I get migraines. And yes, all you migraine-doubters out there, they are real migraines. I can’t tell you how many times I have mentioned a migraine to someone who also gets them, only to be met with “Well, it probably wasn’t a real migraine. It was probably just a bad headache.” Well, thanks for the judgement, but yes, I get the “can’t stand noise, can’t stand light, sick-to-my-stomach, hiding under the covers, moaning, shaking, wanting to chop my own head off and hoping for death” migraines.
The important thing, when dealing with these horrible head and body aches, is recognizing what causes them and trying to avoid those situations. As the years have passed I have become quite good at figuring out what is going to set one off, and yesterday I had to add a fifth thing to the list. And here, just so I don’t forget it, is that updated 5-item list.
1) Tree Nuts – There are a lot of things I will not eat, for a variety of reasons, and in the past I didn’t feel the need to understand these reasons. Lately, however, I have become more and more interested as to the whys and hows of my food weirdness. For instance, I have never liked nuts. Peanuts were okay, but walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc., were all on my “no” list. And then I read somewhere that one symptom of a tree nut allergy is migraines. That was it! I always felt bad and got a headache after eating nuts, sometimes even getting a full blown migraine, but I had never put two and two together before and connected these events. But now I know. No nuts, no pain.
2) Not Taking Care of Myself – Do you know the most common cause of my personal migraines? I will tell you. It is not getting enough sleep, not drinking enough water, and/or eating poorly. I can almost guarantee myself a horrible migraine first thing in the morning if I spend a day or two eating junk food, not drinking water, and staying up until 3 am writing blog posts or playing Facebook games. An easy fix in theory, but I often find myself hard to train.
3) Stress – Wait, wait, wait, migraine police, I do know the difference between a tension headache and a migraine, so don’t start with me. And sometimes stress does give me tension headaches. But sometimes it gives me migraines too. And I take different medicine, depending on which type of ache my head is having. So cool it! I know what I’m talking about.
4) Children – I suppose I should call this list item something along the lines of “Being Repeatedly Bonked on the Head” or “Having Someone Shriek Directly Into My Ear at High Pitches and Decibels,” but I think having children more correctly encompasses the causes of these problems. Yes, I could get bonked in the head by something else, or have a whistle blown into my ear by somebody else, but let’s be honest: my children give me more migraines than the rest of humanity put together.
5) Snorting Boiling Hot Coca-Cola Out of My Nose – I don’t think I have ever had a more instantly developing migraine than when, yesterday, as I sat down in my car, I snorted boiling hot Coke out through my nose and all over the dashboard. You see, I had been drinking the Coke earlier, because the day was hot and the drink was cold, and then I drove somewhere and left it sitting in my car. Not for that long! An hour or two. I figured the half-Coke would be warmer than when I had set it down earlier, but not boiling hot lava warm. Unfortunately I misjudged the temperature, and took a big swig without testing it first. The burning liquid hit my throat, made it about halfway down, and then was rejected by my body which choked it back out through the closest available opening, which I guess was my nose. The carbonation was still fully engaged, so I could feel it fizzing and burning its way out of my nasal passages as I gasped for air, and in that one instant I was immediately hit with a surprise migraine.
So, basically, I’m going to try to avoid doing that again.