By Steven (Guest Blogger) –
For those of us who suffer from migraine — episodic, chronic or otherwise — we are always searching for solutions. In some cases, the solutions we are looking for simply do not exist yet. The obvious one is “what causes migraine?”
To my knowledge, there is still no clear answer for that question. More times than not, my wife and I are simply looking for solutions that will make one or both of us as comfortable as we can be when a bad migraine shows up.
From the medical side of things, all any of us can do is ask our doctors to help us with whatever medications they are willing to prescribe and be our own advocates. Beyond that, it simply is out of our hands.
However, there are things we can do to help alleviate some of our discomfort during a migraine. There are cold packs or masks to cover your eyes (if photophobia affects you). We can turn off the lights and try to find a place to lie down in a cool room in our homes or try covering the windows to block out light.
Some of these options are life-changing for some, while at the same time useless to others. Unfortunately, at-home solutions suffer from the same complication pharmaceutical remedies suffer from. What works for one person may have no positive effect on another. I am sure most if not all of us have tried these solutions and very likely many more that I have not mentioned. All of our attempts are in the pursuit of finding any comfort we may stumble across.
I brought my wife home from the hospital yesterday and we had to make a stop at our neighborhood pharmacy to get all of her medicines for recovery. There were several prescriptions so we had to wait a while for them to fill them all. While we were waiting, I came across a painting with an inspirational quote on it. The artist’s name was not visible from where I was standing, but the quote reminded me of all the things we try in coping with our migraines. For that matter, it also (in my opinion) applies to how we try to live despite the migraine.
“Shoot for the moon because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”
It may not seem so obvious at first glance, but it resonates with my own experiences. Through our journey together, my wife and I have tried as many doctors as we have medications. We have tried countless at home remedies to try to help make us more comfortable during our migraines. While some of them did not help, the ones that did had overlapping benefits. They not only helped our comfort levels during a bad migraine, but also improved our comfort on the good days too. We even found ways to do outdoor activities too, like going to the beach and skydiving.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Always do what you’re afraid to do.” If there are activities or hobbies in your life, that suffering with migraine has taken away from you due to light, sound or environment, try to find ways to go and do those things. They may not always work, but if or when they do, you will have reclaimed a missing part of your life. You may also discover new hobbies or adventures you enjoy in the process. Either way, you will find yourself in a better place and you will have taken back some level of control from the pain.
When Thomas Edison and his team finally achieved success with the lightbulb, they had thousands of failed attempts. However, when he was questioned about all of the failures, he simply responded, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I mention this quote because it applies directly to all of us fighting to find ways to cope with this invisible illness. We may not always be successful, but we owe it to ourselves to keep fighting. We owe it to ourselves to keep searching for anything that might help improve our quality of life.