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 early wakeup 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. I try to always keep some on hand if I can. 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! (13 Things I Learned In 13.1 Miles)
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 in any place. 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 Advil 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 (migraines/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. I have blogged before about my migraines: Essential Oils + Migraines, Essential Oils I Love + How I Use Them
What’s in your emergency kit?