First Name: Barbara
Occupation: Retired medical assistant
How long have you had migraines?
I started suffering from migraines as a child. I grew up in the 60’s in Iowa, and at that time my parents nor I knew what migraines were or to seek treatment for such a medical problem as this. When I was 32 years old, I have a vivid memory of having a terrible migraine, which is what lead me to a doctor for treatment. This was 28 years ago. I continued to suffer from migraines so significantly that my primary care physician referred me to a neurologist for a medical help. This neurologist diagnosed me with a rare genetic disease in which one of the main presenting symptoms is migraines. The disease is called CADASIL .
When do you usually get migraines?
There are many contributing factors to my migraines. Foods with preservatives, sulfites, or nitrates, perfume scents, stress, weather, and when I was younger, hormones also contributed to my migraines. All these things still impact me but now that I am older the main contributions are weather, especially windy and barometric changes in the weather, a change in sleep habits, and stress. I do avoid alcohol, excess of sugar, cured meats, fast food restaurants where the food is not made from fresh ingredients. On vacation when my sleep pattern and exercising habits have been disrupted, I do as much as possible to recreate normalcy by taking my own pillow, resting when possible and exercise, all of which are a part of my daily routine.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
What haven’t I tried over the 28 years? I have tried every medication available. With the disease CADASIL, some medications are contraindicated, so I am not allowed to take these. Other medications have helped temporarily. I have tried biofeedback as well. Acupuncture has been the most beneficial for me. It not only has help with reduction of daily migraines, but also scent irritations, and the ability to eat dark chocolate. I am truly thankful for acupuncture.
What does your migraine feel like?
When I suffer from a migraine, my comprehension skills are completely void. I become fatigued, weak, experience gastrointestinal distress, have auditory sensitivity, see visual flashing, my breath also changes, and my head feels like it is being squeezed, going to explode, or being stabbed. Truly all these symptoms happen simultaneously. It is a complete breakdown of my systems and often I can not cope. Going to bed to “reboot” like a computer, as my husband says, is often how I have had to manage. Those who are close to me can see visual changes in my affect saying they can now tell when I am coming down with a migraine.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I have a new Headache Neurologist who introduced me to the Cefaly product.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
My experience with the Cefaly product has been positive so far. I have had it for over two weeks. I was in a phase of having a migraine every day and the device has interrupted this cycle. I intend to use Cefaly every day, and can also simultaneously incorporate biofeedback and relaxation during the 20 minutes preventive treatment.
One of the greatest benefits to the Cefaly device is that is not damaging to the internal organs like medications are. This is a remarkable breakthrough in science. I look forward to living a more quality lifestyle thanks to Cefaly treatment.
What made you want to share your story?
In sharing my story, it is my hope people who suffer with migraines are encouraged, especially with the rare disease of CADASIL, who have migraines and are looking for a treatment. You who have CADASIL, speak with your doctor to see if this treatment is right for you. It has helped me and my hope is that it will be of great health benefit to you as well.
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If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.