Sunday, December 9, 2012

Migraine App and Giveaway Winners

I’ve had a little over a month to try out the new My Migraine TriggersTM app which was developed by the makers of Excedrin® Migraine along with a leading neurologist who is well respected in the Migraine field. This app is available on iTunes for free.

Unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to test out this app. I’ve also shown a few people how easy the app is to use and where they can go to download it for themselves. Don’t tell my sister I said this, but she was actually able to download this app by herself and found it pretty easy to use too.

My sister liked the way things flowed from one screen to the next; they seemed logical, easy to maneuver around and simple to add anything she wanted to within the different areas. The only feedback she had was that when she would enter in her Migraine after it started, she didn’t know how to answer the question ‘How long did it last’ since her Migraine was still going on and hadn't completed yet.

How well did the app work for me? Overall, I really liked the app too. It’s so much easier to keep track of my Migraines using the My Migraine TriggersTM app than trying to write everything down in the heavy planning calendar that has limited writing space which I carried around before testing the app; to help keep track of my triggers, symptoms, medications and pain levels.

I liked the way I could track possible triggers, to see if they may be delayed triggers that could take up to 48 hours to trigger a Migraine.  This feature may be more helpful for me when I get my Migraines under better control, but it’s something that my sister can use now.

The My Migraine TriggersTM app is real easy to use and has the flexibility to add what we need to any of the areas we should track especially since we are all different and have our own tracking needs. I like the quick charting capabilities where I can simply see potential triggers I’ve been exposed to and pain levels experienced in a pie chart format while the percentage of triggers I was exposed to 24-48 hours before a Migraine, symptom frequency and pain locations were clearly read in a bar chart format.

I found I could put my preventative medication changes in the notes section as well as anything else of special interest to me or my doctor. Everything I put into the My Migraine TriggersTM app also reports out in a diary log. This diary and the graphs can be printed out or emailed wherever you want.

I mentioned in my first post about the My Migraine TriggersTM app that I also keep a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet has grown over the years and gives me a lot of what I like to see around my Migraines, but it is also missing things that I would love to see in a Migraine app.

I currently have two graphs on my spreadsheet which track my Migraine evolvement over the year. It graphs them month-by-month and week-by-week where I can see some very interesting things that have happened over this period. It also includes trend lines so I can easily tell the progress of how my Migraines have been going.

There are two important items where my spreadsheet falls short and I would love to have an app take over these holes. I need to track my FMLA usage and find a way to track my MIDAS scoring. I feel both of these items would be reflective of how I am coming along with my Migraine management and my doctor asks for MIDAS with every visit.

I’ve adapted my spreadsheet for some things my Migraine specialist requires – it will calculate average number of Migraines and intensity level per month as well as the average number of Migraines and intensity level per month since my last doctor’s visit. It will also highlights the most severe Migraine and the number of times I was at that level since the last visit. For me, it also keeps a running total of the medications I’ve taken on a MTD and YTD basis. My spreadsheet doesn’t touch FMLA or MIDAS yet.

Since I’ve never really tested a Migraine app on a small device before, I can only give a wish list that I don’t even know if it is too outrageous to ask for from an app. In addition to FMLA and MIDAS, I would want to be able to export the data into a format I could use to import into my spreadsheet or use wherever else I would see fit. I’m not sure if I’m ready to give up my spreadsheet yet. The other small area I would want to see improved on the app is that the report currently does not list the medications I’ve tried and put into the app.

Now for the fun part as congratulations go out to the winners of the Excedrin® Migraine Relief Kit giveaway. First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated by commenting on my blog. The two winners, who were chosen at random, are Pam West and Snubs. Pam and Snubs, please contact me through MigrainePuppet at gmail so we can make arrangements to give you your Excedrin® Migraine Relief Kit.

Overall, I have to say that I like the My Migraine TriggersTM app so don’t forget to download it from iTunes to try it out for yourself. Also, stop by the Excedrin® Facebook page and on Twitter to help you with your Migraine journey.

Disclosure: I am an Excedrin® Migraine brand ambassador. One iPod Touch to test the app was provided by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine; my journey for a Migraine-free experience is my own.

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