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23 October 2013 @ 02:00 pm
Of pillows and migraines  
As most of you probably know, I suffer from migraines. Mine are caused by tension I carry in my neck and shoulders. Regular massage helps, but is expensive, so I don't get it nearly as often as I should. Usually, they strike in the middle of the night for me. On the rare times when they happen during the day, if I feel one coming on I can take some Migraine Advil and head it off before it gets bad. But by the time the pain is bad enough to wake me, it's too late for that, and it usually means I'm up half the night with it, and by the time if finally fades to manageable levels in the morning, I have to be headed to work.

They've been more frequent since I started working. Two or three a week is no longer unusual. Once, I tried to come in even though it hadn't receded yet, and I ended up puking in the bathroom at work and telling my boss I had to go home. I think it's all of the time I'm spending on the computer every day, sitting at a desk that could probably be more ergonomic, and my body isn't used to it. It's also probably time for me to get a massage.

Added to that, I've often found over the years that a sudden increase in migraines means it's time for me to replace my pillow. This time, though, I've wondered if it wasn't time to replace my whole bed. The mattress is a pillow top more than 20 years old, with a ten year old memory foam topper we've been using that used to be awesome but lately has been kind of less so. It keeps moving around, resulting in a gap at the top of the bed where our heads rest, so my pillow sits all cock-eyed and probably isn't doing nearly a good enough job supporting my head and neck.

So, when a great deal came up on a really high quality memory foam mattress, I jumped all over it. And to be fair, I certainly haven't had any back aches or anything since we switched it out. However, every single night has resulted in a migraine. Three in a row. I cannot keep going like this, not now that I'm working full time. Desperate, I started researching pillows. Mine was older, the foam clearly kind of broken down in it (it had been a cheaper memory foam option many months before) and perhaps it just didn't offer me enough support with the new, more firm memory foam mattress. I've tried so many - down pillows, expensive memory foam, the funny shaped ones and so on - and they all kind of work for me, in the sense that I do get fewer migraines for awhile, but none were anything I would call really great.

Then, I found a review online from someone else who suffers from migraines, of one of these technogel pillows. At first, I was skeptical. Another memory foam pillow, with the addition of a gel layer for coolness. However, I found more reviews - a LOT of them, all individual, well established bloggers with very positive things to say. And honestly, I was desperate. I just could not imagine one more night like the ones I've been having. I found a local store that carried them, and drove there after work last night to try one. I ended up coming home with it. And let me just say, even though it has only been one night - this pillow is the most awesome thing ever. Right away, when I was lying in bed reading I could feel a difference. The combination of memory foam and gel in it, however they do it, remains supportive even when the stuff is squished by my head. The coolness factor is really, really awesome. It doesn't last forever, but long enough to help relax my neck, which is super key for me. (I use ice packs on my neck when I have migraines, and they really help).

For the first night since getting the new mattress, last night I slept without pain. When I did wake up, it was to the wonderful, complete absence of pain, which is not something that I think a lot of people appreciate until they live with the other alternative. This is obviously going to take more than one night's testing for me to truly be sold on it, but for now, all I can say is this pillow was worth every single penny.
kistha on October 24th, 2013 12:53 am (UTC)
YAY pillow! Boo-hiss Migraine!