First Name: Kelly
Age: 31
Location: Farmingdale, NY
Years with Migraines: 23
Occupation: Epic application specialist
 
How long have you had migraines? 
I’ve had migraines since I was 8 years ago; they’re hereditary. My father had them, my grandmother, and my great grandmother had them too.
 
When do you usually get migraines?
Other than high stress prolonged situation, I haven’t found any other triggers. I used to be in theater quite frequently and after coming down the high of a show I would end up with a week-long migraine. Other than that, I haven’t found a trigger for my day-to-day migraines
 
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I went through the whole list of medications, all the triptans, nasal sprays, beta blockers… I had got a new Neurologist when I moved (the one that gave me the prescription for Cefaly) and he gave me a list and said that the ones that I didn’t check off were just sister medications of the ones that I did and wouldn’t help me. I also tried acupuncture. I tried chiropractic measures and eating differently but nothing really changed. I was about to go to neurotoxin injections but I really didn’t want to and that’s why I tried Cefaly first.
 
What does your migraine feel like?
It feels like I have hooks above my eyes that are pulling my skull forward and my head is in a vice, my heartbeat sounds like a Jet engine and a Javelin running from the back of my skull to my forehead. Any noise or movement will just make my head feel like it’s about to explode. Light hurts, heat makes everything worse.
 
How did you hear about Cefaly? 
My mom did a lot of research when I was younger on tens units. At the time when she was doing it they weren’t allowing kids my age to be part of the trials. I think I saw Cefaly on some social media platform at some point and jumped at the chance the moment it was FDA cleared.
 
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
To say that It’s been completely life-changing is an understatement. I used to worry about if I had to call in to work, if I had to miss a family birthday, if I had to cancel a date, and I usually had to do it 20-minutes before something was supposed to happen because that’s just how my life was. It created an anxiety of letting people down, and being excluded because of not being able to participate, and a terror of never being accepted. I’ve been using Cefaly for about 4-years and I’ve gotten to the point that it’s rare for me to get a migraine, at least one that puts me down and out. It’s a completely different life now. I was getting anywhere from 12 migraines a month, of which probably two of them were ones that had me completely down, on a scale of 1 to 10 for pain I was like a 8 to a 10. And now, I might have one migraine a month, maybe two a month and of those, maybe one every 6-months leaves me down and out. I’ve been given a new lease on life.
 
What made you want to share your story?
I always use to say that I wouldn’t wish a Migraine on my worst enemies, and I would do anything I could to help someone who also experiences them. I’m part of a migraine reddit community and anytime that I see someone posting for help on that community I always share my experiences with Cefaly. It’s such a different way of approaching things. I hate taking medications, I’ve had such a terrible experience/side effects with some of the medications that some of my neurologists have put me on… I’ve had such an amazing experience with Cefaly and I know how terrible it is to have a migraine. I want everyone to know how different my life has been because of it, and how different their lives can be when they are no longer living in the fear of when the next attack with happen.

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.

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Sooner or later every migraine patient will be encouraged to keep a migraine calendar or a migraine diary. It can feel a bit overwhelming to jot down your migraine amid a migraine attack. And yet, recording your migraines can be incredibly useful for you to better identify any patterns and also to help your doctor form a better plan of attack. If you’re using pen and paper, it’ll be hard to ensure you have the most comprehensive data. If you add your migraines to a digital calendar that holds your other appointments, you risk drowning the information among events, birthdays, and meetings. So, what’s the solution? Try a migraine-specific app, like Migraine Buddy.

Migraine Buddy is a free migraine diary and advanced headache tracking app that was designed with the help of neurologists and data scientists. It’s fast and easy to use, minimizing the amount of time you’ll need to spend rummaging on a screen, and it’s also easy on the eyes with warmer colors and a friendly interface. Not to mention, when you go in to log your migraine, it has a large “remind me later” button that records the fact you have a migraine and well, reminds you later to go in and add more information when you’re feeling more up to it.

Migraine Buddy App Features

In addition to when you have a headache, Migraine Buddy helps you identify and record migraine triggers. It also lets you note your migraine symptoms, frequency, pain level, and where on your head you’re experiencing the migraine, as well as other lifestyle factors – like sleep. The app then generates a report, which you may export and share with your doctor.

The app has many other intelligent features, like:

  • Migraine Impact Reports, which help show you the ways migraine is impacting your daily life.
  • Daily Pressure Forecast, to help you stay ahead of barometric changes.
  • A Discover section with useful migraine news and information.
  • A Chat section, which ties it all together really.

More than 2 million people have downloaded the app. It’s the #1 Migraine App according to both patients and doctors.

The app is aptly named. Despite its many bells and whistles, Migraine Buddy truly envelops you in a community reminding you, above all, that you are not alone – something every migraineur could use reassurance on every now and then. Not bad, huh? Especially when you thought you were just getting a calendar.

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Have you ever had to call out sick because of a migraine? You’re not alone. More than 157 million workdays are lost each year in the US due to migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. And while that statistic is scary enough —  a poll from 3-years ago found that more than half of Americans that miss work or school due to headaches and migraines don’t tell their employers that head pain is what’s causing their absence. So, that’s even more people missing work because of a migraine that we will never know about.

Sometimes, there’s no way around it – you have to miss work because of a migraine. You need a dark room. You need quiet. You need a stress-free zone. Other times, there’s a window (with the appropriate amount of shading) for you to push through and get things done. Only you know the difference.

If you’re trying to work through a migraine – and think you can do it – here are six tips to help you meet that deadline or sit through that office meeting or simply to not lose traction.

Dim the lights: If possible, turn off overhead lights and use a table lamp with a warm light (yellow, as opposed to a white light bulb). If you’re near a window, can you draw the shades? Perhaps you can swivel your seat so the light hits you from behind instead of full-on or from the side?

Reduce the glare: If the computer screen is hurting your head but you need said screen to accomplish your task, try reducing the brightness. If you have precision-tinted lenses, put them on and/or consider investing in an anti-glare screen protector. You might also want to try printing large pieces of text to read on paper then only using your keyboard/screen to type what’s absolutely necessary.

Drink some water: Sometimes we’re so focused we lose track of what we haven’t done. Stretch your legs, get some water – maybe you’re slightly dehydrated or maybe your posture is getting in the way. It’s worth a try.

Take a break: Working during a migraine doesn’t mean you can’t take a time out. If you have a Cefaly device – quick, put it on. If you have an aura and have the ability to get ahead, 20-minutes on the PREVENT setting could help prevent your migraine from fully developing. If you already have a migraine, choose the ACUTE setting to help stop your migraine in its tracks. Low on time? Press and hold the button to ramp up to your desired intensity level. Ideally, you can take an hour to yourself but if you can’t, do what you can and/or keep working during your treatment.

Prioritize: Chances are some assignments are more important than others. Identify the ones that must be done now versus the ones that can wait till later in the day, or possibly tomorrow.

Communicate: If you have many things due ambiguously soon – ask for more information. If you feel it’s appropriate, explain you have a migraine but take your assignment very seriously. Stress you’ll do what’s needed – then ask what’s really needed today. Chances are, you’re putting extra pressure on yourself. Some things can wait. And even the things that you think can’t wait, often can be set aside for a few hours (or more) when the other person is aware you’re attempting to work with a migraine and you’ll get to it as soon as possible. If you feel your migraine is on the mend, you might even ask if you can complete the task after hours. Some employers just want it done – and don’t necessarily need it to clock in by five.

Also, if you often find yourself with migraines at work, try keeping a migraine calendar or diary and note anything that stands out as different about your day. Do you always get a migraine after a specific meeting? Cast yourself as a detective and look for clues. Is there anyone in that meeting that isn’t in the others? Might they be wearing a strongly scented perfume or cologne? Is your meeting held in a room with overhead fluorescent lighting? Is there a lot of noise nearby? Are you reaching for office snacks that might have ingredients that trigger your head?

In the end, as you already know, prevention is key. Plan ahead on projects or do more tasks when you’re well so you can slow it down when you need the added time to read (possibly with blurry vision). Hopefully these small steps will help you in the moment – but also pave the way for less migraines overall.

Over the river and through the woods… to a packed, noisy, house you go? Thanksgiving is a time for gathering and sharing. It’s wonderful – until it triggers a migraine; then it’s not.

Here are some tips that may help you eat more and dread less of turkey-centered family time:

Prep early: Are you traveling or hosting this year’s Thanksgiving gathering? If you’re traveling pack with plenty of time so you’re not stressing to get out the door and accidentally inducing your own migraine. If you’re hosting, decide on a menu ahead of time and shop early – while you still have time to cook or bake, and before the last-minute mayhem at the supermarket. Be realistic about what you have the time and energy to do and delegate when possible. Ask the teenagers in the family to take and hang coats, put someone in charge of drinks (and offer only a few choices for simplicity), and leave the music or TV selection to someone else. Also, game plan your seating arrangements. Sitting with your back to an open window or football game could be your saving grace – if direct lighting and/or quick movements trigger your head.

Issue reminders: Family and friends want you to enjoy the holiday. If you know your aunt’s perfume or your cousin’s aftershave are triggers for you, politely ask them beforehand to skip those scents. If family or friends are bringing someone new, ask them to ask their guests to avoid heavy perfumes and such.

Avoid migraine foods: Keep tabs on what you eat and drink. In fact, try to refill your own drink to help you moderate. Stay away from foods you know will trigger your migraine, as tempting as they may be in the moment. Step back from the cheese and choose some fruit for your plate instead, for example. If you’re extremely sensitive to ingredients and traveling to the festivities, consider bringing your own food.

Take breaks: If the noise or the lights or the people or [fill in the blank] are too much, then take a break. Excuse yourself and find a moment to yourself. If you feel a migraine about to begin, grab an electrode and put on a CEFALY device. While the ACUTE setting is best to treat a migraine at the onset, if you don’t have a full hour, do as many minutes as you can. Actually, once your session is underway, push and hold the device to ramp up to your desired intensity then let go and spend a few minutes treating your migraine. Chances are you can eliminate it before it becomes more problematic.

Spending a few extra minutes before the festivities can make all the difference to your holiday.  Similarly, planning your exit strategy, could also be key. Stay long enough to enjoy the moment but short enough to allot for any necessary travel, account for time changes, and post-turkey sleepiness.

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Name: Elaine
Age: 70
Location: Northridge, CA
Years with Migraines: 35+
Occupation: Retired – account manager/healthcare

How long have you had migraines?
I started having migraines in my mid-thirties, about 2 to 3 a month.  When I hit menopause, it went crazy. Then I would get at least one, sometimes two a week, and sometimes each would last for a few days.

When do you usually get migraines?
My triggers are lack of sleep or hunger; certain smells will trigger one too, like weird smells or perfume. For a time, I didn’t drink red or white wine or chocolate since they would also bring on a migraine.

What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I’ve tried many abortive migraine medications plus some preventative medications, as well as one that was intended for seizures. I have a lavender pillow in my freezer that I put on my eyes that I’ll use during a migraine attack.

What does your migraine feel like?
It start from my neck and goes all the way up to my head and my eyes, it’s terrible. It’s as if it lives behind the eyebrow or eye socket.

How did you hear about Cefaly?
I used to be in the healthcare industry so I still get a bunch of emails about healthcare and I found out about Cefaly just as it received FDA approval.

What’s your Cefaly experience like?
It is miraculous. It’s unbelievable. I use my Cefaly every night. When I first started using the Cefaly headband I couldn’t sit through a full session but eventually I could. My daughter also started using it too. She still gets migraines but it probably cut them in half.

What made you want to share your story?
Cefaly has changed my life. I don’t have to cancel meetings or babysitting or going out, my daily activity is like a normal person. I want people to know this is what Cefaly did 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.

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