Angella: Cefaly a ‘real miracle’ for migraines

Cefaly device

Name: Angella
Age: 43
Location: Johnson City, Tennessee
Years with Migraines: 43
Occupation: Stay at home mom

How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had them my whole life. I was diagnosed with cancer, with brain tumors, at 27 years old and that just complicated things even more. I’m getting better though. Cefaly has really helped and gotten me engaged back in life because my headaches were truly debilitating.

When do you usually get migraines?
I haven’t identified any triggers. My migraines were pretty much constant but my situation is probably more complicated because I’ve had brain cancer and two craniotomies. So the doctors had pretty much given up on helping me as far as the headaches are concerned.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I was on a slew of pain medications. I’ve also tried some massage but it didn’t help; it was very temporary relief.

What does your migraine feel like?
It feels like my head is exploding. My migraines aren’t usually limited to one area, it tends to be my whole head. It’s a constant ache and usually very strong behind my eyes.

How did you hear about Cefaly?
My mom saw some information about it in my doctor’s office and asked if I’d tried it. I hadn’t heard of it but I thought ‘Why not, it can’t hurt?’

What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I used it full speed from the beginning. I’ve had it about a month and I started to feel better immediately from the first time I used it. I love the fact that it is a non-chemical way to take care of my migraines. I’ve been able to completely get off oxycodone for pain! I’m starting to wean myself off my other medications as well. Cefaly has given me my life back. I pretty much was homebound because of pain. I can get out now and do stuff and travel. I’m a mom, and a wife, and I’m able to participate in a life again. Cefaly has been a real Godsend and a real miracle to me. It’s been the first time in my entire life that I have not had headaches.

What made you want to share your story?
I hope that anyone else suffering like I was will find relief. I’d love to help get the word out so people don’t have to suffer with migraines like I did. I don’t know if it works for everyone else as well as me, but it’s just been a real goal of mine to get off my pain medication and to not be in pain; this is working for me.

Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to m DOT coder AT cefaly DOT us. Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.

If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.

Posted in Migraineur Stories Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Beverly: I have more headache-free days

Cefaly device

Name:  Beverly
Age:  66
Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Years with Migraines: 55
Occupation: Retired (formerly a lawyer)

How long have you had migraines?
I started getting migraines when I was 11 years old. In retrospect it seems maybe they were hormonal because that might be pre-menstrual in those days but they weren’t taken seriously by mom. I remember it was very frustrating because she thought I just wanted to get out of certain things. Nowadays I think people take that more seriously, which I think is reassuring to young people.

When do you usually get migraines?
I’ve identified a lot of triggers, all of which I try to avoid. The most distressing part is when I wake up with a migraine but I can do a pretty good job of avoiding them otherwise, with some exceptions. Insect repellent is difficult to avoid for me because I don’t always know when the neighborhood will be sprayed with an aerial repellant. If it’s a local ground spraying I can get ahead of that. Another trigger that’s beyond my control is barometric pressure, so if there’s a change, like a cold front, or humidity, or something like that it will usually trigger a migraine. In addition, I have a lot of food triggers and smell triggers. Alcohol is a big trigger and it’s in so many things, even pure vanilla extract. It’s really unpleasant to go eat with me because I have to quiz the waiter and they have to go quiz the cook. It’s pretty easy to not have a beer, the problem is all the other places they sneak alcohol into that are hard to avoid or catch. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is in so many places too and I can’t have it. I can’t have aged cheese. I can’t have peanuts. I also have issues with smells like gasoline and solvents; just filling up  my car up can be a problem. If gasoline drips on my hands, I have to find a place to really quickly wash my hands.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
The first thing I’ve always done is to not expose myself to the migraines; I carefully avoid my triggers. I’ve also had two surgeries. One was basically the surgical equivalent of getting neurotoxin injections. The other was I got my ovaries taken out. I had heard people say that it would help but I can’t say removing my ovaries did that much. I’ve tried magnesium IVs, acupuncture herbs, cranial massage, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and neurotoxin injections. I take an anti-seizure medication as a preventive. I also take an anti-depressive daily to help with hot flashes and allow me to sleep better. Getting enough consistent sleep is important to preventing my migraines. I also take a separate tricyclic antidepressant every night for migraine prevention. When I get a migraine I’ll sometimes take take rizatriptan as a rescue medication. I used to take a different triptan but it stopped working.

What does your migraine feel like?
My migraine is just throbbing pain. I end up going to lie down. I don’t have sensitivity to light or sounds, and I don’t have an aura. Mine is a common migraine that just lasts long and can put me down. It can be hard to soldier on. In those moments, when I have a choice I don’t exercise and I don’t do some of the fun things I would do in my general life, but at least they’re generally not completely incapacitating for me. One of the problems I run into is that the insurance doesn’t cover very much of the rizatriptan. I also find it difficult to know when to take it, because I want the pills to last for when I need them but then if I wait to know for sure if I will need it, it might be too late to actually use the pill to abort the migraine. And then if I do take it, and I took it too late, it’s like I wasted a pill. It can be lose-lose.

How did you hear about Cefaly?
A friend of mine told me about it. I called my neurologist and he was happy to write a prescription.

What’s your Cefaly experience like?
At first I would say that I didn’t think it was doing anything but then after I used it for a while I thought it really was working. Now I would never miss a day. I now have the Cefaly II and I crank it up right away. I really, really, don’t want to miss a day. Cefaly really helps me keep on track. I feel like it’s not a magic bullet but it’s a tool in the tool kit. I think Cefaly is a really key tool actually, one that I wouldn’t want to be without. There’s not that many things that I think work. I think the neurotoxin injections work (but at about two months after I get them I go to a local medi-spa and get a touch up; I can’t wait a full three months), avoiding the triggers, and Cefaly — those are the three things that I think are my keys to success in trying to be migraine-free.

What made you want to share your story?
Well, like I mentioned before, at first I didn’t think Cefaly was helping and I want others to know that I kept at it and after about two to three months I thought it was really working. I’m not sure why I felt that way or why I didn’t think that at first. I’m having more headache-free days and identifying the exact reason gets all tangled up. It’s really hard to unweave all the threads of what I could possibly attribute my success to but I have three key tools and I wouldn’t want to give Cefaly up.

Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to m DOT coder AT cefaly DOT us. Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.

If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.

Posted in Migraineur Stories Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Cefaly was a big help to Adrienne’s migraines during pregnancy

Name:  Adrienne
Age:  34
Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin
Years with Migraines: 10-15 years
Occupation: Stay-at-home/getting Masters in accounting

How long have you had migraines?
I realized I had migraines about 6-7 years ago. I thought I just had a lot of headaches for a few years before that, so really I’ve had them about 10-15 years. I realized they were migraines the first time I had an aura.

When do you usually get migraines?
I have narcolepsy, which I believe is probably my biggest trigger. I have also noticed sometimes when there’s a drastic change in weather, like it it’s very overcast, I can get migraines from that. I’ve had two times in my life with bouts of really bad migraines. The first was right after my son was born and the second was when I was 9 weeks pregnant with my second child. I ended up going to an acupuncturist and I also started the Cefaly with my second pregnancy. Bright lights are also a huge trigger for me. There have been times when I’ve had to wear sunglasses to drive home at night because I couldn’t handle the light from the other cars’ headlights.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
Normally I’d just take ibuprofen and coffee but when I got pregnant I couldn’t do that anymore. I had read about the Cefaly and asked my primary doctor about it. She’d never heard of it but looked it up and gave me the prescription. The first time I used it, it was too uncomfortable and I was only able to get 6-8 minutes through the session and I had to take it off. I didn’t realize I could adjust the intensity by pausing it. I was so desperate my doctor gave me a barbiturate medication that I was able to take a few times. One day I was in tears asking my husband to take me to the emergency room. I ended up throwing up, which helped a ton. After that my doctor sent me to a neurologist who knew about the Cefaly and showed me how to pause the intensity. That was the first time I got through the full 20 minutes and I became migraine-free for 6-weeks!

In the time after the pregnancy I was still limited in what I could do to treat my migraines because I was breastfeeding. In the hospital I was put on an antihistamine, which helped a lot and I continued with it as needed at home. I’m not on any preventives. I just use the Cefaly. I don’t use it every day but I find it I use it 4-5 days I’ll be good for about a month or two.

What does your migraine feel like?
I describe it to my husband as being like when you get brain freeze eating ice cream and it’s intense and it hurts but it doesn’t stop; it’s not just like a second like with ice cream. Sometimes I get nausea. The light sensitivity makes me feel like I am being hit in the head with a hammer.    When they are milder it is a spot above my right eye.

How did you hear about Cefaly?
I asked my primary care doctor for it. I had seen on an article in the Fox news app, back when it was approved by the FDA. I took mental note then that if my migraines ever get really bad again I’d try that. Then I got pregnant and my options were limited. I started using Cefaly and it was great to have a non-medication option that could help. It was critical actually.

What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I now fall asleep almost every time I do Cefaly; it’s very relaxing. It changed from being very uncomfortable and me ripping it off my skin, to feeling like a massage, to being so comfortable using it I now fall asleep with it on. Once I was able to control the intensity, I used it at my pace about 4 times before letting the device go at its full intensity and now it’s fine.

What made you want to share your story?
I think there are a lot of women who have issues in pregnancy and don’t realize that there’s this out there. I don’t know what I would’ve done in my pregnancy if I didn’t have Cefaly. It’s scary to take medication when you’re pregnant. There are no real studies. No woman wants to be a guinea pig. I think it’s critical people know about Cefaly, that it worked for me, and that it’s not a medication.

  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, please check with your individual doctor if it’s OK for you to use the Cefaly device.

Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to m DOT coder AT cefaly DOT us. Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.

If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.

Posted in Migraineur Stories, Pregnant with Migraines Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pregnant with migraines: Recap of Month 8

Eight down, one to go! I. am. so. uncomfortable. And yet, grateful to be pregnant and to have had a relatively easy pregnancy.

My migraines are holding steady at 3-5 a month but this month I feel an increase in mild headaches; fortunately they aren’t escalating into migraines. It’s been raining and gloomy, which has contributed to the head fog I’ve been feeling. If you’ve been following my migraines and pregnancy calendar, you know that weather and barometric pressure are huge triggers for me.  If you’ve just stumbled onto this blog post, you can catch up on month 1month 2month 3month 4month 5month 6, and month 7by clicking on each month.

I use Cefaly every day, well every night… it’s part of my bedtime routine (Note: If you are pregnant or trying to conceive please check with your doctor if you can use Cefaly. Everybody is different and it’s important that you follow your doctor’s specific recommendation for you). I was asked by my doctor to create a birthing plan, which felt rather jolting to think through so many possible scenarios. In searching the web for sample birthing plans I noticed some plans touched upon lighting in the delivery room. So, on my birthing plan I’ve requested dim lighting if possible and made a note about my migraines. If it’s my usual doctor, she’ll know but because one of five people at the practice I go to could be on call that day, I put a friendly reminder in there to cover all my bases.

Just in case this is the first blog post you’re reading in my pregnant with migraines diary, I want to once again disclose that I am the PR Manager for Cefaly in the United States. My experience is genuine and I want to make sure I comply with any blogging rules out there. You can read more about my story here.  

Also, are you a migraineur who is pregnant or trying to conceive? Want to share your story? Please email Maria at m.coder [at] cefaly.us.

Make sure to check back next month!

Posted in Pregnant with Migraines

George experiences less migraines with Cefaly device

Cefaly device

Name: George
Age: 67
Location: Alexandria, VA
Years with Migraines: 50+
Occupation: Retired from civil services

How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines for over 50 years. I just inherited them from my mom I guess.

When do you usually get migraines?
I don’t have any real triggers but many of my migraines are weather related. Also, if it’s bright or hot, that can do it too; at other times, they just come out of the blue.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I’ve tried a lot of the blood pressure medications but that didn’t’ really do anything. Nothing seems to work for me once I have a migraine. I did try neurotoxin injections for several years and that seemed to work as far as decreasing the frequency of the headaches. I don’t do the neurotoxin injections anymore since the Cefaly seems to work as well as they did for me.

What does your migraine feel like?
When I have a strong migraine it feels like my head should be exploding. I feel like I have some sort of dagger right through my eye and through the back of my head. I don’t feel like having my eyes open and looking at anything when it’s happening. One of the things I’ve done for years is sit in shower and have hot water pour down on my head. It gives me the same sort of pulsing sensation that the Cefaly does when it’s done.

How did you hear about Cefaly?
I’ve followed all the migraine news for years to see what was coming out that might help. A few years ago I read about Cefaly and went to a neurologist to get a prescription for one.

What’s your Cefaly experience like?
It’s as effective as the neurotoxin injections are for me, as far as reducing the frequency of the headaches. Before I did the neurotoxin injections and all that, back when I didn’t have any prophylactic measure, maybe I’d have two migraines a month that were intense and five or six others that I could take some sort of pain medication at the very beginning and stop them from becoming full migraines. Now it’s every 3 months that I get a very bad one. So, I went from two a month to one every 3 months or so, of the debilitating ones that is.

What made you want to share your story?
I think the product works and I’m willing to help others out by sharing my experience.

Want to share your story too? We’d love to hear from you! Please send an email to m DOT coder AT cefaly DOT us. Please include your name, contact information, and let us know where you’re located so we can set up a good time to talk.

If you’re wondering if Cefaly is right for you, click here for more information and, of course, check with your doctor.

Posted in Migraineur Stories Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,