Location: Concord, MA
Years with Migraines: 47
Occupation: health care management consultant
How long have you had migraines?
Almost 50 years. I suspect that they were brought on by puberty and hormone fluctuations. My neurologist also thinks some childhood traumas around puberty might have triggered them.
When do you usually get migraines?
I definitely had hormonal triggers but I’m well passed menopause and they didn’t go away. Barometric pressure and storm related-events, like a windstorm, snow, etc., will trigger a migraine. I happen to live in New England and if there’s more than a 30-degree temperature swing in a 24-hour period, I am sure to get a migraine. Basically I have chronic migraines. I’m lucky if I go a couple of days without one.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I’ve tried a lot of different things. I got temporary improvement with acupuncture, NAET, chiropractic adjustments, electrical stimulation on trigger points, massage, yoga, tai chi, biofeedback, counseling, and exercise. I tried food elimination to see if I had food allergies that were triggering my migraines without improvement. My neurologist eventually put me on a cocktail of preventive medications that included a low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant, a SSRI antidepressant and anti-seizure. I also tried several triptans to rescue a migraine but the side effects made me worse. I use trigger point therapy with a massager or cane and that helps. But nothing has helped as much as newer electrical stimulation devices. I also have fibromyalgia and my neurologist says I am Circadian Rhythm-challenged. So times of year when it gets darker faster or lighter faster my migraines get much worse. So I do light therapy during those periods and that’s very helpful as well. Currently I’m not on any preventive drug. I was on them for 20 years and last October I forgot to take my mediations with me on the first vacation I’d taken in years. All of a sudden I felt so good and I realized these meds were giving me real side effects. One of the side effects is that over a 20-year period I gained 80 lbs. I’ve lost half of that already without even trying. Before, when I was on the meds, I couldn’t walk a ½ block without being winded. Now I’m back exercising – nothing too strenuous — and I want to get out and do things again. I feel better than I have for 20 years!
What does your migraine feel like?
My frequent migraines don’t tend to get real severe. Sometimes I get the kind that are like an ice pick stab through your eye or through your forehead. I also get the kind when there’s just a lot of pain on one side of my head or another and sometimes they last for days. My migraines include symptoms like nausea, brain fog, and a lack of coordination.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I had tried FDA approved home electrical stimulation devices for my fibromyalgia and also had it with a chiropractor when I was very young. In the last 15-20 years I’ve tried to do self therapy as much as possible. When I realized electrical stimulation devices existed for fibromyalgia that mimic what my medications were doing, I did research online and found Cefaly for migraines. I even found an electrical stimulation device for my migraine induced nausea.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
It has had a really positive effect on the quality of my life. I do at least one session a day for prevention. If I feel a headache coming on I will do maybe 2-4 consecutive sessions and it really helps relieve the pain. I find it helps the muscles let go. It’s usually not until I get past the 2nd session that my locked up muscles start to release. It does help, it’s pretty amazing. It takes a significant amount of the painful edge off.
What made you want to share your story?
Mostly because I’ve had migraines for so long and I’ve tried so many different types of therapies to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve tried a lot of alternative therapies too. Some work, some don’t and for me this is the very best alternative therapy I’ve tried in all the years I’ve had migraines. I know that part of my success is from the combined effect of multiple therapies. Getting off my migraine medications and using Cefaly instead has truly transformed my life.
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.