Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sandy Migraines

In our community, we hear how difficult it is to handle weather because of barometric changes, but this past week has probably affected millions of Migraineurs when hurricane Sandy came rolling through the upper east coast of the US.

Besides barometric pressure, there are other things that can help us with our Migraines. Some of these things we have to be prepared with ahead of time while others I don’t know if we could ever be prepared to really deal with them.

The biggest factors that I can think of right now are food, if you have food triggers, and light if you are light sensitive and need to deal with alternative light sources. I sit here typing on battery power and a borrowed internet supply while under a few blankets and listening to my husband snore away as he cannot use his CPAP machine right now.

I have a lantern that I must hide behind something else so I don’t have the light directly shining in my eyes. If I dared to put sunglasses on, I wouldn’t be able to see anything at all as it would be way too dark. This often makes me wonder if I will ever become normal again as far as lighting is concerned.

Before the storm, we tried to prepare the lighting and lantern situation as much as possible. I have to say, almost a week into this blackout, and the lights seem to be working fine except that I find I cover them up either with a blanket, my hand or any miscellaneous object I can find so the direct light does not affect me.

We needed to make sure that I had some nonperishable foods available around the house that would not trigger me which basically rules out any canned foods. While I am at home, I do have some special granola bars, PBJ (but I can’t have too much or it will trigger) and other small things, but these do grow old very quickly. I also have to make sure I do eat or I will trigger. I am definitely not complaining because things could be a lot worse. I have a roof over my head, food to eat and everyone I know of is safe. Last I heard, they anticipate having our power restored midweek.

Where I want to give my biggest and unexpected kudos as a way to deal with hurricanes to is to my place of business. I’m not saying that because I’ve someplace warm to go to everyday or even charge my batteries, but they have done some very big little things that have helped employees which have also helped relieve some of the strain from my Migraines.

Last week I didn’t need to worry about lunch for most of the week as they provided that plus I could pick things I could eat.  Last week and this coming week, I can wear jeans so I don’t need to worry about cloths as much as normal. I had a place that I could go to, to take a nice warm shower every morning before work.

On the bigger picture and beyond managing my Migraines, I just have to add that my company has not only donated a very, very generous amount to the hurricane, but they will be matching employee donations too.

They have also opened up their facilities this weekend to family members so they can take warm showers, have a place to use the internet, watch some TV, use a gym, a game room (they must have brought some things in because I don’t think we normally have one!), have a bite to eat (the café will be open) and so many other nice amenities.

During the week, my team let people go out during business hours to get gas. That might not sound like much, but the gas lines here are like they were back in the ‘70s. I hope they will start easing now that more people are getting their power back; it has been ridiculous and just another stress on top of a very taxing situation.

Despite trying to be as prepared as I could be, it was not a fun Migraine week. I managed the best I could and did go to work every day as most of my team was affected by the storm. I still believe the Botox helped during this time as it kept some of the clarity I don’t think I would have had otherwise. I’m still trying to figure out Botox, but hoping to get a better handle on it when things go back to normal in my life when using it.

Food and lights were the triggers I thought of that we could prepare for ahead of time since these are things I deal with all of the time. What other triggers can you think of and how would you help prepare for them ahead of time?


Migrainista said...

Yeah, I can't imagine having to deal with something like that on top of this migraine stuff. Your post has me thinking about doing some prep work here. Even though St Louis really is far enough inland that hurricanes are not an issue we are very prone to twisters and sit on a very big fault line. I really ought to put some thought into what I would need to have in place to help my migraines in case of a disaster.

Thanks for the great post and I wish you the best of luck getting back to normal.

MigrainePuppet said...

Thank you, Migrainista. I thought of some other things we should think of too for those "you never know" times. I think we should always have our travel bag together and ready to go.

For various reasons, mine was in disarray where I really could not get it all together until the weekend when I had daylight to help me. It made visiting showers more difficult especially if we have difficulties with scents.

Anonymous said...

Living in Florida for twenty plus years, I learned how to prepare and be prepared for whatever Mother Nature sent our way, but I can't imagine trying to keep a clear head about it while doing anything to keep the migraine at a dull roar. It is good to know that some companies stood behind their employees in this time of need and also stepped up to the plate by making donations to help people who really suffered severe losses with the hurricane. Though your suffering may not be seen on the outside like these hurricane survivors I feel deeply for your pain.

MigrainePuppet said...

I have to say that my company really went above and beyond during hurricane Sandy. Thank you for your kind words.