Letdown Headaches

We hosted a wedding reception on Saturday. I use the term “reception” loosely — it was a casual potluck for friends who got married in Georgia and all the guests were fun and laid back, just like the couple who got married.

And yet, Hart’s migraine hit five minutes after the final guest left (literally). Mine came on in the wee hours of Sunday morning and I finally got out of bed an hour ago. Hart has a pattern of getting a migraine after stress has let up. Because he was worried that I would crash, he was also more anxious about the event than I was.

I’m annoyed by my migraine because I was so careful with my time and my body beforehand. My deadline for getting things done on the house was May 31. Since then we’ve been doing small things with one task each night or a manageable number of tasks on the weekend. We hired someone to clean the house two days before the party.

I really felt little pressure. With the deadline, we finished all the necessary work to make the house feel like it’s ours. That provides relief all on its own. Preparing for the party knowing that we were celebrating the marriage of two great friends was so much fun. And it was the first big party in our Seattle home, which we bought with entertaining in mind.

Perhaps it’s an inevitable part of headache disorders. Migraineurs get letdown headaches and tension-type headachers get pre-party headaches. (That’s a sweeping generalization, of course.) I love to throw parties, so it makes me angry. The latest Real Simple has an article about a couple who throw stress-free parties frequently. Next time I’ll try to follow their lead.

(P.S. Bride, if you’re reading this don’t worry, really. We had a great time and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.)

3 thoughts on “Letdown Headaches”

  1. I experienced a letdown headache following a two week period of our cousin loosing his 20 year old daughter to a blood clot that went to her brain. I had a couple of #3-4 headaches from crying. Immediately after we had cousins from the west coast visiting for a larrge family reunion on the other side of the family. My husband and I did divide tasks up each day, so we were ready for company when they came and stayed nearly a week, and I was headache free although I stayed up much later at night than usual. I went to work each workday while they hung with other family memebers. They left Thursday, I went to work Friday, and Friday night i had a small headache, didn’t take abortive med at night but it went into a full blown # 10 with ice packs, nausea to the point of not being able to eat, and me in bed, immobile. This is completely a let-down headache. Can’t figure what causes this

  2. Let down headaches are so frustrating. I would always get a horrible migraine right after finals in college and law school, back when I only got them once in a while. But the timing wasn’t so great, as that makes it hard to celebrate the end of your work.

  3. I can certainly relate. I helped plan a birthday celebration for my sister last week. It didn’t involve a lot of prep, but between that and dealing with just one other event that was a little more stressful I ended up with a migraine that took 5 days to completely clear out. As a result, I missed out on most of the birthday celebration.

    The pain level started escalating at the end of the third day when I thought it should be decreasing. I’d been hanging out at what I refer to as level 7, which though painful, I can get through with bed rest, ice packs, and drugs I have on hand. But then it escalated to level 9, the point where I start thinking about going to the hospital and being sedated with Demerol because nothing I do is helping.

    However, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, and I’d been here before; now how was I going to get through it this time? Given I didn’t possess any drugs that matched the potency of Demerol, I knew I needed to make due with what I had on hand so I picked up my bottle of holy water and poured some over my head. Then I crawled into bed clutching a coin with the image of the Virgin Mary stamped on it and covered my head with ice packs.

    Level 9 is not a level I can sleep through using my usual stash of medications. However in this instance I fell asleep within minutes. Although I got up repeatedly during the night to change the ice packs, the migraine had receded to a manageable level. Was it the holy water, grace, or synchronicity–i.e., the dousing of holy water just happened to coincide with a sudden rapid decrease in pain level. I don’t have the answer to those questions. I can only state the sequence of events.

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