migraine educational session

Toronto, 2015.11.14

This week, I attended an information session on enduring with migraines, which I've been doing for 40 years.

Four fellows and 15 women (two of whom appeared to be sisters) attended the session; about the usual ratio of male to female you'd expect from a group of migraineurs. And wow was the migraine stamp on every one of those faces. Not a cheerful looking person in the lot. I took it from some of the comments that we're among the group the nurse spoke of at one point, where the meds and everything else aren't keeping the headaches under control. That is, the migraines have tended to take over our lives.

Anyway, I learned some directly applicable things that my mum has been telling me all my life, but I'll try again:

1. That ol' chestnut about 2L of water every day.

2. Eating 12-15g of protein within 30-60 minutes of waking.

3. Keeping a headache journal. It's been a real shit-show so far as I've had two full blown migraines and today's not particularly great.

I've scanned the literature they handed out; nothing here looks particularly proprietary. Hopefully the links will help some reader.

I had to work with three doctors over eleven to land this information session, and apparently it'll be another 14 months before I start to work with a doctor who specializes in the area. I expect it'll be worth it, however.

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reader comments

I think you remember I'm a fellow suffer? Here are my thoughts... 1. Water, yep! 2. Protein, yep! 3. I suppose I should do this. Regarding point 2, avoiding crappy carbs is also really important to stay balanced feeling along with eating enough protein throughout the day. Have you had anybody look at your cervical function? AKA your neck? If my neck isn't in good shape it can create a grinding headache that persists for days. Add on top of that an actual migraine and I really want to die. I also wonder about NaCL influence. I've sometimes eaten a dish (almost always at a restaurant) where immediately afterwards start hallucinating stuff (technically a scintillating scotoma). I've blamed MSG, but I have read that excessive salt might be more the culprit. I've definitely crossed into the medication overuse category. I went cold turkey and try to go as many days as I can without taking anything.


Hi, Audrey! One of the things they discussed in the training session was the route that a headache "travels" around the head. It starts at the place where the neck and skull join, travels over the scalp to the front of the head, then does this:

It's really amazing to see some of these illustrations. So .. illustrative.

I use salt (and caffeine) to control mild headaches. I'll buy a bag of chips and a cola. It can help skip actual meds if I catch it early enough.

The place I went to is promoting a mix of medication and other treatments, including this.

The migraine journal's a bit of a drag, when you see it all in writing.

It sounds like you're managing yours?