Hopefully, you won’t see me write much here about migraines. Thanks to careful management I experience migraines much less often than I used to, and the right treatment now minimizes the impact they have on my ability to function. Unfortunately, I haven’t shaken them entirely, and today I’ve been flirting with one most of the day.
Any day that I wake up with a stiff neck I know to start watching for migraine signs. Sometimes a sore neck is enough to trigger a migraine all by itself, but I’ve found ways to minimize the chance. A year or so ago I bought an ergonomic pillow- one of the wavy “memory foam” ones. This has been a huge help in avoiding neck stiffness. I’ve found, though, that the memory foam needs to “rest” for a couple days every once in a while, or else it gets too soft. It may just be that it’s time to get a new one- I haven’t decided yet.
Gentle stretches in the morning can help get past any neck stiffness, but if a headache persists I know that I need to take steps. I’ve had to adjust the progressive treatment for my migraines to work around other medications, and some things don’t work as well as they used to, so there’s still some guessing involved. At one end of the spectrum is food and light caffeine, in the middle is Ibuprofen and a decongestant, and at the far end is Treximet (with other steps in-between). I’m managing my migraines well enough now that I only need to resort to Treximet once every three months or so (which is a good thing since it’s so darn expensive).
Today was a borderline day. Sometimes light exercise will help, other times it can make things worse. I was hoping for the first and ended up with the second. Unfortunately, I am sensitive to artificial scents at the best of times- when I’m skirting a migraine they’re a killer. The gym at our apartment complex went a little overboard with the holiday cinnamon scent today, and my head was pounding almost as soon as I walked in the door. I stayed on the treadmill for my minimum (20 minutes or 1.25 miles, whichever comes first) and then got out. The cool air outside helped immensely and I took something as soon as I got home. I’m really annoyed that I felt well enough to work out but still couldn’t do much due to headache and air freshener.
And, really, this is a terrible time of year if you are sensitive to smells in any way. A combination of allergies, asthma, and migraines make artificial scents pretty much a bad idea for me at any time. I skirt the perfume aisle and candle or bath shops just in case, but sometimes I’m caught by surprise. Twice in recent weeks someone went overboard with the air freshener in the restroom at work. The first time I ended up with a lungful and had a all-out asthma attack, scaring the daylights out of me and a few of my co-workers. I then had to go to a different part of the building to find a usable bathroom- it was a miserable experience, and rather embarrassing.
I’ve never really seen the point of artificially scenting your home. I remember how much I loved the smell of a school friend’s home, which always smelled like Indian spices and curry. Who would want to cover that up? I do like natural cinnamon scent, and baking or making hot mulled cider is my favourite way to fill the house with holiday scents. I’m not sure if I dislike artificial smells because I’m sensitive, or just because they seem unnecessary (maybe both).
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