Migraine 911 Care-Kit

By Liza Zoellick.

June is Migraine Awareness Month and Liza shares some thoughts about how to prepare!

We’ve all been there. Wake up in the morning, feeling great and get on with our business and whatever we have planned that day. Then, we’re at a birthday party with the kiddos and something innocuous sets it off and we could be standing by the punch bowl and suddenly feel like someone drove a stake through our eye ball. Pain, blinding and making the world swim around you and you have no choice- much to the kid’s protestations, and whining, you have to drag them from the party and go home to submerge yourself in total darkness to alleviate the pain. But first, you have to make it home.

Liza Zoellick

This scenario can be anything, where you suddenly find yourself on the brink of migraine and are no where near your stash of emergency items you use to battle it. It is important to understand that there are hundreds of triggers for migraine and while you may be sure you are only triggered by one or two things, I can assure you that chronic migraine will present more than just a few triggers. Even if you are lucky to have just one or two, you may not be able to avoid them so I think it’s best to be prepared.

Some Triggers:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Skipped Meals
  • Physical Exertion
  • Excessive of Noise
  • Smells
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Bright Light
  • Stress
  • Weather

Here is how you can be prepared for a migraine wherever you might be: an emergency migraine survival kit to get you back home safely. Start with a tote or bin of some sort that can close so you don’t lose any of the contents while you are driving. Label it clearly and if you have kids you may want to omit some of the items I have asterisked so they don’t get sick.

  • Keep a blanket in case it’s cold when you have to pull over and treat yourself.
  • There is no greater invention than a single use cold pack. They are perfect for when you need something cold for your head and they aren’t expensive. And you don’t have to keep them cold!
  • Almond oil with a drop or two of lavender to massage into hands. It helps relieve stress. *
  • Sunglasses to help protect your eyes and keep the pain to a minimum.
  • If you can get the rose-gold colored glasses and wear them on drives to and from work that can be helpful. Also, if you work in a place with fluorescent lights. Or white lights. Those are a big trigger for me.
  • One dose migraine meds stashed in an empty pill bottle, labeled with clear writing. These can be a life saver when they are really bad and you are no where near home. *Poison hazard.
  • Soft ear plugs that drown out shot gun shells and kids screaming. *can be a choking hazard
  • Noise cancelling head phones.
  • Rosemary essential oil and lavender oil to massage into temples. *Poison hazard

This is what I like to call the Migraine Rescue Bin. It should help you get from point A to point B until you can crawl in bed and take care of yourself how you would at home. This is not meant to get you past more than a few hours. Remember to replenish the box when you use it.

Liza is a chronic pain warrior from Houston who has been chronicling her journey through chronic pain and illness on her blog: https://lovekarmafood.com. She is a frequent and valued contributor to the National Pain Report. For other articles by Liza, click here.