Safety, plan, Migraine, chronic illness, chronic migraine
chronic illness,  Hemiplegic Migraine,  Migraine

Importance of a Migraine Safety Plan …

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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.

Safety, plan, migraine, chronic illness, aura, chronic migraineOur plan has developed over time and each time something happens we make it better. Each time we make an improvement, I feel safer during and after the aura phase.

Have you developed a safety plan?

No Comments

  • Lorna

    This could be so helpful for some people! I don’t suffer from severe migraines and don’t have them too often but when I do, keeping sunglasses around is a great tip!

  • rebekahgillian

    This was a really interesting read. I’ve heard of people who suffer from hemiplegic migranes, but I never quite understood how debilitating they can be. As someone who also has a disability I can sympathise with having to have ‘safety plans’ to be able to live your life as well as possible. Mine has more to do with making sure I have my disability communication card with me, fidget toys, and changes of clothes if what I’m wearing becomes sensory hell. I’m sure this post will be so helpful for so many people!

  • Cindy Kolbe

    Wow. I can’t imagine! Sometimes I feel sorry for myself with my constant tension-type headache, but it’s nothing like what you’re experiencing. Doctors call it a migraine-variant. I admire your pro-active attitude and your plan. All the best to you!

    • The Frozen Mind

      We may experience it in different ways but we are more a like than different. I could never look at you and say you are lucky because you don’t have this symptom or that symptom. Pain…we all have excruciating pain. And, right now, there is no specific treatment, we are treated like drug seekers, attention seekers and hypochondriacs. Like I said, we are more a like than different.

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