Migraine bachelorette party
A few weeks before my wedding, one of my dearest friends (the famous-to-you-longtime-readers “HT”) decided that I needed to have a bachelorette party. For years, I eschewed the idea of a bachelorette party for myself. I associated such shindigs with male strippers (yuck), getting wasted (not a great idea for my migraine brain), Vegas (a place I liked visiting but I didn’t love it enough to ask my friends to drop hundreds of bucks to join me there), and clubbing. In short, most of the stereotypical bachelorette party elements seemed like very un-Janet things, and certainly not things that would be good for my migraine brain.
So HT and her faithful assistants (some other dear friends) came up with a game plan that would be more my style. I was whisked away to a party dinner to start. (Doesn’t she mean “dinner party,” not “party dinner?” you ask? Well, no: I mean party dinner—it was like a party that happened to have awesome food.) We went to a relatively new Korean BBQ joint downtown, one that has private karaoke rooms you can rent. My friends made sure to begin with that so we’d be somewhere where I could have plenty of options to choose from. We gathered around a huge square table as people picked out karaoke songs. I noticed right away that the music wasn’t turned up as loud as it had been at other karaoke parties I’d been to, but I didn’t think the volume level was deliberate—though now, looking back, I bet my friends made sure it wasn’t too loud for my migraine brain. Apparently they usually have a spinning ball of disco-style lights in the private karaoke rooms as well, and my friends put the kibosh on that before I even walked in—they know how light-sensitive I am.
When it came time to order drinks, I felt a little self-conscious as I asked our waitress (who was more than polite and sweet to a loud group of tipsy girls singing 80s songs) if the special cocktail she described had any artificial sweetener in it. She double-checked with the bartenders and came back to assure me all the ingredients were natural. I mentioned to a friend, “I want to drink tonight—I hardly ever do! But I have to stay hydrated.” HT and another buddy pointed to the pitchers of water and cups they had had the waitress set up in advance. Keeping The Migraine Girl hydrated at her bachelorette party? Check!
A couple of different friends checked in with me quietly during dinner, making sure I ate a full meal and that I was having a good time. No one asked if I had a migraine, but I could tell a few friends in particular were keeping a watchful eye.
Throughout the night, my girlfriends encouraged me to drink and have fun, but they didn’t give me a hard time if I skipped a round. (Oddly, I didn’t skip many rounds—I even did shots! Who was that party animal?!) I knew I would wake up with a migraine. I just knew it. But you know what? It was totally worth it to have this rare and wonderful night out with these amazing girlfriends. One friend and I ended up crashing in the same bed, and when she woke up early to drive back home to Atlanta, I realized how awful I felt. She reminded me that I had set out my naratriptan, naproxen, and two full glasses of water next to me the night before so I’d be fully ready when I felt sick. Warning: tune the next few sentences out if you’re afraid of TMI (too much information). I got up to pee first and ended up throwing up—only a seasoned migraineur knows the difference between hangover vomit and migraine vomit. I threw up just a tiny bit of bile, my head pounding. I felt just as I do every time a migraine gets bad enough to put me in that position. And, as is often the case, part of the head pain lifted a few minutes after I got sick to my stomach. I lay down and took my medication, being careful to lie down and go back to bed for a couple of hours. When I awoke, the migraine was still present but mostly dulled, thankfully. I went home and relaxed—thankfully, I’d thought ahead and took the entire Saturday off work, knowing I’d be exhausted and migrainey.
Though I ended up with a full-blown migraine, I was probably much better off than I would’ve been had I not had my HT and company keeping an eye out for me, making sure I didn’t expose myself to unnecessary triggers (apart from the alcohol and the late bedtime, which had to be part of the festivities!). And even though I didn’t feel great for a few hours the next day, I am left with these great memories of dear girlfriends who not only set aside time to celebrate their love for and support of me, but also who demonstrated to me in many ways throughout the night that they understand my illness pretty well and always have my back.
What little things do your friends do to watch your back? Do you have any friends in particular who keep an eye out for triggers when you hang out together? Share your stories below!
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?