Podcast: Living Well in 2009 Despite Migraines and Headaches

  • The transcript of this podcast is below. If you prefer to listen to it, you can easily do so from the MigraineCast Web site.



    Hello and welcome to MigraineCast.


    Another year gone by. 2008 was a good year for some of us who found the right doctor, the right treatment regimen for us, great support, and a reduction in Migraines. To those of you in that group, congratulations!


    For some of us, however, 2008 wasn't so kind, and Migraines and headaches continue to plague us, compromising our lives in countless ways... pain, decreased quality of life, problems in jobs and careers, issues in our personal relationships, and more.

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    Now that the rush of the big winter holidays is over, it's time to focus on 2009 and what we can do to make it better than 2008. If there's anything positive I can say about Migraine disease, it's that although it can take time to find the right treatment regimen, there actually are many treatments that can help us manage this disease and recover the lives we once had and want to have again.


    To get to the point, here are some tips for living well all year, despite Migraines, and having a better 2009:

    1. Evaluate your medical team. Are you happy with your doctors or are you settling because you just can't bring yourself to go through the process of finding a new doctor. If you're not making progress, or if your doctor doesn't have a plan, it's time to move on.

    2. Review your treatment regimen. How frequent are your Migraines? Are you having three or more Migraines a month? There's growing evidence that Migraine is a progressive brain disease. A recent study showed that Migraines can cause brain damage, and that people with three or more Migraines a month are more susceptible to this damage. Feel as if you've tried them all? Good news. That's simply not possible. There are over 100 medications in use for Migraine prevention and virtually endless combinations of them, so it's impossible to have tried everything. How's your acute treatment? The treatment you use when you get a Migraine? Does it work well most of the time? If not, it's time to talk with your doctor about trying something else.

    3. Do you know your Migraine triggers? Trigger identification and management are a vital part of Migraine disease management. You may have some triggers you can avoid, and that could help you reduce how many Migraines strike you. If you don't know your triggers, try keeping a Migraine diary. That can be an enormous help when you and your doctor are trying to figure out your triggers.

    4. Plan better nutrition. Good nutrition means a healthier body, one that's less susceptible to our Migraine triggers.

    5. Don't forget good hydration. Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can be a strong Migraine trigger. Especially when we're busy, it's easy to not drink enough fluids and become a bit dehydrated. Water is best. Carry a water bottle with you. If you don't drink water, watch the caffeine in what you do drink. Not only is it a Migraine trigger for some people, but caffeine is also dehydrating.

    6. Find and adopt an acceptable level of activity. Of course, it's difficult to exercise when you feel awful, but try to work in at least gentle stretches and walking. Again, a healthier body is less susceptible to our Migraine triggers, so work on increasing your physical activity.

    7. Improve your organization. Being better organized will be a priceless help when you don't feel well. When you do feel well, you'll have more time to do the things you like to do.

    8. Learn to delegate. We're not Superman or Wonder Woman. We can't do everything, and we shouldn't even try. Make a list of chores to be done and spread the wealth! Even the kids can get in on the act by making their own beds, taking out the trash, walking the dog, and more.

    9. Dump the guilt! Guilt is destructive and unnecessary, and we bring most of it on ourselves. Guilt is also a very negative expenditure of energy, and our energy is too valuable to spend it in negative ways. Instead of spending energy on feeling guilty about things we miss or things we can't do, it's far better to conserve that energy and use it in positive ways. Quite bluntly, if someone in our lives criticizes us or makes us feel guilty for events we miss or things we can't do, it's really their problem not ours, and only the person who owns a problem can solve it. If there's someone in your life who continually makes you feel guilty, talk to them. Maybe they don't realize they're doing it, and pointing it out to them can bring about a change. If they just "don't get it," and don't want to effect a change, then it's time to reevaluate their place in your life. You deserve better.

    10. Take some "me time" each day. Set aside 30 minutes that's your time to do whatever you want or nothing at all. You can use this time to meditate, visualize, pray, write in your journal, take a bubble bath, or just day dream.

    11. Seek and offer support.  Support is as important to dealing with Migraines and headaches as good medical care, so don't ignore the care and feeding of your support system. Return the favor by supporting others when you can.

    12. Remember, you can be in control. Repeat after me: "I have Migraines, but Migraines do not have me. I have headaches, but headaches do not have me." We do not have to let Migraines or headaches control our lives. Let's make it a primary goal to work toward controlling them rather than them controlling us! It can be done. Follow these suggestions, and you'll find that control coming within reach more and more.

    Coping with severe headaches and Migraine disease for over 40 years has brought me to the realization that learning about Migraine disease and headaches can allow us to work with our doctors as treatment partners toward fewer Migraine, better health, and a better quality of life. Please join us at MyMigraineConnection.com for information and support or for a transcript of this podcast. From MyMigraineConnection.com and the HealthCentral Network, this is Teri Robert reminding you that you can live well with Migraine disease and headaches.

  • Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape© Teri Robert, 2009.
    Published January 2, 2009..

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Published On: January 02, 2009