Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin
Years with Migraines: 10-15 years
Occupation: Stay-at-home/getting Masters in accounting
How long have you had migraines?
I realized I had migraines about 6-7 years ago. I thought I just had a lot of headaches for a few years before that, so really I’ve had them about 10-15 years. I realized they were migraines the first time I had an aura.
When do you usually get migraines?
I have narcolepsy, which I believe is probably my biggest trigger. I have also noticed sometimes when there’s a drastic change in weather, like it it’s very overcast, I can get migraines from that. I’ve had two times in my life with bouts of really bad migraines. The first was right after my son was born and the second was when I was 9 weeks pregnant with my second child. I ended up going to an acupuncturist and I also started the Cefaly with my second pregnancy. Bright lights are also a huge trigger for me. There have been times when I’ve had to wear sunglasses to drive home at night because I couldn’t handle the light from the other cars’ headlights.
What have you tried pre-Cefaly?
Normally I’d just take ibuprofen and coffee but when I got pregnant I couldn’t do that anymore. I had read about the Cefaly and asked my primary doctor about it. She’d never heard of it but looked it up and gave me the prescription. The first time I used it, it was too uncomfortable and I was only able to get 6-8 minutes through the session and I had to take it off. I didn’t realize I could adjust the intensity by pausing it. I was so desperate my doctor gave me a barbiturate medication that I was able to take a few times. One day I was in tears asking my husband to take me to the emergency room. I ended up throwing up, which helped a ton. After that my doctor sent me to a neurologist who knew about the Cefaly and showed me how to pause the intensity. That was the first time I got through the full 20 minutes and I became migraine-free for 6-weeks!
In the time after the pregnancy I was still limited in what I could do to treat my migraines because I was breastfeeding. In the hospital I was put on an antihistamine, which helped a lot and I continued with it as needed at home. I’m not on any preventives. I just use the Cefaly. I don’t use it every day but I find it I use it 4-5 days I’ll be good for about a month or two.
What does your migraine feel like?
I describe it to my husband as being like when you get brain freeze eating ice cream and it’s intense and it hurts but it doesn’t stop; it’s not just like a second like with ice cream. Sometimes I get nausea. The light sensitivity makes me feel like I am being hit in the head with a hammer. When they are milder it is a spot above my right eye.
How did you hear about Cefaly?
I asked my primary care doctor for it. I had seen on an article in the Fox news app, back when it was approved by the FDA. I took mental note then that if my migraines ever get really bad again I’d try that. Then I got pregnant and my options were limited. I started using Cefaly and it was great to have a non-medication option that could help. It was critical actually.
What’s your Cefaly experience like?
I now fall asleep almost every time I do Cefaly; it’s very relaxing. It changed from being very uncomfortable and me ripping it off my skin, to feeling like a massage, to being so comfortable using it I now fall asleep with it on. Once I was able to control the intensity, I used it at my pace about 4 times before letting the device go at its full intensity and now it’s fine.
What made you want to share your story?
I think there are a lot of women who have issues in pregnancy and don’t realize that there’s this out there. I don’t know what I would’ve done in my pregnancy if I didn’t have Cefaly. It’s scary to take medication when you’re pregnant. There are no real studies. No woman wants to be a guinea pig. I think it’s critical people know about Cefaly, that it worked for me, and that it’s not a medication.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, please check with your individual doctor if it’s OK for you to use the Cefaly device.
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.