was down I was in bed too.

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