Friday, June 8, 2012

Migraine Awareness Month #8: Let there be light. The Undercover Baby Blanket, Literally!!

Most Migraineurs have issues with light sensitivity. What do you do to cope with it?

Hmmm, I'm tossing around a few ideas here. Some which are very conventional, like sunglasses. But I'm not the typical "normal" human that even owns a pair of sunglasses. Case in point: I can't afford new prescription glasses now anyway. So sunglasses seem like a luxury item to me! I've been without them for so many years, I suppose I've built up a tolerance to that bulb in the sky.

When I think of "sensitivity to light" there's one & only one instance that keeps popping up in my head. The middle & end of a Cluster attack. When I kind of have an inkling one is happening & the oxygen won't cease it, I get to my bedroom. My husband knows the drill, lights off, door closed, blinds closed (if it's during the day, which is very rare for me) and last but not least grabs a vomit bag. Most of the time the Cluster hits me like a thunderclap, & my body's reaction is severe nausea, coupled with crying & gagging fits. Gagging then comes with you know what. I'll spare you the details there... Anyway, I typically find myself either on the bed or floor. Always on my hands & knees, banging my head on the hard floor or wall. I actually do have a hole in the wall, from where my head went through it!!

OK now onto my light sensitivity point. I know this may sound "weird" but I have baby blankets. Yes, cotton receiving blankets. Either the lighter ones like hospital issue, or the thicker ones that I think people use for swaddling. (I honestly wouldn't have a clue because I don't have kids, YET) I own quite a few. Some from nieces, others I've picked up at Salvation Army or Goodwill. Now I know you're thinking, "What the heck is she talking about baby blankets for?" I'm telling you they're the perfect invention!! They're light enough to drape over your head to block out light. They make the perfect tool to grasp & focus on while in the midst of a terrible headache. Plus, you can use it as a binding agent to hold an ice pack just where you need it, & block out light as well! Believe me I'm almost 31 years old, & I don't know what I'd do without them!! I actually used my new favorite one last night! It's white cotton, with pink hearts w/ wings. I had a terrible Tension Headache, which I thought was turning into a Trigeminal Neuralgia attack. All around my cheek, jaw, & nose were in such horrible pain. It hurt to talk, or even move said areas. So I got out my trusted ice pack, folded it into my blanket, then wrapped the blanket around my head. I actually fell asleep like that!! So it must've been soothing right?! I know, I'm weird... But I'm telling you, try it! You just may like it!! I can't believe I openly admitted to sleeping with a baby blanket!! My secret is out now, there's no turning back!!!

Here's to all of you weird folk, like me! Just kidding...

K8 =]

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by


Karen said...

Aww baby blanket. Lol :)

Actually, I have a microfibre blanket which does pretty much the same thing, as you describe. A great comforter. You're not alone :)

Christine said...

I have TN, was dx'd about 1 1/2 years ago in KS & MO. Gabapentin seemed to work best for relief with Baclofen and clonazepam, but I couldn't function. I talked to my Dr. & she changed me over to Lyrica. It doesn't work as well, but it does bring some relief.
Since that time, we have moved to SoCal in the Inland Empire, so I have new Dr.'s... what a nightmare. I am still on the same meds & have since talked this Dr. into reducing my Lyrica to 150mg 3x day instead of 200x3.
The neurologist here is not a "treating" neurologist, he only "consults". More MRI's and blood work, but had to be ordered by my internal med Dr., then another "consult" with the neurologist.
Since my TN hasn't gone into remission, it has been re-dx'd as "atypical facial pain".
Yes, I will agree with you, Kate; you're weird. A cold compress on your face? That would send me into such an attack that usually scares the living stuff out of my husband! LOL If the attacks are bad enough, he thinks I need to go to an ER for morphine (and I don't like that injection!).
Question. Were you dx'd with fibromyalgia b/4 or after the TN? Lately I've been unusually tired, weak, loss of balance and extreme sensitivity in places that shouldn't be so sensitive to touch. My poor husband freaked the other day when he gave me light pats on my lower back/upper hip when hugging me because of my response. Other places that are hyper-sensitive around the neck as well.
Just wondering if it possible to develop one then the other? I am 53 & have noticed some of these TN symptoms for years, but the severity worsened.
Baby receiving blankets; the warmth would feel good.... hmmm.

Kate "Katetastrophe" Chappell said...

Well I actually was Dx w/TN before I was dx w/ fibro. I've only been dealing w/ the fibro since March or April phone 2012. I font know why but may doctor's have told me if you have one un treatable chronic illness you'll develop more... Great right?! Well, the cluster headaches so far don't respond to anything but oxygen, the TN & chronic tension headaches haven't responded to anything. The fibro I've been on Lyrica for 8 months &didn't notice much... Now that I'm off of it, I'm feeling a lot more pain. So I'm debating whether to go back on it. I was retaining water really, REALLY bad & had to be on a diuretic 24/7. More side effects then I'd like to have! UGH!