Memorable Migraine 5: The Movie Theatre Episode

Last weekend I had a much-anticipated date to the movies in Atlanta with one of my very best high school friends, K. First off let me tell you how wonderful and fuzzy this is: K. and I became fast friends my first week of eighth grade when I moved to Alpharetta, Georgia, and we’ve been buddies ever since. We’ve had some lulls (and lolz—sorry, couldn’t resist) over the last 19 years, mind you.

There were some dramatic teenage falling outs (though not many at all) and a few periods when we lived far from each other and were on the verge of losing touch.

But K. moved back to Georgia after a few years away and we’ve actually hung out twice in the last month or so—this is somewhat miraculous given my insane work schedule and seeming inability to get too far from my little Avid Bookshop without feeling unmoored and slightly panicky.

We saw The Hunger Games (spoiler alert: it rocks) last Saturday and had such a blast. We laughed at the same quirky previews, rolled our eyes at the trailers that hinted at terrible upcoming movies, and cried at the same parts of the feature. It felt so nice to have her next to me in a movie theatre for the first time in at least a decade.

But here’s the thing: I forgot to bring my earplugs, and the previews and movie were LOUD. It actually occurred to me that perhaps a law should be passed to prevent movie theatres from playing the sound at such a deafening volume—there’s no way our hearing isn’t being damaged. And the movie itself is action-packed, which means lots of quick camera angles and swooping shots that left me a little dizzy.

After the movie we went to a tapas place to have a snack, and I started yawning incessantly (as I do). As far as I know, K. has seen me in the midst of several migraines, but not many since I actually had a diagnosis and knew what these “bad headaches” were. (I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 21.) I let her know that I was not bored in the least, merely sensing that a migraine was on its way.

As we wrapped up and paid the check, I decided to take a quick bathroom break before dropping her off and driving back to Athens. I walked to the sink in the restroom right as a little girl was drying her hands with one of those incredibly obnoxious XLERATOR â„¢ hand dryers. I winced and covered my ears instinctively as she darted her hands into the air stream and out again, over and over. “Oh,” I realized dully. “I DO have a migraine.” It’s not as if I wouldn’t have realized it soon enough, but knowing that the already-obnoxious sound of the hand dryer had skyrocketed into the realm of intolerable was good enough confirmation for me: the migraine had settled in.

The way home I felt fine enough to drive but was definitely not enjoying the rainy roads and the bright highway lights in my eyes. By the time I got to Athens (a 1.5-hour drive), the head pain was gone and I was just a little pooped. I actually want to see The Hunger Games again (you should see it, too, but be sure to read book one of the trilogy first!) but am a little fearful of a possible migraine.

Have any of you had issues with the loudness/brightness/flashiness of a movie theatre?

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