During my late teens and through most of my twenties, I didn’t expect to ever get married. I can be so fiercely independent it sometimes impairs my ability to work on a team or be in a couple (confession time), but I’m working on that. It took me a long time to realize I could retain my individuality and independence while also becoming part of something that was bigger than I (say, a team of bookshop coworkers or an amazing relationship with a wonderful man).
To my surprise, I started changing my mind about marriage the longer I was with Jim. We both knew within a couple of years that we wanted to spend our lives together and had no plans of leaving the other. Soon enough, we started talking about getting married—at first in the abstract, and then in more concrete terms. And in May 2015 we did it: we became husband and wife.
In the last year or so as we got more serious about becoming engaged and planning the wedding, an old, vague fear became more and more prevalent:
What if I have a migraine on my wedding day?
My thoughts continually drifted toward this fear, often when I was anxious about something else in my life (work, writing, and the like). I worried about getting a mild migraine on my wedding day and having to feel woozy and medicated during a time I wanted to be 100% present. I worried about getting a super-duper debilitating attack and having to be in a hotel room during my own wedding reception. I worried about my head pounding as I said my vows. I worried about getting married outdoors and having the sun in my eyes. You name it, I worried about it.
I know, I know. You want me to say that all my worries were for nothing and that the wedding day turned out just fine.
Unfortunately, that’s not true.
In fact, all of my worries came true—I had a migraine the day before the California ceremony, right after the ceremony and during the party, and again early in the evening during the beginning of our huge wedding reception back home in Athens. But still: everything turned out just fine.
What a strange feeling, to have something you’ve been concerned about for years end up coming to fruition. Let’s face it, one of my hesitations about having a wedding ceremony always involved fear of being sick on my possible wedding day, even long before I knew if I’d ever be married. I have a history of getting a migraine during almost every wedding I go to (seriously, my track record is so terrible I’ve even attempted to skip weddings for fear of an attack).
Do I wish I had been migraine-free on these wonderful and important days of my life? Of course I do. Do I wish I had been more energetic and “with it” during conversations with loved ones who’d traveled hundreds of miles to celebrate with us? Of course. Do I think my wedding day and subsequent celebrations were ruined or marred in any significant way because of my migraines? Definitely not. Already the memory of the migraines (including being in the photographer’s car post-photo-shoot tossing back my medication) is fading, and my brain is refocusing on the more lovely parts of the festivities. I think of eating tacos with friends on a patio in the California desert. I think of dancing with my husband while the band played classic rock covers in Athens. I think of the delight I felt upon seeing so many people I love gathered into one space. I think of saying “I do” to this gorgeous, supportive, and smart bearded fellow I now call husband.
Do you find that you’re anxious about migraine when anticipating big days ahead? Have you yourself had a migraine attack during any milestone moments? How did you handle it?
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?