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How to Continue Activity During a Migraine?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by zclesa, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    I have "Vestibular Migraine", which causes dizziness, nausea, imbalance, brain fog etc. This week, I have continued activity through all of the above symptoms. I have been out every day, gone walking, did my first ever yoga class, read two books, ran a meeting, and cooked. All things I have avoided because of my symptoms. It's been a wonderful week :)

    Today I have an absolutely piercing headache. I don't get the headache part often, but when I do it just seems to worsen the more activity I do, and I usually have to end up taking meds. How do you continue activity when you have a full-blown migraine like that, which worsens with activity?

    So far today, I have installed a fridge, done some journaling and talked to my dad on the phone. So, I've not avoided activity and I've tried to ignore it. But it has worsened and I'm wondering what to do now. I haven't taken medication and I'm not going to. I'm not afraid of this. I know it's TMS. But it is literally very difficult to do much productive stuff when it gets to this point.

    I don't want to "accommodate" the migraine, but when it hurts so much it's becoming hard to see straight, it kinda limits your options a bit. Any ideas or tips?
    Helenlouise likes this.
  2. birdsetfree

    birdsetfree Well known member

    As TMS'ers we tend towards perfectionism even in healing. This can be counterproductive as it creates pressure which leads to symptoms. As with anything in life there needs to be a balanced attitude towards TMS recovery and a gentleness with ourselves going through it. It is ok to sit things out sometimes and take it more slowly sometimes. This is all part of growing our self care skills. I think you are doing great!
  3. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    Thank you, Bird :) I sort of realised after posting that I was being a bit pushy with myself. I installed a bloomin' fridge with the migraine and then expected myself to do lots more. It has been a productive day by anyone else but a T-type's standards. I am awful at self-care.

    The migraine became excruciating in the end, so I did have to take some meds. I rarely take them. I avoided them even before I knew it was TMS, so I don't feel too bad about doing it. I took it easy after that and just did some light reading (once I could see straight!)

    It's funny how helpful it is just to post here, because I find that not long after I've posted something I often realise that I'm doing T-type behaviour. It's a good tool for becoming more aware. Thank you so much for your encouragement and wise words :)
  4. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I had migraines as a child. I would often Barf from the pain/dizziness. Of course I didn't know about TMS... but they SUCKED

    But since I have learned 'the trick' as soon as I have obvious TMS symptoms, mystery pains, pressure on my head, I begin to think of what conflict could be going on to create it OR as Sarno said, turn my thoughts to a recurrent source of irritation. Sarno said, he didn't treat symptoms and that this program was to prevent them from happening.

    Sarno himself had Migraines so he discusses it periodically in his writing.

    ..and BTW. If the medication works, take it!! You are on a new path but sometimes the mud from the old one sticks to our shoes for a minute.
  5. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    Thanks Baseball. Unfortunately, I have 24/7 symptoms of one sort or another, so I'm having to just ignore them and distract at the moment. My symptoms are coming from past trauma much more than from current situations, although I'm sure current stressors also play a part. When my symptoms start to lessen, and I'm not getting them every day, I will do what you say and check to see what I might be angry about. For the meantime, it's distraction all the way, which is working wonderfully well except for when I get the full-blown head-collapsing migraine. That's tough to stay active with.

    I don't get the uber-debilitating headache part often, but it's funny how I got one this week after ignoring my symptoms. Naughty TMS fighting back no doubt. It's made my left hand go numb as well, which has lasted over a week now. I think it's trying to tell me I'm having a stroke, lol. Yeah, I will take the meds if the headache gets too bad as I'm literally incapacitated by it and can't do anything or push through it when it becomes that bad. But I will only take them under those circumstances, where it's becoming debilitating to the point of no return. And then, I can get on with things.

    By the way, I noticed you said in another post, you're in a fellowship. Congratulations. I'm a recovering alcoholic as it goes. I don't do 12-step. I do Buddhism. But I do pop into fellowship meetings sometimes and do have friends there. I find the actual "fellowship" part wonderful. I get to meet other lovely, but slightly cracked, people ;)
    Baseball65 and HattieNC like this.
  6. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    You don't have to stop taking medication while treating your TMS. It took me about a year to get rid of my migraines when I started treating them as TMS. I took medication during that time whenever I had a migraine. I just kept doing all the other stuff that makes up treatment of TMS, and the frequency declined, and eventually went away entirely. This was after having them often for over 50 years.
    TG957, birdsetfree and zclesa like this.
  7. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    Thanks, Ellen! It's so inspiring that you managed to recover after more than 50 years of migraine :)

    I hardly ever get the headache symptom (maybe once a month), but over the past 3 out of 4 days, I've had the headache. I took medication on 2 days, but the only thing that works for me is Valium so I can't take it every day. So, what I did today instead was dye my hair, which I haven't done in about a year as moving my head around and showering usually make me dizzy and tired. I was so focused on the activity of dying my hair that the headache vanished completely! And I was able to shower without any symptoms except brain fog.

    I will take meds if I absolutely can't break the migraine, but I'm amazed that I was able to do it just by dying my hair. I will have to think of some other activities which in reality aren't taxing but allow me to focus completely on them, as I can't dye my hair every day either ;) Reading and too much time on the computer are out, unfortunately. As is too much physical activity. The more I do of those, the worse the headache gets. But I will have a think about other focused activities that might help me out as well.

    I don't get any "warning" like a prodrome, unfortunately. I tend to wake up feeling awful, and get progressively worse, sometimes to the point where I can not bear it and have to take Valium or I won't even sleep. So, it'll be really helpful to think up some "distracting", but not too taxing, things to do on days like this.
  8. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    Thanks I have tried CBD but it made me feel worse - depressed and dizzier.
  9. Jurven

    Jurven Newcomer

    Hmm .. How exactly did you use it? Perhaps you just mistook it. There are a myriad of varieties and uses for CBD. Perhaps the one you used just didn't suit you. It is also possible that you have chosen the wrong dosage. These are all very important factors that affect the final result. To be honest, this is the first time I've heard CBD have such results. Usually the person feels calm and relaxed, but certainly not depression and frustration. I buy CBD from the hemp store and haven’t had this effect yet. I hope you will answer soon. I would also be interested to know if you have found some alternative way to solve your problem. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  10. zclesa

    zclesa Well known member

    Hi @Jurven,

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution to anything. CBD just doesn't suit my needs. I have tried dozens of meds and supplements that are "supposed to" work. But they don't for me.

    I have actually found a natural substance that dulls my startle reflex (which is constantly stuck "on") and massively improves my life. It is called Lecithin. It contains a precursor to Acetylcholine, which activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Funnily enough, though, other things like Huperzine A, which blocks the breakdown of Acetylcholine, just give me a headache. Other Acetylcholine precursors I've tried, such as Alpha-GPC, don't work for me.

    Lecithin is so helpful, but I can't currently take it as it is giving me stomach trouble, which is probably not due to the actual substance, but my digestive system. But I will find a way to take it (sublingually is a possibility) and I'll post back on my "journal" thread when I've worked out how to take it and can report more.
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    @zclesa, I can relate to your situation. I used to have frequent debilitating migraines when I was younger. What is interesting, my migraines disappeared completely for the duration of my CRPS. Slowly, they returned after I recovered from CRPS. With COVID and few more powerful stressors in my life, migraines became more and more painful and now I get one every Friday or Saturday. I do take Aleve (my preferred OTC painkiller), but it does not help as well as it used to. I have no doubts that they are caused by stress. What I would like to suggest is that you should be kind to yourself and pull back when headaches become unbearable and give yourself some love! Pulling back from activities temporarily does not mean to completely retreat. It only means to regroup and try aga

    Great advice from @Ellen , we need to be more persistent with treating migraines as TMS and continue working on it!

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