Location: St Louis, Missouri
Years with migraines: 40+
How long have you had migraines?
I’ve had migraines my whole life. My mother had them, my grandmother had them, and now my daughter has started to get them too.
When do you get migraines?
I have a variety of triggers, such as: my menstrual cycles, cigarette smoke, sun, weather changes, lack of sleep, and fluorescent lighting, to name a few.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
I am presently on a series of medications. I take daily anti-epileptic medication for preventive care. I also do neurotoxin injections and I just started a (CGRP-R) antagonist. I find that each new level of medication or treatment has made an improvement. There’s no one trigger, or one problem, so there’s no one solution. I have always had to have a strategy of treatments. I’ve had to approach it very differently with a variety of things. In addition to the medications, I also take a series of vitamins and minerals. I drink a lot of water because dehydration is a huge issue for my headaches. I don’t drink caffeine most of the time, except for an occasional tea. I don’t drink alcohol anymore because of migraines though I hardly drank before. I’ve made a lot of lifestyle changes to try to help myself. I workout with a personal trainer, I make sure my posture is good. I’m trying a holistic approach.
What does your migraine feel like?
My migraine always starts in my neck. I have a really high pain tolerance so my migraines last for days but I’ll keep going. A lot of times it’s a consistent feeling of pain, nausea, and exhaustion. I start to feel like every movement is a ton of work and all I want to do in those situations is go to seep in a dark, cold, room. I function a lot with a migraine of a 4 or 5 level for several days in a row.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I think it popped up on Facebook several years ago. I’d been Googling migraine treatments and the Cefaly device had just been FDA approved. I went to my doctor with it and was among the first in my neurologist’s office to try it.
What’s your experience been like with the device?
I used it 4-6 months daily for 20-minutes and it helped me to relax to sleep. It was several years ago but I don’t remember thinking my migraines were decreasing; what I did notice was that when I had a migraine coming and I put the device on it would calm the chaos in my brain – and this was the early version that looked like a crown, so it did not have the acute setting). Still, if I had a migraine coming I’d put it on and I found it helpful. I still use it in this way. It wasn’t the silver bullet but I don’t have any silver bullets. Cefaly is a great addition to bringing some calm to my brain that I didn’t have any other way of getting. If I have a full blown migraine I can put the Cefaly on and have no pain for the 20 minutes it’s on my head. Sometimes when you’re in that state you just need to have that relief. If I put in on when I have an 8 or a 9 level migraine, during the 20 minutes I have it on my migraine is non-existent. So, when I say it gives me a break, it really gives me a break! Afterward it takes my migraine from an 8 to a 6 or a 5. It really provides that break, that relief I need, to regroup because sometimes you’re just like I can’t handle another day of solid pain. Especially when I’d have migraines so many days in a row. At one point I was up to 18-20 days a month and then down to 6-10 days, that’s when I added in the Cefaly.
What made you want to share your story with us?
The more we educate ourselves about migraines, and the more we help each other, the better off we are. I talk about migraines all the time… you learn that it impacts so many peoples’ lives. I am a true believer in learning from shared experiences.
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.