migraine

Throbbing pain in the head, sensitivity to light, your eyeballs hurt, your jaw and teeth hurts, feeling nauseas. These are all familiar symptoms of a migraine attack. Last night i had one.

My initial response was to swallow a couple of painkillers. It didn’t help. I still wanted to rip my eyeballs out. With everything in my head pounding, i thought an ice pack on my head and over my eyes would help; but the ice only served to numb the pain a little, not solve the problem.

The pain got so bad that i decided to lie down in bed, close my eyes in the dark, shut out noise, and curl myself up in a blanket. My body was beginning to feel really cold as blood circulation is decreased during a migraine. By this time, my migraine was already going on for about 3 hours.

Then i remembered what i did earlier in the year, when i experienced these same painful symptoms. I ate congee (rice porridge); i remembered that the pain subsided within minutes of eating it. I wondered if that was just coincidence, whether the migraine had happened to run its course, or whether it was truly the congee that did the trick.

With my head pounding the way it did, and still feeling nauseas, it was an effort to even do the simple deed of making myself simple congee. After all, it was only ‘wash the rice, put it in a pot, and boil’! But a migraine sufferer will know what i mean when i say it was “an effort”.

While the congee was boiling and i had to keep watch over it so as not to let it boil over, i lay on the floor just outside my kitchen door, waiting for it to be cooked. Yep, it was that bad that i couldn’t even bring myself to stand up for very long. It’s as though your whole body wants to shut down with a migraine. You don’t want to move, to read, to listen to music, to watch tv, to do anything because all your senses are heightened and sensitive.

After about 15 – 20 minutes, my congee was ready. I added soy sauce, white pepper, and a teaspoon of Bovril in a large bowl of congee. By the time i finished that bowl, my migraine was subsiding and i was feeling a whole lot better.

You’ll find many articles on the symptoms of a migraine and the suggested treatments vary fromĀ diet changes and exercise to prescription drugs. But those suggestions are mainly preventative treatments for acute migraine sufferers. So what do you do when you GET an attack? Closing one’s eyes, shutting out noise and light, and laying in bed for hours until the pain subsided was not a satisfying solution to me.

Do try the plain white rice congee method, as this is one method that works incredibly well for me. Don’t add any meat or egg or other ingredients as you will likely find that you won’t be able to stomach it in your fragile state, and throw up. I don’t know whether it’s the starch in the white rice, or whether it’s the warm food in the tummy, or whether it’s the salt in the soy sauce that alleviates the migraine; all i do know is that it’s worked for me the 2 times this year when i’ve had an intense migraine.

When you’re in the midst of a migraine, i realize that it can be difficult for you to drag yourself out of bed to cook. But a few minutes of forcing yourself to do it and tolerance, is better than several hours of migraine pain, isn’t it?