Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Years with Migraines: Almost 50 years
Occupation: Self-employed in insurance
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines since I was 8 year old. Migraines run in my family, on both maternal and paternal sides.
When do you usually get migraines?
There are a multitude of triggers I’ve identified: stormy weather, travel (change in altitude), stress, a plethora of food items (gluten, smoked or preserved meats, cheeses, wine, beer – grain based and fermented foods and beverages are big triggers.) fragrances, mold, mildew. The list is quite long. Hormones are the biggest trigger. I could not take birth control pills because of the influence of the hormones.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
Sumatriptan when it first came out in the 80s and I still take it as needed. Heat and ice packs, I still use them. In the past I’ve tried blood pressure medication and seizure medication but the side effects were worse than the headaches. I currently see a physical therapist who uses dry needling to relax the tension in my neck. I take muscle relaxers as needed. Glasses with pinkish red lenses. They are specifically made for people who get migraines.
What does your migraine feel like?
My migraines feel like somebody jabbed a hot poker in my eye. I’ll have most of my migraines on the right side of my face and in my right eye… it feels like someone stuck a fish hook into my eye and they’re yanking it backward across my head and pain goes into my eye, around my scalp, and down my head. It’s throbbing and piercing. Once I have a migraine, sounds and smells (like what I call the vapor trails from smoke or people’s perfumes) make it worse. On occasion I will get a migraine in my left eye and it is worse than those on the right side.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
My dad saw it in an AARP magazine years ago and he texted me the information. I told my doctor who turns out had one I could try so I tried it and then ordered it.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I love it. The first time I used it I fell in love with it. It was like somebody was massaging my brain. That tingly sensation starts off slow and ramps up, it was like I’d died and gone to heaven. I have two of them, the original one the new one for acute migraines. I like that the new one will run for an hour and I like to use it at the highest setting. It’s an interesting device and I’ve worn it when my husband is driving, I’ve worn it at hockey games and different events and I’ve thought: I’m not going to skip and event just because I have a headache so I take my Cefaly with me. I’ve even used it in the hospital as I was being wheeled into surgery and I after surgery. Cefaly was my only option because I wasn’t able to eat or drink beforehand. The new device is portable and lightweight. I find my migraines have decreased in frequency and severity due to lifestyle changes and Cefaly is one of my most loved tools in my toolbox. The Cefaly is a nice thing to have because there are no chemicals. I feel good knowing that I’m not going to have an adverse reaction like I might when I take a drug or if I were to do neurotoxin injections, which I’ve refused.
What made you want to share your story?
I want more people to know there are options out there to treat migraines that are non-invasive and non-chemical. Some people might be put off by the cost but it’s worth every penny.
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