Location: North Little Rock, Arkansas
Years with Migraines: 34
Occupation: stay at home mom
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines for 34 years. I don’t remember what started them and I don’t remember my very first one. We started seeing a neurologist because I had one so bad one time that I actually fell and didn’t remember it. At the time, they thought I was having abortive seizures and gave me a bunch of seizure medications. Eventually they figured out it wasn’t seizures. I had a time span with less migraines for quite a long stretch but then in 2014 I was in excruciating head pain again.
When do you usually get migraines?
Sometimes I will notice them more in the afternoons but sometimes I’ll wake up with migraines. Most of the time it’s stress. Whether it’s dealing with tech support or kids or anything, really. I joke with people but it’s not that much of a joke it’s hard for me to even do bank business and it’s really not funny and of course I do it anyway; a simple thing like trying to do a funds transfer and if it wasn’t going smoothly on the app it would cause a migraine. I’m blind but I have noticed I still have a sensitivity to fluorescent lighting. As far as smells, sometimes yes sometimes no. I had a perfume that I loved but after a while, every time I put it on I’d get a migraine. I don’t wear it too much because I don’t want to tempt fate.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
There’s a laundry list of things… just about every seizure medication and different preventives that ended up messing with my short term memory. I’ve tried the different migraine medications. Right now I’ll sometimes take a drug that’s a combination of acetaminophen, isometheptene and dichloralphenazone. I’ll also use a drug that’s a combination of butalbital, acetaminophen and caffeine.
What does your migraine feel like?
It is so hard to describe my migraine because there are different ones. Sometimes it travels, sometimes it is really sharp, intense, pain that feels like a massive brain freeze. We call it ‘mama’s brain pain’ because they make me grab my head mid-sentence. Sometimes it feels like one of those bells that has a clapper but instead of making a noise it’s just pain. Whenever I move my head, instead of sound it’s pain and it’s excruciating. It’s like a pressure in my forehead though it depends on the day. The really bad ones I can’t even move my head at all, just getting into bed hurts. Mostly, it’s a really annoying sensation and it hurts real bad and then you have to go do something about it. I often get nausea too.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
My neurologist told me about it. This was after she had pretty much said we have thrown everything we have at them. And she really had never prescribed it to anyone before, and didn’t sound too sure about whether it would work. It was kind of like well, there’s this one thing we could try… and I was like it’s really expensive, but I’m desperate.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I’ve had it for 2 weeks and it has made such a difference. It stops most of the migraine activity and now if I get a migraine it’ll start hurting and then I don’t feel anymore pain. It might start up again but it’s like my brain is already trying to block some of that activity on its own. When I use the acute setting on the device, if I have a migraine, when it’s over, when the device stops, the migraine has also stopped. There have been a few times when it doesn’t but most of the time it fixes them right away. I have been able to do the whole treatment from the very beginning. I didn’t like it at first, because sometimes it felt like my scalp was about to slide off. But now I do not feel that way, and have actually grown to love all the sensations, as they are interesting, and always changing.
I’ve also been noticing that since I’ve been using the device I’ve been exposed to stressful situations (I haven’t been able to go to the mall that much in the past but now I can or I can have an upsetting conversation and it’s like ‘oh, wait a minute, I don’t have a migraine, it’s gone’). Four to five days after using the device I woke up and wasn’t having a migraine. It was weird because I’d had constant pain and constant stuff going on in my head for 4 years and this is wonderful but it’s also a little bit odd. it’s not like I want it back, but I don’t hurt. I’m so excited and so grateful for this device. It’s working better than I even imagined. Not only because it works when I have it on but even when I don’t have it on, it feels like my brain is learning how to reprogram itself. I’ve had migraines since I was 13 years old and this is the first thing that’s worked almost every single time that I’ve used it. I notice at times the sensation of a pending migraine and think ‘oh no, I’m going to get a migraine’ and then a few minutes later I’m like ‘oh no, I’m not!’ It’s like the Cefaly is training my brain.
What made you want to share your story?
This is the first thing I have tried that has provided some relief every time I’ve used it. There have been 2-3 times when I used it and it didn’t take the headache away and it was because I only did the prevent setting and then I knew I should’ve done the other one but I didn’t feel like doing it again on the other setting. I don’t think anybody in Arkansas really knows about Cefaly and how it works. I’ve had a lot of people tell me they know so many people with migraines and I always want to share my story with friends. I think Cefaly can help and I think it’s so important to share that. Also, one of the things I love is playing music. My husband and I are in a band and I would sit down to learn something and I would get a migraine from it. I was having trouble processing. If I couldn’t do it, it would trigger those migraines and the last few times I’ve been playing I haven’t had a migraine.
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.