Migraine Choice Mistakes

How often do you do something that you know you shouldn’t because you have a Migraine – you make the choice anyway? I’m sure I am not alone when I answer this question with ‘more often than I should’.

It can be so hard to balance living a ‘normal’ life to life with Migraines. I made a huge mistake at the beginning of this summer where my wrong Migraine choice turned out to cost me my summer.

I play in a local township softball league where I have some really good friends on my team. I have enjoyed softball since I was young and it gives me that chance to step away from the daily grind while getting some much needed fresh air.

I missed many games the previous season because of Migraines where I barely qualified to play in our post season. There is a league policy that states players have to participate in a minimum number of games before they can play in playoff games. As a season winds down and vacations become more prevalent, it can be hard to field enough players to hold a game which makes it even more important that we have as many eligible players for the post season.

As we were getting ready to play our second game of this season, last years’ experience of just being eligible for playoffs was running through my mind. My goal was to qualify as early as possible in this season so I wouldn’t have to worry about squeezing in enough games like I did the year before. As this game day was developing, I felt those all too familiar twinges coming and going throughout the day, but I always felt well enough to go to the game.

After loosening up my arm before the game started, I found myself telling my captain that I would not play. I was almost relieved when I put this choice behind me because I know how hard it is to let a Migraine get the best of me. My head had progressed to the point where I could not try to beat or chase a little ball around the field. I didn’t go home and turn all of the lights out either. I ended up sitting in a dark quiet corner at the field while watching the game.

It was the last inning of play. As I weighed my guilt, my Migraine, my goal to qualify and knowing I don’t always make the right choices when I have a Migraine (yes this went through my mind too), I chose to play this last inning so I would have another game count for the year.

I took everything slow and at my own pace. I was surprised to get a nice hit up the middle where I ended up on second base. Another misjudgment came when the next player hit the ball to the left side of the infield. As the fielder threw the ball to first base, I instinctively took off for third. I knew it was going to be a close play and I knew I wouldn’t be as quick as normal, but that competitiveness and all of my bad choices caught up with me as I heard a loud snap at third base.

Even though I was safe and received credit for the game, I was not going to play in the post season with a broken leg. I still want to kick myself. I knew I should have listened to my body and should have gone home upon my decision not to play. Instead of missing one game because of a Migraine, I ended up missing the rest of the season, the playoffs and the championships.

This poor decision put a huge wrinkle into everything else going on in my crazy life too. It definitely didn’t help work either. I struggle enough with Migraine at work, but now I couldn’t drive and couldn’t get to the physical office to work. We had a few huge initiatives that were rolling out to the team and other big changes were happening in the office at the same time.

It seemed like a harmless wrong decision that I knew I shouldn’t have made. I’ve been at this long enough to know that I should have hung up my cleats and just walked away.

Do you make similar silly mistakes? What wrong choice did you make and how did you regret it afterward?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (17)
  • stacysillen
    4 years ago

    I have a question; how was breaking your leg because you played with a migraine? I broke my femur two years ago falling off of my bike on a hot day during a long ride. Two other broken bones later, I asked for a DEXA (bone density) scan. Sure enough, it showed I had a “high” risk for fracture. On the very brief question page I was asked if I was taking the anti-convulsant Depakote or Tegretol, which I was. I’d been put on one a few years before because I’d had a migraine-related stroke. Apparently, even though it was not stated on the paper that came with the pills, anti-convulsants are known to reduce bone density.

  • pennyll1560
    4 years ago

    For me it usually has to do with work. I miss so many with my migraines there are days when I try to work even though I know I’m getting a migraine or already have one. I will mess up the information I am trying to relay to the customer. I also find myself very short on patience and short tempered, not a great combination when dealing with customers over the phone that can sometimes be not too smart or angry themselves.

    Also, since I am the only driver in my family I will find myself behind the wheel of the car when I really shouldn’t be. Luckily I haven’t wrecked the car, one time coming home from the Dr’s office after getting a shot to stop the migraine and an IV to rehydrate after being physically ill for over 3 days, I guess I was all over the lane. I won’t do that again…

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Pennyll1560 – Work is always the hardest for me too. My boss can tell when I can remember anything, I stutter a lot and am very short on patience too. I agree, not a great combination when you need to be at your best.

  • bluebird
    4 years ago

    I have had decades of chronic migraine with aura. I am trying to reestablish a life that includes celebration. So I joined a choir and a water aerobics class and a qigong class and I am studying a new wind interment. I have no idea if the music helps or hurts when I am singing. Or practicing at home. I just never know if the strenuous effort helps or hurts. What I do know is that it feels great to try to participate but it does involve acting “as if” i am fine when I am not. I never know when to press on or to say no. Except when it’s too late. And am I setting myself up for a “stress letdown” headache?

    I often depend on others to drive because I don’t trust that I will be able to drive home. I feel grateful for a chance to participate and more confused than ever about knowing what is in my best interest. Should I stay home? I stop singing when the words and notes start disappearing. Then the sound becomes unbearable. Should I have stayed home? When I don’t feel like practicing my instrument… like most people …is that a sign of headache coming on or just not wanting to do it? Acceptance is confounding.

    qi

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Bluebird – It can be so hard to know where or when to draw that line. I ask myself similar questions all of the time. You’re so right about even if you make it through the activity that you may get hit with a ‘letdown’ Migraine afterward.

  • Newdancerco
    4 years ago

    You mean it isn’t just me? I can think of so many times, particularly regarding work, where I went and shouldn’t have (because I was under extreme pressure to “be at my desk even if [I didn’t] do anything” [my boss’s words!]) or didn’t go in a borderline case. If I didn’t go, I freaked out about it until closing time, then felt better because it was over and I didn’t have to constantly reassess myself to see if I could maybe handle it.
    I ended up being fired for my migraines, though they didn’t put it that way, despite FMLA and all the soul and confidence sapping second-guessing I did. So much for following the law or taking care of your employees…
    Thanks for letting me know I’m not crazy!

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Newdancerco – I find work the hardest place to do what I really need to in order to take care of my Migraines. I’m sorry to hear you lost your job because of Migraines – even if they didn’t put it that way. I believe one of my co-workers was fired for her Migraines too, but they didn’t say that was the reason either.

  • youkayn00b
    4 years ago

    sometimes i go to see a movie and it will usually cause a migraine. or i will go someplace too busy and hectic on a saturday, which will also usually cause problems. i have difficulty making sacrifices in my life even though i know it will lead to issues

  • Jen Cragen
    2 years ago

    This might be helpful for you and others, so I will share my recent experience at the movies.

    We had gone to see an action packed movie. My friend had seen the Olympic coverage of Phellps son wearing headphones and said, too bad you can’t wear some of them in the movie. I thought for a second, and said I would be uncomfortable with headphones, but that I would be okay with ear plugs. So I slipped a pair into a plastic bag and then into my purse, which doubles as a migraine emergency kit.

    In the theater, I put them in after we got seated. I also chose an aisle seat, so I wouldn’t bother folks if I had to exit the theater in a hurry.

    I used the plugs for the whole time. I felt the shaking of the deep booming noises in my chest, but it was not overwhelming to be there.

    Once the credits started rolling, I pulled out the plugs and was shocked at how loud the quiet part had been. I slammed them back in until we left the theater.

    There had been only one or two sentences that I couldn’t hear, but otherwise it was awesome. I love that I can enjoy movies again.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Yay Jen Cragen!! This is SO wonderful to read! I am thrilled to hear you could make it to the movies & actually ENJOY your time there!! Great idea to try the earplugs to minimize the sensory (sound) overload!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience & tip with the community.

    -Joanna (Migraine.com Team)

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Youkayn00b – It’s difficult to know how far you can go. Sometimes you can at least survive and enjoy yourself at the movies or other activities and other times you can’t make it past the smell of the popcorn.

  • fifisham
    4 years ago

    I get most of my migraines on the weekend. Stress letdown migraines. Well, the big ones anyway. This past weekend, we were going to go to San Francisco as a family, which we rarely do anymore as our kids are entering the teen years. Before we left, I felt those twinges, those signs that are definite indicators of what’s to come, but I chose to ignore them. I shouldn’t have. I should have stayed home and let my husband and kids go without me, but I literally tried to fool myself.

    It was one of the hottest (rare) days in the city and the Blue Angels were there flying overhead. You can’t add many more triggers for me — heat, bright sunlight, noise, neck strain. Well, what could have probably been kept to a level-4 pain if I’d stayed home shot straight up to an 8, I got very nauseous and we had to turn around 45 minutes after arriving and come home anyway because I was a mess. It turned into a 3-day migraine between a 6 and 8 pain level, when I could have potentially ended it in 1-2 days. I am very smart about my migraines, but this time I so wanted that family time. I hope I’ve learned to forfeit those fun times in order to take care of my migraine health.

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Fifisham – I totally understand. It’s hard to know which Migraines you have to stop everything and which you can still enjoy some things with the family. I hear you on all of those triggers, I think they would have gotten the ‘best’ of me too.

  • Lisa Robin Benson moderator
    4 years ago

    I’m sorry you had to go through this Annie. I think many of us can certainly relate. Though not as severe, I had a similar experience where I chose to drive with a migraine. It was not yet very painful but I needed the visor down due to photophobia. The visor obscured a red light. As I didn’t see the light, though I looked and safely turned right, I got a ticket for right on red (illegal in the city I was in). I not only was delayed considerably to a tight appointment, hit with a very large ticket amount, but my insurance premium went up! I definitely think twice before driving with a migraine now! Anyway, hope you feel better soon!

  • Annie author
    4 years ago

    Lisa – I’m sorry to hear you had to go through that when you had a Migraine. I know how difficult it can be when you think you’re ok to drive and realize you shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

  • 2b_painfree
    4 years ago

    Everyday that’s the definition of being a chronic intractable migraineur. ..so give me credit when I finally say I can’t do something. You couldn’t handle my daily level of pain & find the front door but I do. Yet, I’m told to get over out it. I secretly pray karma bites you in the head…then maybe you’ll understand just how strong over 4 million of us chronic sufferers are 😉

  • Lisa Robin Benson moderator
    4 years ago

    2b,

    It can certainly be hard to express what we go through with migraines and often I do think those not suffering with them have no idea. I try to remind myself that everyone has something they struggle with and it may be invisible like migraine, and remembering that can be a great equalizer.

    Lisa

  • Poll