Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Years with Migraines: 44
Occupation: Electrical engineering
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines since I was 12 though I was diagnosed in my 20s.
When do you usually get migraines?
I have multiple triggers and I can never really break it down to one but stress, certain foods, red wine, and tannins (e.g. bananas), nitrates (bacon, etc.) are defiant things I try to avoid. I’ve learned that balance is a big deal. I can have some of these things some of the time and be OK but I can’t have all these things all the time and be OK. I have to keep my trigger level down. My migraines went chronic about three years ago. I also picked up a new symptom of optical migraines. I had optical issues before. One of the first things I get with my migraines is tunnel vision and raised veins on my hands. Then I started getting a lightning bolt in my left eye that started to really bother me. I didn’t realize it but I was having 10-12 days of migraine (until I started to keep a journal) where I’d just be pushing through it and taking over the counter drugs and my prescriptions medications a lot causing stomach issues. I was working a very high stress job, traveling a lot, it was hard to regulate my diet, etc. Lighting and smells are also an issue.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I did a bunch of things to change my life. I quit the high stress job. I went to work part-time. I did the migraine food diet for 6-moths. I did a lot of yoga, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapy, I did it all at one time. I basically got to a breaking point. My neurologist wanted me to get neurotoxin injections for my migraines and I said no, so I switched neurologists. I got so fed up and wanted to find someone who wanted to do something other than push neurotoxins. The new neurologist suggested Cefaly even though she didn’t have patients using it yet.
What does your migraine feel like?
It usually started behind my eyes and then it migrates out to the sides of my head. It’s bilateral for me. Then it goes to the back of my head. I’m going by memory from 2-years ago because I haven’t had one that bad since starting the Cefaly. My daughter is 25 and I didn’t realize how much of an impact my migraines impacted her… when she was younger there were times I’d give up my weekends or couldn’t do things to a extent and I couldn’t be 100% present because of my headaches. I would have to be in a dark room and quiet, sometimes for a couple of days at a time.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
My new neurologist told me about it.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
My life is better now than it’s been most of my life. I go now 6-8 weeks without a headache and I’ve never had that happen before in my lifetime. The headaches I do have are controllable by the medicines again. Now I can take one pill and keep going or lay down and recover so much quicker. I used to wake up with migraines and go to bed with migraines. Ice packs were my constant companion. I used to take plastic bags to make ice packs on the go while traveling. When I first started using the Cefaly I was still having migraines constantly and I read that it took a while so I thought I’d give it some time. At that point I’d quite working full time and had the time so every night I’d use it for 20-minutes and between 30-45 days it was like a switch went off and all of a sudden the migraines subsided and I continued to use it and noticed that slowly over time there were less and less migraines. But it’s like there was a switch just over a month in of using Cefaly where I went from chronic migraine to episodic to once in a while migraine. Sometimes I wonder: OK why haven’t I had a migraine in a while? When I do have one now it’s so much more mild. I feel I have a lot more energy, a lot more time. I feel I sleep better. I’ve done other things to – the diet, the exercise, etc. to make my life more regular and calm. If I had had the Cefaly before I quit my job I think I could stay at the hard stress job and still do it. I feel I could have been a lot better if I’d had it earlier in my life.
What made you want to share your story?
I was really happy with your customer service. I recently ordered the new DUAL and they were so great. I got emails telling me when things were coming, and thank you’s for the order. Cefaly is just a great product and I rave to everyone I talk to about migraine. I’d had such a great experience I want other people to get their life back; so when customer service asked me I said sure.
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.