My good friend has had migraine for as long as she could remember. As she got older, it became worse. She has been prescribed codeine for her migraine. Unfortunately it was still there, so her doctor suggested she try Botox. It was the first time I had heard about that. Her verdict? It was partially effective. My friend inspired me to come up with a list of things to do when pain strikes.
1. Monitor the pattern and characteristics of your pain.
-Is the pain sharp, a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest? Is it a dull throb at the back of your head? Your pain can be interpreted in a number of ways. Proper monitoring means you can help your health care provider in evaluating your pain better, so the proper treatment may be given.
2. Take note of the precipitating factors for the pain.
-Does it strike in the morning? Is it aggravated by bright lights? This is to help figure out the cause of your pain.
3. Identify the impact of the pain on activities of daily living.
-Can you still take a shower and go out inspiteof the pain? Does the pain make it impossible for you to get out of bed? This is to help create an action plan when the pain strikes.
4. Use measures to relieve your pain. Try the following:
a. distraction – watch your favorite television show, listen to music, read an entertaining book.
b. relaxation – breathe deeply, think of yourself relaxing on a hammock on the beach, try to clear your mind.
c. massage – oh this is my favorite! This has always worked on me. It is just a pleasurable experience that never fails to make me feel better.
5. Talk to your health care provider.
-He will be the best person to help you manage with your pain. He can try to see if the pain can be solved. If not, he can prescribe medications that will help you achieve a comfortable quality of life. Realize that sometimes it may not be possible to be 100% pain-free. Talk to your physician about the possibility of surgerical cauterization. But remember that any type of surgery carries risks, especially in the elderly with coexisting illnesses.
6. Use pain medication as prescribed.
-Undermedicating may not provide you with the desired level of pain relief. Overmedicating may lead to serious side effects such as respiratory depression.
7. Evaluate the effectiveness of your pain-reducing measures.
-Which worked best for you? Which didn’t? This will serve as a guide to managing your pain in the future.