Coping, Triggers

Balancing Caution and Fear of Migraine

“I’m going to be angry if I don’t get a migraine tonight,” I told Hart Friday night. Those are words I never thought I’d say, but I’d been looking forward to that night’s local music festival for months and I didn’t want to have missed it because I’d guessed incorrectly about an impending migraine.

I stayed home because I was feeling “off” and a storm was rolling into town, which is a pretty reliable migraine trigger for me. Usually I’d go anyway, especially if I’d been doing OK most of the day, like I was Friday, but the tickets were expensive and I loathed the thought of fighting through the crowd to leave and then riding in the car for 30 minutes with a migraine.

I’d done the math and the dithering all afternoon and made what I thought was the right decision. When the migraine didn’t come Friday night, I felt like I’d cheated myself out of a great time because of fear. I wanted to embrace my choice with confidence, but the doubt remained: Maybe I was taking care of myself and being appropriately cautious, maybe I missed out by giving into fear.

I’ve been running my mind in circles, trying to figure out how I could have made a better decision Friday (and by “better decision” I mean one that would have gotten me to the music festival). Then Tuesday came along and I felt pretty good, so Hart and I went to a baseball game. At the game I realized that I had used all the available information to make the best decision I could on Friday. There’s no way to make perfect decisions with an unpredictable illness.

Sometimes I’ll got to the show and get a migraine, sometimes I’ll feel just fine. Sometimes I’ll stay home and feel OK, sometimes I’ll have a migraine. Sometimes I’ll go to the game and catch my first foul ball, like I did on Tuesday.

“Like” The Daily Headache on Facebook to see a picture of Hart and me with my foul ball.

6 thoughts on “Balancing Caution and Fear of Migraine”

  1. Mark: I haven’t, but I’m on the list for when my doctor begins studying it. I’m quite intrigued by it.

    Mom: Thanks. Good thing the ballpark is close to home.

    Victoria: Going out and seeing friends always helps me, too. Your mom has a good point, though not being isolated goes a long way toward winning the war. By the way, I love your blog!

    Katie: Thanks for all the support.

    Robin: I’m sorry you’re suffering so much. I know what you mean about getting a burst of energy and trying new things. Petadolex didn’t work for me, but the studies on it are quite promising. Certainly worth a try. Best of luck!


  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I suffer like crazy from daily migraines and they have a huge impact on my life. I get drained, depressed, and then sometimes a spurt of energy which comes with a willingness to try new things… have you tried Petadolex (butterbur)? I’m kind of running out of therapies… botox is effective sometimes. I’m not looking for medical advice, just anecdotes… Thanks and your writing helps, R

  3. This may be my favorite blog post you’ve ever written … and I’m pretty sure I’ve read them all. Some wonderful life metaphors in here.

    I love that, after you missed a festival you’d wanted to attend for months, and later realized you could have made it happen, a rare and fun moment that you never could have planned came to you out of left field. (I needed to write that to make the pun work, even though it obviously came from home plate.)

    And the fact that Hart missed your foul ball moment is rich with irony. I wouldn’t have wished that on him, I’m not happy it happened, and I know you would have preferred for him to experience it with you. I’m just observing that life decided it was your turn to catch something he missed. It’s not a good thing; it just makes for an interesting “you can’t make this stuff up” story.

  4. Hey
    I know exactly how you feel. Sometimes its careful calculation but often if you want to do something you just have to go and do it and live – and suffer the consequences after. I have huge battles with my family as my Mum, especially, is always saying ‘if you hadn’t have gone out last night you wouldn’t be in so much pain today, you’ve set yourself back three days’. But I say I had a great time going out, I saw my friends, had a social life and felt normal and its cheered me up etc and maybe it was worth the three days in bed? Maybe not. It’s a balancing act. Often I am sensible and can’t predict and try to plan my diary accordingly, but sometimes we just have to go out. Though my Mum always likes to quote this annoying war reference, something along the line of ‘you may not have won the battle today but you’ll win the war’…I think she means its worth staying in because your long term health is more important. Mothers.

  5. Your face indicated pure, unadulterated joy at catching that foul ball!! Enjoy the heck out of the joyous times and don’t “beat yourself up” if you misjudge other times. Perhaps try an alternate solution that is closer to home and doesn’t require advance planning. You would have fun and wouldn’t have time to agonize over what you missed.
    Love from the Mom Person

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