Saturday, November 14, 2009

Could Not Miss Work - My Day

Do you ever wake up and just know it's going to be one of those bad days? There were no real symptoms yet, but the 'normal' stuff just seem a little different, a little off. This is how I felt on a big morning this week when I absolutely could not miss work or take any big chances with medications.

My suspicions kept growing at every little step. The drive to work proved that it was going to be more than a regular Migraine coming on. I can usually tell by how I react to the other cars lights, especially flashing police lights and I tend to be a little more impatient with traffic even if I'm not in a hurry and I had plenty of time on this morning plus the traffic wasn't even that bad. Besides my suspicions, these were the first real symptoms I was getting that the inevitable was really coming.

I arrived at the office earlier than usual and based on the timing of my big conference call, I decided to take a triptan then, before things got too out of hand. This would give me enough time to get adjusted to the triptan - allow it to take effect and settle in. I liked my old triptan before it started to fizzle out. I never had to plan things around taking it. It would always work very quickly with little to no side effects. We decided to stop it before it completely failed in the hope that I can go back to it at a later time.

It's terrible having to go into an important conference call not only worrying about about running the call and everything around it, but add to it all that encompasses Migraine disease including the brain altering drugs that we must take in order to try to get through an attack. I am aware when a bad attack happens that I tend to stutter more and fumble over words. That's not good on a conference call when how you sound goes a long way for how the call is going especially when there are people on it you have never talked to before and they don't know you or how you operate. I am also much slower on my cognitive feet when Migraining. Not good.

As the conference call started, I'm sure the triptan helped keep some of this quieter, but I was at a higher Migraine level than I am comfortable with given the situation. I needed to be here for the conference call that I scheduled with different groups of my company from around the country. I had to understand multiple issues that were going on with one of our clients which needed to be reigned in and controlled by my area that I had not been involved with previously. Yea, lucky me, lucky day especially since my boss was on the phone listening and judging my every move and every question.

Somehow I made it through the call without sounding too unsure about what I was doing or at least I hope so. My pain level was slowly rising and I still had other conference calls on my schedule to get through but at least I was only playing a small role in those calls. I wouldn't take another triptan while I was still at work. I do draw a line there so I needed to think of other ways or other tools that I could use.

Although I didn't feel hungry, I decided I would try to eat a little something and then I could put a warm herbal pack I keep at work on the back of my neck and forehead which can be heated in the microwave. That can help put off a growing Migraine for a little while for me.

The herbal pack also has a mint smell to it so I made sure this wasn't a day I was going to be super sensitive to this smell. Luckily it was not one of those days. The food and herbal pack helped somewhat. Being at work, I couldn't take a warm shower which will usually help me prolong a Migraine. I made sure I drank some extra water and took some deep breaths. I printed out as much documentation as I could for my other calls so I would limit the amount of time I needed to look at the computer screen.

I made it through the rest of my series of calls. This would have been a day I left work early, but I ended up leaving on-time which is actually somewhat early since I usually stay two plus hours after I'm supposed to leave almost everyday.

As soon as I made it home, I took my second triptan of the day along with my nightly medications and retired for the night. I really needed both - the triptan and the twelve hours of sleep. I woke up the next day feeling much, much better.

How do you handle a day you need to be at work? What kind of tools do you have in your toolbox while at work? I'm sure they're different than the ones you have and can use while at home.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Sorry you have such issues, I sympathize because I have many of the same problems through the years.

When I had migraines I had several strategies that would give me time to "finish" and hopefully get home before the pain got too bad to drive. One was dose myself with caffeine and naprosyn. I kept no-doze tablets and would take four with two naprosyn and if I timed it just right I could delay the migraine for about four hours. I took Relpax, but again it was only good for about four hours.

I also kept ice packs and heating pads at work and would slam one on my head and alternate. I have had to try to "walk out" the pain more than once to keep on going when business required. Sometimes you just can't.

MigrainePuppet said...

I've heard caffeine can help. I try to stay away from it since it can be a trigger, but I think I'd like to try it the next time I need something different to put off a Migraine. Relpax was the triptan I took for years that would work wonderfully. I can't wait until I can try it again and hope it works as well as it used to work. Thanks for all of your suggestions Winny!

WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

the caffeine only works effectively if you avoid large daily intake of caffeine (or so I found(, Nt sister drank 3 pots of coffee a day so this hint never helped her!)

I carried No-Doze (which is just caffeine tablets - 1 tab = 1/2 cup coffee) with me for years just for this purpose.

Good Luck MP!

MigrainePuppet said...

Thank you, Winny.

Heather said...

Reading this felt like I was writing it too...this is exactly what I go through at work. Great job putting it into words! I wish I could help, but I too am figuring things out.

Like Winny said, I do try coffee sometimes (I limit my caffeine to one day a week, if that). Sometimes it helps, and sometimes it just upsets my stomach! I also have a microwavable hot pack at work, but it doesn't have the scent. You can only do this if you have your own office, but I turn off my lights when I feel a headache coming on. Taking frequent breaks helps too, even if they're brief.

Good luck!

MigrainePuppet said...

Thanks Heather! Somedays it's tough to make it through a normal day at work. It's nice to have as many tools as we can get to help us make it through the day.

You are right that we need to take more breaks. That is definitely something I don't do enough of.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have Glaceau "energy" drink, Aura Cacia peppermint essential oil (for energy). I use lavender at home for calming. At home I use ice packs (I have 6) but at work with others I wouldn't feel comfortable using them; although I desperately wish I could. My language goes and I get so I don't do tasks well at all. If there is an important meeting I tend to get a migraine. I can nap at lunch with a migraine and it allows me to make it till the end of the day. Although probabably once a month I end up leaving at 2:00 due to naseau. Great post. It's something we all face. One last thing, taking my anti-naseau drug helps. Although there's a fine balance; sometimes I can get over-drowsy with my migraine drugs; that's another battle.

MigrainePuppet said...

These additional ideas are very helpful! I also suck on a peppermint or ginger drop to try to help ease the nausea. I does help. The battle of the drowsiness can be a tough one too.