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When I was first diagnosed with migraines in elementary school, as soon as I felt one coming on – I went into a panic. I panicked because for me, a migraine means I am out of commission. The room spins, I feel nauseous, I get dizzy….it’s not pretty. So when people used to ask me – what’s wrong — you can’t handle a headache? I would get annoyed, because anyone who has ever suffered from migraines will tell you – it’s beyond a headache.
Finding a way to treat them at the first sign of them coming on is key. Unfortunately, migraines have no concept of the times where I have things I need to get done – they come arbitrarily and usually without any warning! As a chronic migraine sufferer, there is nothing worse than feeling one coming on right before you’re about to do something you love, whether that’s traveling, cooking, exploring — you name it! Last spring, I ran my first half marathon and the morning of the race, I woke up with that distinct migraine feeling. I felt like I was going to puke…NOT TODAY MOTHER NATURE! PLEASE!
Races typically begin around 5AM, so it requires waking up quite a bit earlier than usual, which can sometimes be a real bear. For me, that sometimes triggers migraines. What’s worse than waking up early? Waking up with the beginnings of a migraine. I ate some breakfast and took some Excedrin® Migraine, which starts to relieve migraine pain in 30 minutes and is a #1 neurologist recommended* product. I try to always keep some on hand, which is easy enough since it’s sold at Walmart in the medicine aisle! Use as directed and consult your doctor if you think you are suffering from migraines.
An hour later when I made it to the start line of Hawaii’s Hapalua Half Marathon, I was feeling good enough to run. HALLELUJAH!
I finished my race without stopping or getting sick due to migraine pain.
Thankfully I was at home when this migraine came on, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I need to be prepared for one at any time. For this, I keep an emergency kit in my purse for everything I might need from migraines to paper cuts, sickness and more.
My top emergency kit items are as follows:
Business Cards. I never know when I might need to hand out my card or meet someone who says “Hey, can I get your contact information?”
Lip Balm. You know how in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” how the dad sprays window spray on everything? That’s how I feel about lip balm. Chapped lips, dry skin, cuts, scrapes – lip balm.
Cash. I always keep a small amount of cash in my emergency kit. This is partially because I almost never have cash in my wallet. There are a ton of places that are cash only in Hawaii, so I try to always be prepared with some.
Excedrin®. I prefer having Excedrin® Migraine on me, because it targets my migraines in a way that normal medication cannot.
Tissues. This one should be pretty self explanatory, but hello! Runny noses and random coffee spills (not that I EVER do that ;))
Other variations on my emergency kit include: heartburn relief, lip stain, a battery pack that is useful for when electronics die, teasing comb, change (parking meters will get you every time!), essential oils in peppermint (stress relief) and lemon (for in my water bottle) and nail clippers.
Unfortunately, migraines are just part of my life and something I know I’ll have to deal with for the long haul. Thankfully, there are products that take away the sting and help me to live my best, active life.
What’s in your emergency kit?
*Among OTC medicine for migraines. Symphony Health Solutions, 2016