More than 38 million people suffer with migraines in the US alone. The terrible pain goes far beyond the common headache, leaving those affected completely incapacitated. From vision loss to severe vomiting, migraines are difficult for anyone to deal with. Throw in being a parent, and you've got one heck of a challenge on your hands. Migraines can come on at a moments notice and last anywhere from a few hours to several days - or in some cases, weeks. When you have kids to look after, it can be incredibly difficult to function. Here are some tips to help you get through the worst.
Be prepared. Migraines have different triggers for different people - no two cases are the same. However, some common triggers are stress, tiredness, certain foods and alcohol. If you've been suffering from migraines for a long time, then the chances are you'll have a good idea of what you need to avoid. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but if you can stick to a healthy diet and keep your trigger exposure to a minimum, you may be able to lessen the intensity and frequency of your attacks. If you're still trying to figure out what causes your migraines, keep a food and mood journal to help you work out patterns. If you're on medication, always keep it close by to take at the first sign of an attack. Most orthodox medicines for migraines are most effective when taken at the very start of an episode and may not be as effective if you have to wait.
Have a back-up plan. If your migraines render you unable to drive or see properly, then it can be tough to get your kids to school - especially if you're a single parent. Try and have a back-up plan in case you're taken ill. Ask a local friend in advance if they wouldn't mind taking your kids or picking them up if you happen to fall ill. Similarly, if you've promised to take your little ones to the beach and you're not able to, try trading it in for a popcorn and movie day. Close the drapes, pop some corn and snuggle down on the sofa. You can doze with an ice pack on your head while still keeping the kids entertained.
Ask for help. If you're really struggling with looking after your children - especially if they're very young and demanding - then don't be afraid to reach out for help. Call on family members or close friends who are willing to step in and lend you a hand in your time of need. When you're feeling better, thank them by returning the favor.
Explore new treatments. There are so many migraine medications on the market that it can seem like a near impossible task, but it might take time to find the one that suits you. What works for one doesn't always work for the other, so take your time and talk to your GP about available treatments. You might have more success with a different type of medication than you did with a previous one.