Recovery After Migraine

I am coming off of a 10 day migraine and I was not sure what I wanted to write about today. Recovery is it’s own stage of a migraine attack. After hours or days of intense pain life can’t always go right back to business as usual.

10 Days

Here is a quick summary of my last 10 days. My migraine started a fairly low pain level on Saturday the 10th. I gave it a 4 in my Migraine Buddy report. But by Monday the 12th it had gone up to an 8, which is really the highest level I’ve ever experienced. I was also extremely light and sound sensitive, nauseated, and extremely fatigued.

By Thursday my regular right sided head and face pain had expanded to include the left temple region as well and I contacted my neurologist. He got me set up for and IV infusion which is something I have never had before. I was hopeful but cautious. The infusion was suppose to happen on Friday but wires got crossed, communication wasn’t clear, I am not really sure, but 5pm on Friday found me in a level of pain I didn’t know how to deal with.

I e-mailed the doctor and he said to go to the ED if I had to, but we would do the infusion Monday morning. So I spent the weekend sleeping as much as possible to avoid needing to visit the ED. I dislike the emergency department to begin with, but on top of that it is still flu season. I made it through the weekend and received my infusion Monday morning.

My nurse was a pro and got my IV with no problem at all. And I’m not even bruised.

I was at the infusion clinic for about two and a half hours and was feeling better before I left. I wasn’t 100% but I could keep my eyes open and was feeling much more mentally alert. My infusion today was Depakote (anticonvulsant which can treat migraines), dexamethasone (glucocorticoid steroid), and magnesium sulfate accompanied by an entire bag of IV fluids.

I went home and rested for several hours after the infusion. By 4 o’clock I was much more at a normal pain level. Yes, my head pain was not gone, but back to what I regularly can deal with.

Migraine Recovery

A short google search for migraine recovery and results from migraine specific sites to BuzzFeed show up. The medical term for this stage of a migraine attack is called postdrome, but anyone familiar with this group of symptoms might call it a migraine hangover.

The symptoms of postdrome vary and not everyone who experiences migraine will have a postdrome phase. But often in the hours and days after a migraine you may feel fatigued, depressed or euphoric, inability to concentrate, and lack of comprehension.

Postdrome Techniques

Migraine is mostly a mystery and although we can identify triggers, we do not always know the causes of migraine. The same is for postdrome, which makes these symptoms hard to treat. And just like migraine, a treatment that works for one person might not work for you.

There are some techniques that I use to recover after a migraine attack. Eating healthy is one of them.  I ate a lot of ice cream to combat the head pain this time around, so today I made sure to have some tasty beef brisket, herb roasted potatoes, and roasted green beans from the hot food bar at Whole Foods (which I love when I do not have the energy to make myself a healthy meal.)

Hydrating is also important, when we don’t feel our best we do not always drink as much water as we should. I also enjoy light exercise, but it’s important not to over do it. I think what’s most important is to just be kind to yourself. Take care to fully recover and prevent another migraine attack from happening soon after your last.

Don’t Do All of the Things!

Now, I’m facing that issue I talked about in my post about pacing.  I’ve been down so long and feeling restless, so I want to do all of the things! I need to take care of the fatigue and brain fogginess I will experience during my postdrome, but I also desperately want to get back to my routine!

I canceled my Tuesday therapy appointment so I wasn’t obligated to drive anywhere. Hopefully my therapist will have a cancellation later in the week so I can get in. But if not I have a standing appointment every other Tuesday.

The other thing I did to take make sure I did not over do it is make a to do list. I want to be sure to balance my household responsibilities but also catch up on my current projects. So one thing I will implement tomorrow is the 15 Minute Rule. This means, even though I REALLY don’t want to put my laundry away, or do the dishes, I will set a timer for 15 minutes and work on one of those activities. I will often work past the 15 minute mark, but if I don’t want to, I can stop when the timer goes off.

So that is my plan for migraine recovery. Do you have favorite things you like to eat or do after you have a migraine? What makes you feel like life is back on track? Leave a comment or find me over on Twitter to let me know!



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