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Migraine Prevention and Errors in Living:
Dr. Grahamís Lessons for Patients and Physicians
Egilius L.H. Spierings, MD, PhD.
Posted May 2002
Ten Commandments of Migraine Prevention:
Errors in Living for Migraineurs to Heed
- At present, there is no magic medicine or formula of treatment that universally "cures" headaches.
- The patient is not to "blame" for having inherited the migraine trait.
- The pain and misery of the migraine attack are very real and not "imaginary."
- Neither the patient, doctor, nor patientís spouse should be intolerant, but rather all should work for a better understanding of one another.
- The patient and the family have the greater burden in therapy, with the doctor to serve as a friendly guide rather than as a "miracle man."
- The management program will require a considerable period of time, with frequent reviews of progress, temporary setbacks, changes in therapy, and re-education.
- The most rewarding long-term therapy will result from an adjustment in patientís means of living within his or her capacities, rather than an endless round of medication.
- The patient cannot be expected to make all the necessary adjustments overnight.
- Changes in psychological attitudes become real only through actual practice, not through repetitive verbal instruction.
- There is definite hope for improvement through conscientious effort by both patient and physician, but complete freedom from migraine is rarely achieved by any therapeutic program.
- Poor Meals: skimpy breakfasts and lunches and large dinners eaten in a state of fatigue.
- Irregular Hours for Meals: postponing lunch for an hour can give anyone a mild headache but may produce a sick headache for the individual with migraine.
- Morning Deadlines: too little time allowed between the rising hour and the scramble for school and office.
- Sleeping Late: (on Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays): the patient with migraine needs a good deal of sleep - but not in the morning.
- Lack of Breaks: a short rest in the morning and afternoon, regularly obtained, is helpful.
- Overcrowded Schedules: migraineurs often try to work in too many events within a single day. They need to spread those activities more evenly over several days.
- Failure to Take Proper Vacations.
- Failure to Get Away from Their Children Periodically.
- Excessive Participation in Community and Church Activities.
- Overanxiety Regarding Preparations for Guests, Shopping Trips, and Vacations.
- Long Automobile Trips: the patient with migraine who wishes to push for 500 miles in 1 day often ends up with a headache.
- Acting the Chairman ("Because Nobody Else Will"): migraineurs often will not delegate work to others - they do it all themselves.
- Making up for Lost Time: as soon as the patients are over an attack, they may rush to repair losses. Consequently, the next attack comes sooner.
- Suffering Petty Wrongs in Silence: to settle differences while they are small.
- Aiming for Impossible Goals and worrying when they cannot be attained.
- Lack of Exercise.
- Lack of Recreation.