In my last post... I talked about how we all know we should track out migraines daily to help understand our patterns and triggers, as well as help our doctors with the most detailed information possible. I talked about how I stopped tracking a while ago, because the frequency and severity of my migraines, and then looking at the details, seemingly made me feel more depressed at the time.
I realized that it wasn't helping me to stop tracking. I reconsidered and have been tracking my migraines daily for more than a month now. I have to say, I feel more in control, and actually happier knowing exactly where I stand with my disease. I'll talk about this in more detail below as I review the app I've been using to do my daily tracking.
As a part of the Excedrin Migraine Ambassador Program, I've been testing out their new My Migraine Triggers app, which focuses on comprehensive tracking of your migraines and the corresponding triggers.
I have to say that I am SO pleased to report that the My Migraine Triggers app is a VERY well done app.
I tend to be quite skeptical when it comes to migraine related products in general... and when asked to be a part of the Excedrin Migraine Blog Ambassador program... I was a little hesitant to agree. I was truly worried that the app would be something slapped together by a marketing team who had no clue what migraineurs really needed.
I had no need to worry!
I was so thrilled when I got the app and used it for the first time. I had actually scoped out developing an app of my own and was very excited to see that this app follows the same process I would have used... asks you questions, then expands on your answer, provides open spaces for notes, super easy flow and data entry, and EXCELLENT reporting! The app is easy to use, has everything you need to be very detailed in your tracking, and the reporting features is the real gem.
I had a tough time sticking with it in the beginning because I was going through a really difficult period... and having migraines almost every day (for the first 17 days, I only had 15 with no headache... this is the type of thing that depresses me to look at). BUT... I'm glad I persisted... because for the past 2 weeks, I have had an excellent run and had several 5-6 day runs with no headache (or only a very mild one I could knock out with my OTC Excedrin Migraine - yea!). So, by sticking with it... I now not only have all the detail of tracking the period when I was having migraines almost every day... but also can see that I had nice stretches of time with very manageable pain. So... I'm glad I'm not ignoring it... and can now use these metrics to see how I can improve those numbers!
Here are some detailed screen captures of my actual report from the time I was testing. These came from the PDF I was able to email myself!
This is great because while I have a few things in there I can't control, I will certainly be testing giving up caffeinated soda and see if that helps when I'm having a rough stretch (knowing that I'll have headaches when I kick the caffeine of course!).
These things were a little clearer to me, but I was surprised that I didn't tick off sensitivity to light as often as I thought.
There is definitely an unusual stat here. I never used to have head pain on the right side... but lately, I have been having a lot more one sided headaches on the right side... they are not typical migraine though... I think they are triggered by other things - maybe allergy, not enough sleep, etc. I will specifically be watching this.
I'm VERY pleased with this stat. While I did have a very bad stretch of pain when I started tracking... I was happy to see that I never felt that I needed to rate most as severe (i.e. they did respond to my standard cocktail of treatment (sumatriptan, naproxen, hydrocodone, ice pack, sleep)). I honestly think I'd prefer to have more frequent, less severe headaches... because the really bad ones make me sick for days at a time (i.e. debilitated)... while the moderate migraines still allow me to be productive part of the day.
This is my favorite... where you can really see the day to day detail you've noted. I think this will be invaluable for doctor's visits!
If you'd like to try the My Migraine Triggers app it's now publicly available for iPhone and iPad.
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 are using the My Migraine Triggers app... what do you think?
EXCEDRIN MIGRAINE RELIEF KIT - WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Amy Appleton of Phoenix, AZ
Carolyn Connor of Rialto, CA
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.