When a migraine hits the last thing you feel like doing is searching for that one bottle of pills with that extremely small print in the back of the over crowded medicine cabinet or your favorite ice pack that has been shoved under the bathroom sink. That is were your "Survival Kit" comes in. When you are trying to think of different things to use just think of all the things you normally need during an attack. It may take you a little while to build the "perfect" kit. You may add things and take things out as you find what works best for you.
Just a few suggestions to include.
Medication – you want to put at least two doses into your bag, because you never know how long your migraine may last. Touch is very key when packing your bag since you may not be able to see through the spots in your vision at times. If you have more than one medication you may want to find a way to label them in a way that they are identifiable by touch. You could glue some foam stickers onto the tops of the bottles (hearts, squares , etc.) this way you can feel what is what . Make sure to keep all your medication together. Place them all in a zip-lock bag so it is easy to find by touch.
Something to drink – You are defiantly going to need something to take your medication with, and keeping hydrated is important during an attack. Juice boxes, water, or a soda (flat soda may help relieve nausea).
Hot water bottle – Something that can be filled hot or cold. Your local drug store will be your best bet. One that isn't too small or too big. You also want to make sure the opening in the water bottle is large enough to fit Ice cubes through. Lord knows you don't want to have to crush ice in the middle of a migraine. Also instant heat or ice packs can work but do cost a bit more and they are something that you have to make sure you keep stocked. Rice bags are also a great thing if you like heat, just pop them in the microwave and you are set for 20-30 minutes.
Pillow case – to wrap your hot/cold water bottle or warm rice in so you don't burn or freeze your skin.
Washcloth – wet and use as a compress. It can even be used as an ice pack when necessary.
Towel – If you get migraines you know how the nausea can turn to vomit in a heartbeat. A towel is good to wipe your mouth or just in case you can't find a bathroom or bucket fast enough. I know it sounds gross but we do what we have to do.
OTC anti-nausea medication – candied ginger, ginger tea, ginger snaps, motion sickness pills, pregnancy pops (sounds crazy but hey its worth trying) are a few things you could try.
Container with a lid – If all else fails (which it normally does with me) you are going to need something when you get sick. Empty storage or cool whip or ice cream containers. These are a little large for your bag so to make more room you may want to pack stuff inside the container and then put the lid on it. Make sure you have a lid, I know sometimes I am unable to even sit up, lets not think about walking to empty my puke bucket. This way you can at least mange the smell and spillage issues that come with getting sick.
Sunglasses – In case you have to leave the house. There has been quite a few ER visits where I wished I had these. Even with your eyes closed the sun still always seems like it is within inches of your face.
Earplugs – I have heard of some people using them, but they really don't work for me.
Flashlight – This is more for your helper then for you. Instead of the person helping you stacking pillows over your face and telling you not to open your eyes because they are trying to help you find something, having a flashlight is more convenient for you and them.
Watch – a cheap watch with a back light is the best thing. When you need to know when you took your last dose of pills or if it's time to call someone to help pick your kids up from school, these are great. You can turn the light on when you need it and it goes out a few seconds later.
Preprinted lists – I love this one! There is nothing like getting to the ER and having to answer questions. Make a preprinted list and make sure to include: any allergies (especially to medicines), list of medication and supplement (including dosages), emergency names and numbers (including family members and doctors). Also a list for anyone who is helping you, like a babysitter or family friend. These list should have the same information along with directions for taking care of your little ones (like their allergies, who to call if they need to get a replacement, or for an emergency if you need a trip to the ER). Place everything in an envelope and label and sell them. Also if your doctor has given you a prescription for the Emergency Room, this is a great place to keep it.
Cash – to pay the sitter or order pizza (something to feed the kids)
Kids survival bag – This is something to keep your kids entertained when you have a migraine and no one the help. I will be posting a list of suggestions (hopefully tomorrow night) to pack in their bags. Different things to keep them entertained. It is a separate bag that goes inside your Migraine Survival Kit. This will be a special bag that they only get to play with when mommy (or daddy) has a migraine. This way they will always know when they see the bag that it means mommy isn't feeling well.
This is a great thing to have and will hopefully make dealing with Migraines just a little bit easier. It is a great thing to build for yourself, also if you know someone who suffers from Migraines it is a great thing to build for someone you love.