Location: Seattle, WA
Years with Migraines: 30+
Occupation: program management
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines probably for more than 30 years. I don’t know what started them.
When do you usually get migraines?
I haven’t been able to very reliably identify triggers but there are certain things that seem to contribute to or aggravate, my migraine: bright lights, stress, certain foods (like soy and dairy), over-exertion, things like that.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I’ve tried medical prescriptions for both prevention and acute treatments but most medications didn’t seem to work and came with side effects. That said, I have found some to be effective, such as Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory for acute treatment, Promethazine for nausea, and Amitriptyline, an anti-depressant, that helps as a preventive in my case. I’ve also used various herbal remedies such as feverfew and lemongrass tea, magnesium, ginger and turmeric all of which have been very helpful. And I’ve done some food elimination work.
What does your migraine feel like?
I have both chronic migraine and cervicogenic headache, so it can be hard to know when the migraine is starting to flare up. I have pain on the right side of my head (both stabbing and throbbing), nausea and sensitivity to light and smells, accompanied by some dizziness, fatigue and difficulty thinking and finding words.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
My neurologist recommended it. She takes a multi-modal approach, which is why I use a number of things to prevent and treat my headaches. The Cefaly device is a standard in her toolkit and I’ve found it to be quite effective.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I’ve been using the Cefaly device for more than 3 years. It took several days to get used to the sensation but my doctor told me to expect that. I use it every night before bed since it can cause drowsiness (a good thing at bedtime!). I primarily use it as a preventive but I do use it as an acute treatment as well. There was one time where I couldn’t take my preventive or herbal supplements because I was going to have surgery in a few weeks but I was able to use the Cefaly during that time. I would say that in tandem with everything else that I’m doing, it’s made the headache significantly less impactful. I believe Cefaly helps lessen the severity and duration of my migraines, and reduces the impact that the migraines are having on me. I’d say before Cefaly I was regularly at a pain level of six and now for the most part I’m able on most days to maintain a pain level of a two or below.
What made you want to share your story?
I feel like migraine is still very much a stigmatized condition. The more information that is out there, the more empowered people will be to find treatments that work for them. The Cefaly device does not seem to be well-known, and the more migraine sufferers that know about this device, the better. Most people I talk to are not aware of its existence, and I think that’s a disservice because it can be so beneficial.
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.