On Faulty Prescriptions and Folk Medicine

The fog has lifted, the metaphorical fog that is, as it’s actually pretty gray outside my window. I am finally feeling better, able to focus and functioning like my regular self. Over this last weekend, just prior to the start of the Fall semester I suffered a four day-long bout of migraine, which rendered me fairly miserable. Instead of lounging in the sun, baking a berry cake and writing a blog post, I stayed inside with sunglasses on looking hella cool & fresh. I’ve solved this problem in the past by taking my prescription Relpax (and then knock-off generic Relpax once that became available) but there was a mistake at the pharmacy and I was not able to get my prescription filled. I was on my own, with only my hurting head, past experiences, and the breadth of the internet. So I tried some stuff…


Nothing hokey about this one, it’s legitimate medicine. For me, it doesn’t work for migraines. I took 6 of them, didn’t help one bit. Cut myself off due to its ineffectiveness and the knowledge that too much ibuprofen is bad for the liver.


This used to be my “go-to”, but since becoming vegan I needed a variant on the donuts. The medicine I use works by constraining the blood vessels around the brain, and funny enough- so does sugar and caffeine. I hardly ever eat this poorly, but I had some candy and a Red Bull. Provides relief within 20 minutes, lasts about an hour. The migraine doesn’t go away but dulls down. Allowed me to briefly lose the sunglasses.


Used it in 2 variations, tea and oil. The tea, being herbal, is a nice way to stay hydrated after the caffeine. It also settles the nausea that can be experienced during a migraine. Maybe a 10% improvement overall, but also very pleasant. Essential oil, rubbed on the forehead and temples is HEAVEN. I might start using it daily. It feels so nice to have somebody rub your head, and the cooling sensation does ease the pain for about 20 minutes. This was also something I hadn’t tried before and was really surprised by the result. Highly recommend!


Found this suggestion online, decided to try it. Both sniffing and eating a green apple should have positive effects. I didn’t notice anything, but I did try it on the last day, when I was feeling 70% better anyway. I like apples, so I’m pro “continued research” down this avenue.

Scrumped fresh off the tree!


I’ve been experimenting with hemp oil over August and three dropperfuls held under the tongue for 90 seconds has a nice, relaxing effect on me. With half doses every 90 minutes I was able to control my feelings about the migraine, not necessarily the migraine itself. Instead of a spiral of: “I’m not getting anything done, I missed a meeting, I was going to do so much this weekend”. I was calm, though in pain. Produces artificial mindfulness, which I guess turns into actual mindfulness? Will have to ask Mr. SS, who is our mindfulness expert in the household.

Note from Mr. SS: Artificial Mindfulness (trademark pending) is indeed mindfulness if it brings on a state of awareness or presence. Regardless of how it comes, mindfulness is simply the opposite of mindlessness or the needless running away of the mind. Sadly, mindlessness is precisely what scientists are now referring to as default mode network (DMN), as in it’s our default. Just another reason mindfulness work is so imperative. On the other hand, focus on breath and an awareness of the body and its surroundings have an incredible capacity to bring about mindfulness and bonus they are free. On the other-other hand (shout out to Tevye, #TheatreLife #ThereCanBeNoOtherHand) hemp oil is exceptionally rich in omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, a good thing for vegans.


Chickened out of this one. On a good day, ACV turns my stomach so I wasn’t sure that I could handle it when nauseous. It might be magical, but I was too closed minded to give it a try.


“I wear my sunglasses at night

So I can so I can

See the light that’s right before my eyes”

Duh. That’s how they work. By day two I knew the light was a big component of the issue, so this really helped. And you can kind of read in a darkish room with sunglasses on….kind of. This also helped with my morale. Anytime I saw myself in the bathroom mirror, I had to laugh. Double success, mood enhancer and pain killer.

blues brothers
Did Jake and Elroy just have migraine headaches all the time?


I will argue that this is a folk remedy in spite of also being a legit (albeit a touch illicit) medicine. After all, you gotta know some folks… Lucky for me, my husband’s friend was in town and she hypothetically had some migraine medicine with her. This wasn’t the stuff I typically use, but I was going on day 3 and… you know, medicating with apples. This worked OK, dulled out the pain more than anything else. But if you suffer from migraines you know that the key to treatment is to take the pill on the onset of a migraine. Knee-deep into one it doesn’t work as well, still I did feel better.

Mid-day, day 4 the pharmacist called me. He was able to track down my prescription in the system and fill it for me. On a Sunday! So in “Drugs from a Friend, Part II” (I have to consider this man a friend, he went above and beyond!) I was able to reunite with the stuff that works for me and when I woke up this morning I felt 90% better and incredibly grateful for being able to fully function as myself again.

I am curious about whether you’ve tried anything crazy, for a migraine or otherwise. Be well…but share the time when you weren’t!

3 thoughts on “On Faulty Prescriptions and Folk Medicine

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