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As I have mentioned before, I have a rare type of Migraine called Hemiplegic Migraine. My aura symptoms include stroke like symptoms and includes vision loss, right side paralysis, inability to say words (just comes out as jibberish) and right side facial numbness (includes tongue and sometimes throat tingling). That is on top of the excruciating headache, light and sound sensitivity.
That means being safe in my home has become very important. The reason I am posting this is because yesterday I was reminded of how important that really is. I went downstairs to freshen up my drink (My Yeti cup helps but eventually the ice still melts!). What was intended to be a quick trip downstairs turned into a bad situation very quickly. I had an episode in just those few minutes. My medicine wasn’t in reach and I couldn’t get to it because going upstairs with impaired vision does not work well… I have had falls twice. Every time something like this has happened we have tweaked the Safety Plan.
So, I thought this was a great time to share some of the things we have done to help me be safe during the aura phase as well as after.
- My husband puts my rescue medications on my nightstand every morning. I can’t open medicine bottles when one arm is paralyzed especially if the pain is severe and I cannot concentrate. So, this one is very important and learned the hard way.*
- If going downstairs to stay for a bit, I have a tote bag with my midday meds and rescue meds in it. I also put my phone and iPad in as well. Once downstairs, I pour my rescue meds into the lid so I have no trouble getting them. This has allowed me easier freedom to get out of the bedroom on days that I am feeling better.
- Never try to manage the stairs until the vision issues subside. I have done this…it resulted and twice the results we bad falls.
- Keep dark sunglasses on the coffee table. If I have an episode downstairs and I won’t be able to get upstairs to “the cave”. These will help with the light sensitivity.
- I never go anywhere in my house without my phone! This one is VERY important!
- I have the SOSoneclick app on my phone. This app is free and allows you to configure the person to text and what the text says. The app allows me to send an emergency text to my husband with 3 clicks instead of trying to type a message. It will also track your location, so if you are out by yourself and you have a migraine and need help, your emergency contact can click the location link in the text and it will open Google Maps!
And the new one (added yesterday)…
- Set out 1 dose of rescue meds in the downstairs medicine cabinet. This means my medicine is easily accessible during the quick trips downstairs.
Have you developed a safety plan?