We've all been told how helpful it is to track our migraines. So why don't we?
Is there anything we can do to make it a daily ritual we consider a positive, helpful tool instead of another chore in our already busy lives?
I was recently asked to be a part of the Excedrin Migraine Ambassador Program. As part of that program, I've been able to test out their new Migraine app, which focuses on comprehensive tracking of your migraines and the corresponding triggers. In the information Excedrin provided, one of the statistics they provided really intrigued me.
"According to a new survey, an overwhelming majority (93%) of women who suffer from migraines say they want a better understanding of their migraine triggers, yet only 11% say they currently track potential migraine triggers regularly."
When I read that, I believed immediately that I had personal insight into why so many people don't track their migraines. I think it's likely the same reason I tend to fall out of the tracking habit...
I've had migraines since I was 18... I'm now 43. It just occurred to me that I hit the 25 year mark with no real cure or long term relief. Looking at the reality of how this disease affects my life negatively can make me really sad at times. I don't naturally tend to focus on the many positive things you gain from tracking. I can, at times, focus on the single negative that comes with it. The big negative for me is actually being able to see very clearly the "stats" showing how debilitating my migraines really are and how much of my life they consume.
For more than a year now... I haven't been tracking my migraines. I thought I needed a break from looking so closely at it and just wanted to see if attempting to "ignore" it and only focus on enjoying the times when I do feel well would make things better (maybe even make the migraines better - less stress for example). I haven't blogged as much this year as I did in the past either.
I just recently started to track my migraines again with the new My Migraine Triggers app from Excedrin Migraine. And as I expected... it's been a bit depressing to find that in the time since I started tracking (13 days), I've only had 2 days with no headache at all (not all were full migraine attacks, but I tracked all head pain).
But, it's been eye-opening as well...
I found out that... tracking or no tracking... blogging or less blogging... my migraines are still as frequent and debilitating as they've always been. My strategy of "ignoring" or just living and trying not to pay attention to my migraines is definitely not getting me any closer to finding out how to stop them. I know from life experience that knowledge is the only thing that really gets us to any answers. My lack of tracking, while possibly a relief emotionally, only hurts my chances of finding my own triggers AND makes it more difficult to accurately report the state of my disease when getting help from professionals.
So, with the help of the My Migraine Triggers app... I am going to be tracking on a daily basis and recording as much detail as I can consistently. I'm loving the app so far, but will post again on December 16th with my full review of the app... and how it's helping me track my triggers.
If you'd like to try the My Migraine Triggers app it's now publicly available for iPhone and iPad. Excedrin Migraine teamed up with a neurologist to create this easy-to-use and convenient migraine tracking tool.
This app will allow you to:
- Keep track of your everyday activities, such as exercise, stress and eating habits to help identify your potential migraine triggers
- Chart out daily log information into customizable reports to easily understand which activities, foods and beverages are associated with the onset of your headaches
- Print or email your log and results to share with your doctor to better diagnose and treat your migraines
And the more you use it, the more it helps. Since migraines can set-in up to 48 hours after being exposed to a trigger, it is important to record potential triggers whether or not a migraine has started.
I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
If you have even a moment to comment to this post... I would love to hear from you about how you track your migraines and whether you think this new app would help you.
- How you currently track your migraines and triggers
- What methods do you use?
- Do these methods and tools work?
- Are you able to share the data with their doctors?
- Have you tried the My Migraine Triggers app... what do you think?
ENTER FOR A CHANCE TO WIN AN EXCEDRIN MIGRAINE RELIEF KIT!
As a thank you for reading and taking the time to comment (submitting a comment is not required)... I'd love to have you enter for a chance to win the Excedrin Migraine Relief Kit! The kit includes some items that will help you manage some common migraine triggers (i.e. irregular sleep habits, loud noises, and stress):
- Sleep Mask
- Noise cancelling ear buds
- Branded Stress Balls
- Herbal Compress
- Branded Water bottle
(One entry per day. Giveaway starts November 28, 2012 at 7:00 am EST and ends December 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be drawn at random on December 16, 2012 and contacted via email. Winners names will also be included in a blog post on December 16, 2012.)
Disclaimer: I am a paid Excedrin® Migraine blog ambassador. Along with compensation, one iPod Touch to test the app was provided by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine; my journey for a migraine-free experience is my own.