Completely Unofficial, Made-Up Migraine Types- the Lingering Houseguest
Thankfully, I haven’t had any memorable experiences where friends or family have overstayed their welcome at my home, but I know it’s a common occurrence for many people out there.
Imagine with me, if you will, a scenario in which you hear from a long-ago casual friend that she’s going to be in your town next month. She says that a hotel won’t be affordable for her, and she’ll only be around for a few days, after all….You get the hint and, even as a voice in the back of your head is telling you that it’s not the best idea, you hear yourself saying, “Why don’t you come crash at my place? It’s no problem.” “Oh, that’s amazing news; thank you!” responds your friend (whom you like but don’t really know all that well). “Sure,” you hear yourself saying, “Stay as long as you need to!” Why in the world did I just say that? you think. Why did I leave that open-ended when she was fine just staying a couple of nights?
Your friend shows up the next month and you have a good time the first night. By the second night, you return home from work after a long day and want nothing more than to read your book and relax, but you feel bad that she’s just sitting around with nothing to do, so you try to entertain her. By day three, you’re pretty much ready for her to go when she announces that she has a flat tire and has to wait for her boyfriend to transfer some money into her bank account to get it fixed. Then she’ll be able to drive back home. By the weekend, she is gone, but you now feel you have been taken advantage of, and part of it is your fault since you went out of your way to be so accommodating.
This introduction brings me to my newest type of Completely Unofficial, Made-Up Migraine Types: The Lingering Houseguest.
The Lingering Houseguest Migraine first appears when you aren’t careful enough with your triggers. Unlike some of your migraine attacks where you’re taken by surprise by triggers you have no control over, you are the teeniest bit responsible for this one since you deliberately exposed yourself to a trigger you knew was bad. (Before you think I am blaming you for this migraine, read my previous post about how no one ever “deserves” a migraine.) In my case, this usually involves having alcohol during my period—stacking triggers is a big no-no for anyone, and, for me, it doesn’t usually end up too good.
So you’ve done it. You ate delicious, MSG-laden Chinese food (and MSG is a trigger for you), and you had a glass of red wine with dinner (red wine is a very common trigger and it is definitely one that affects you). You have opened the door wide for your lingering houseguest.
This migraine may or may not be severe. The thing that puts it in the lingering houseguest category is that it takes a long while to go away. It just hangs out. You invited it in, and now that you’re ready for it to leave, it’s hard to show it to the door. You control your environment as much as you can, making sure not to expose yourself to controllable triggers and making sure you eat well and drink plenty of water. The migraine severity is pretty low this time around, but the migraine just won’t go away. You wake up on day three and it’s still there, hanging around a little bit like The Creeper, not willing to leave until it is good and ready.
Have you ever experienced The Lingering Houseguest Migraine? How did you open the door for the migraine, and how (and when) did it finally show itself out?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?