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Oh, joy! Waking up and being migraine-free

Last night I went to bed around 11:30 PM with a strange but not altogether unfamiliar sensation in my head and neck. It was the first twinge of what could be an impending migraine, or just a twinge of run-of-the-mill tiredness. I couldn’t tell which, and I did my usual routine: took no migraine medication but made sure my prescription and a full glass of water were next to my bed.  (For the sake of full disclosure I should say that it’s a reusable water bottle with the all-important straw and not a glass of water I always have with me—my cat Satchel will awaken me at four in the morning lapping up my personal water supply if I use a traditional cup!)

My migraines have been kept at bay the last many days, so I had that sad and discouraging feeling that I’d have one today. Once the day gets rolling, it will be a very busy one for me, and that combined with my twinges of pain last night surely weren’t good harbingers of things to come. I went to sleep quickly (thank goodness!) and hoped for the best.

I slept a full eight hours and, all things considered, I feel pretty rested. My husband and I both snore now and again—it’s just that my snoring occurs during deep sleep and therefore doesn’t rouse me, and his tends to wake me up if I’m already a little restless. I had some bad dreams (these recurring ones that haven’t surfaced in a long time, dreams where I am driving and having trouble with my breaks—nightmarish, I tell you!), and the cat crawled over me a few times and woke me up in this way that was so cute I couldn’t even complain.

My morning routine went normally—got out of bed, started the all-important morning coffee process (I drink just one cup a day and it is heavenly), and went to the bathroom. It was only when I was looking in the mirror above the sink as I was washing my hands that I realized something: I didn’t have a migraine. I don’t have even a twinge of pain or discomfort in my neck or head, and I am thinking clearly (or as clearly as I can first thing in the morning). Migraine-wise, I feel really healthy and positive about the day, and I didn’t expect that at all.

Part of me tells me that this sense of happiness and hope is one I should tamp down—lord knows I sometimes feel really euphoric and all-powerful shortly before a really bad migraine hits.  But this feels different, or at least I hope it does.

Days like this, days when I’m expecting to wake up with a migraine but instead wake up feeling home-free, are ones I’m especially grateful for.  Days like this it’s easier to see each pain- and migraine-free moment as a gift, a reprieve.

What do you do when you realize that the migraine you thought was inevitable actually isn’t going to set in?  What’s your mood like when you finally accept the fact that—at least for now—the day won’t be marred by migraine?

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


  • SharonChilson
    4 years ago

    When this has happens to me, when I awaken pain free when not expecting to, my first thought is “Awesome!!”, and a smile. Then my next thought is “I wonder when it is going to start”. Sometimes it feels like my life is not normal without head pain. What is up with that?
    I just ended a three week hiatus (I know, right?) from migraines, and that followed by three days of constant pain, of course. But the interesting thing is that my husband of 37 years makes the comment “You sure are having a lot of headaches lately”. Uhhh, really? This to me demonstrates how non-migraineurs take it for granted when those close to them are pain free for a spell. I, on the other hand, take every day pain free as a gift. Here’s to waking up pain free, and hoping that some day we all may do so, Every.Single.Day!

  • 17u2lar
    4 years ago

    Hello everybody,

    I’m reassurre to learn that I’ m not the only one who has a kind of ritual before going to bed. I to have a cat and need a plastic wather bottle with all my pharmacy on my bedside table ready to attack any sign of a eminent migraine rising around four am the next morning.
    I’ve had migraine since I was nine year old. I can count on my two hands the mornings without a migraine. It feel like awe, like being a normal person, feeling alive and not depress.
    Still trying all sort of medication but never thouth of trying weed?
    I would like to know if some of you have tried it? It is legal in Canada where I live, for certain medical conditions, but I never gave it a shot.
    Linda, Montreal

  • Erin Kenny
    4 years ago

    I’m in Canada as well (Toronto, Ontario) and just started Medical Marijuana (I vaporize it).

    It has been miraculous for me!!! The strain I take has so little THC in it that I get zero high from it, but wow – the pain relief! I also find it helps with nausea (which is a biggie for me) and sleep.

    Nothing works for everyone, but I can wholeheartedly recommend you try this now that it’s legal.

  • Erin Kenny
    4 years ago

    For the past 17 years I haven’t had a migraine free day (with the exception of a few days when I was in hospital for surgery and they kept me on lots of dilaudid – and even then it was up and down), so it’s a pretty strange sensation for me to NOT be in pain.

    A bit over a week ago I started some new medication (medical marijuana, FYI) and after a couple of days I was shocked to realize that I had woken up with absolutely NO HEADACHE!!! (It was even on my birthday 😀 )

    I was so disconcerted that I found I kept “checking myself”, sort of like poking a sore tooth to see that it’s still there. It was a very strange (but joyful experience).

    Now I have had several days migraine free (and a couple of not so migraine free days) and my doctor is having to caution me to not overdo it on the good days, since that tends to make me crash for several days afterwards.

    I am SO grateful, even if this doesn’t turn out to be a long term solution, to have had even just this brief reprieve. I’m trying to learn to roll with it and do just a little bit more on those good days and bask in the joy of life.

  • Pamela Baxendale
    4 years ago

    I had the same experience, last night! I felt the feelings of eminent migraine, while watching TV. My left shoulder got very tight, I felt edgy and suddenly exhausted, the volume seemed a bit too loud, and the soft light from the lamp became much too bright. Instead of ignoring and denying, I thought; go to bed now, spray some Zyclear on your neck and take a Naproxen. When I didn’t fall asleep easily, I was convinced I would wake up with a full blown migraine, and would spend the day writhing in pain, and unable to function, holed up in the bedroom, with the blackouts drawn. You know the drill. When I awoke (pain free) I got out of bed, headed towards the kitchen for my (one cup, also) coffee, and I stopped dead in my tracks. I had absolutely no symptoms or indication of migraine! I was so relieved and thankful, but also a bit wary. When would it hit? During the drive to the auto repair? In the middle of my crazy day at the shop? If I hadn’t checked my email and gotten your blog post, I think I would still be expecting the worst. Thank you for pointing out that maybe it’s OK to feel great about escaping the bullet, and enjoying the pain and symptom free time!

  • MahtaMouse
    4 years ago

    I always feel relief, but also stupid and guilty; like maybe I’m being a hypochondriac. I wish I could get over that feeling and just be grateful that I’ve dodged a bullet.

  • Nicci
    4 years ago

    I’m sort of new to migraine, so whenever something seems to help,I’m thrilled. Sometimes, though, I get mad if I thought I was getting one and skipped out on an event thinking I was getting sick! It’s like, “Hey, body, I thought you were going to act badly and I accommodated you… and now you AREN’T sick?! Because I just know you’ll ruin another day in the future!” Then I realize I’m glad I’m not sick and I try to do something useful!

  • Ellen
    4 years ago

    Since sensitivity to light is one of my bigger issues when I have a migraine, once I am able to tolerate daylight once again, I really make every attempt at doing something outdoors.
    I guess I’m trying to fill my daylight bank to draw on when even the smallest shred of it shreds me!

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    4 years ago


    I know that experience all too well! Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry migraines have decided to make an appearance in your life; hope you’re feeling great today!

    -Janet G.

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