Migraine tracking is one way to take control of the migraine beast. We can’t control all things, but we can do our best to take control of what we can. Migraine tracking is one way we do this. In my own journey I have seen this as a huge benefit and powerful tool. This has played a role in the quality of my care, my medications, and my own perspective.
Why Should I Track My Migraine Attacks?
Life is busy and life on a migraine attack can be even more overwhelming. Keeping track of your attacks and some other factors will give you control over your care and a better quality of life. We will cover how to do this later in this article. I sometimes think, wow, this is so bad I will never forget all the details. Then I recover, time passes, and if I haven’t recorded my attacks it is hard to be sure how many I have had.
Tracking migraine attacks helps me have a true picture of my migraine frequency. There was a month that I missed my Aimovig injection. There was some confusion with insurance and it just happened. This has never happened again and my doctor worked out a plan with me to ensure we have a plan B if it does not continue to be covered. However, missing that dose caused big problems.
Fortunately, I was tracking my migraine attacks. At the time I was using Migraine Buddy, which I still use today. There are many options, which I will explain in the post. In looking back at my data I had had twenty pain days out of 30. That gave my doctor more data to report. That is a big reason for tracking migraine attacks.
Another benefit of migraine tracking is knowing what medications work. In most apps you can record what you are taking during an attack. You can also record this on paper if you prefer this method. All this information gives you control over something that feels so out of your control. For the person living with migraine this can provide some comfort in a battle that can be very discouraging at times. Remember you are not alone and there is always hope.
What Should I Track?
Migraine attacks are your starting place. Record when they begin and when they end. Your doctor will look at this information. I have been asked these questions by my neurologist and all doctors when I have had to go to the hospital. I hope you don’t find yourself there, but if you do you can read about migraine and the ER in Patient Perspective: Migraine and ER.
Tracking migraine attacks provides a view into how much migraine is affecting your life. It is important to notice how much you are missing out on and if a preventative is necessary. Your quality of life is very valuable and having this information will help you live your best life.
Also, know that in most apps you can go back and record details later. Obviously, when you are in the pain of an attack recording data does not sound like a great idea. However, going back in later and quickly putting in some details will provide good information. I often just try to mark an attack has started and go back in later to put in the rest of the information.
Another very important detail to track is your triggers. Maybe you don’t even know for sure what all of them are. No problem if not! The apps will ask you to note things like lack of sleep, stress, or weather. There are many other options as well. This could be a way to identify your triggers if you don’t know what they are. Then you have not only found a way to track your migraine attacks, but you have learned some valuable information to help yourself.
In addition to tracking attacks and triggers, tracking your medications can be very helpful as well. This lets you know what is working and what is not. This also keeps some good communication happening between you and your doctor. Often with migraine meds there is paperwork to be filled out to get some of the medications. Having data to share only helps you get the best care. In fact, some apps even have an option for you to click share data with your doctor.
How Do I Track My Migraine Attacks?
First, find the way that works best for you. For me, I have shared that I have utilized the migraine app, Migraine Buddy. However, I have also used good ole pencil and paper too. There is nothing wrong with that. I have a headache tracker available for download as well. Check that out in the Migraine Products tab. If you are interested in trying out an app check out several options here in Migraine Buddy App Review and More.
Be sure to include your migraine attack duration in your tracking. Try not to leave out any attacks. If you miss one, it will be ok. You can go back and try to put in what you can. In your conversation with your doctor, they will understand that you are doing your best. Note your triggers, medications, and record anything else you want to remember.
An example of additional notes I have made would be about medications. I am currently trying out a new rescue medication for myself and it has to be preapproved more than the usual amount. So I am noting how it works, any side effects, and if I have to take other medications with it. All of this information can be helpful for other reasons as well. Knowing how your body is responding to medication is always good information.
As I continue my journey with new medications, one I will be writing about is Botox. That is a new preventative I am in the middle of trying. I think sharing our stories can be powerful. However, I do this with the mindset that each person’s journey is their own so we each must find what works best for us. Come back here any time for support and resources. Join the conversation in our Facebook Group.
Helpful Link: Migraine Buddy
Although we strive to provide accurate general information, the information presented here is not a substitute for any kind of professional advice, and you should not rely solely on this information. Always consult a professional in the medical and health area for your particular needs and circumstances prior to making any medical or health related decisions. For your health related questions, please seek the advice of a licensed physician or any other qualified health care provider immediately.