This morning we are in the ER with a migraine.  This time it actually isn’t me on the bed, but its rare I’ll consent to an ER visit.  I don’t appreciate being treated like a pill-popper.  The first/last ER visit  was in Gladwin, MI and their PA was so nasty to me he made me cry.  If you know me, then you’ll know that I DON’T cry!  I’ve had to take the kids in to their ER from time to time since and I always ask if that PA is there.  Never to I fail to inform them that he is an ass and if he is there or comes in during our visit NOT to send him into our room.  Not that I’d remember what he looks like because my headache was so bad the day I saw him, BUT I have the paperwork with his name on it and I will NEVER forget his name.

With my aversion to Emergency Room visits and hardcore pain medications coupled with the tendency for the less intense medications to just randomly stop working, I’ve found a few things that help me in my times of need.  My 3 favorite things to do in the event of a horrible migraine are:

1) Find someone who will listen to me and massage me as needed.  I have them sit behind me on a couch, floor, or bed.  Then I lay between their legs (on my back) and put my head on a small pillow.  Having them rub the back of my neck with my head laying back really helps.  Plus, I find massaging the scalp from the back to the front, down my forehead and across my sinus is just wonderful!  Sometimes doing this in a completely dark room is enough to make me fall asleep and ease my migraine.  The biggest pains for me are on the right side and usually we find a large knot under my right shoulder blade.  I’ve found this same knot on many of my friends who also get migraines.  I don’t know why this knot exists, but I’ve found its best to just leave it alone.  It comes back no matter what you do and just leaves you unnecessarily sore the next day.  With my experiences with this specific style of massage and my migraines as well as my friends’, I’m planning on looking into Indian Head Massage.  I just read about the other day and it sounds similar to what I’m already engaging in, only with someone who knows what they are doing versus someone who just listens to her body and makes it up as she goes.  To learn more about Indian Head Massage check out this link: http://www.articlesbase.com/alternative-medicine-articles/indian-head-massage-for-migraine-prevention-888329.html

2) Soft, bendable feather pillows.  Some say use socks for your neck, or a sock with tennis balls in it, but that has never worked for me.  We lived at an apartment once where the arm of the couch was perfect.  I would just lay back, rest my neck on the arm of the couch and ah, sweet bliss.  I wish I could have taken that couch with me or stayed in that apartment forever!  But in lieu of the therapeutic couch arm, I find that my ancient feather pillow can provide relief (and comfort) in ways that even those expensive pillows from the chiro never could.  I just put part of the pillow under my shoulders and ball a chunk of it up for under my neck…lay back and hope for the pain to subside.

3)  The Chiropractor.  A good chiro along with some muscle relaxers and my life is about as near to bliss as possible, meaning it takes the edge off and allows me to think/sleep.  IF the chiro can get the couple of spots in my neck popped along with the one between my shoulder blades, I feel somewhat better.  However, usually i feel worse for about 10 seconds and dizzy for a minute or so.  A good chiro might also try some aromatherapy on you as well as pressure points or reflexology while they treat you.  These have never helped me very much, but the pleasant smell of whatever they put on my hand and head is pretty awesome and I come to equate it with feeling just a BIT better. I was reading an interesting interview with a chiropractor at: http://www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/chiropractic-and-headache.html.

There are many other little tricks I might try if I have a bad migraine, including the tanning bed, but these are my top three!  I was in an accident when I was 11 and broke a couple of bones in my face.  The X-Rays at the Chiropractor still show whiplash in my neck.  So, I’m going to guess that these injuries are the main reasons my migraines are so relentless.  In fact there is a good article on migraines as a result of head trauma at: http://migraine.com/migraine-causes/neck-or-head-injury/ .  Check it out if you’d like to know more.  If you have any tricks that work for you and your headaches please feel free to e-mail me  at pmili@up.net or post them below in comments.

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