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The Migraine Grinch

Waking up in a foul mood, I found fault with everyone and everything that crossed my path. Nothing could please me. I even nitpicked over dinner, where normally I am gracious. After all, my husband worked all day, got home late, and then took the time to prepare us a meal. Instead, I complained and criticized everything. Only when my husband remarked that I seemed moody did I realize what was happening.

It was past 9:00 pm when I finally realized that the world was not full of idiots. Then I felt the sting of shame. I had been online most of the afternoon and probably posted some unfairly harsh comments. I was so embarrassed. Resisting the urge to get back online, I used stream of consciousness writing to purge all the irritation and anger inside. Shortly after midnight, I crawled into bed to wait for the migraine attack guaranteed to arrive.

Sure enough, migraine made its appearance early the next morning. For once all those ice packs, water bottles, and PRN med tray came in handy. I tied a smaller ice pack to my forehead with a scarf and pressed a larger one between my neck and the pillow. I dispensed a green naratriptan tablet, a dose of diphenhydramine, and a dose of naproxen just like my headache doctor recommends. Tossing them in my mouth, I take a swig of water from my new purple stainless steel water bottle. Then I closed my eyes and waited for the meds to kick in.

Several hours later, I woke up hungry and still in pain. Swapping out the now warm ice packs for cold ones, I slowly made my way to the kitchen for some breakfast. At least the nausea disappeared so I could finally eat something. As I crunched my way through a bowl of cereal, it hit me.

I needed to apologize to a few people for my rude behavior. This “walk of shame” is part of my postdrome hangover. Despite knowing migraine controlled my mood and thinking, I still felt a sense of responsibility to protect others from the symptoms of this disease. This time, I missed it and hurt others.

Apparently, those Botox injections have worn off. Thankfully, only a few days remain before my appointment. Still, the past 24 hours are a strong reminder that migraine still has my brain in its grip.

Have any of you experienced this kind of prodrome?

What do you do to manage a bad mood brought on by an impending migraine attack?

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.


  • EsSie11
    2 years ago

    I used to get out of control angry in the prodome. Psycho would beva better term.
    Now I take 500mg of Feverfew when I start to feel irrirated and exactly 7 minutes later I feel the anger flowing out of me and by 10 minutes it is gone. Sometimes it takes 2 capsules. If you think you may be irrational .. don’t wait. Maybe it will work for you as well.

  • katdan1026
    2 years ago

    Unfortunately this foul behavior is part of my post migraine behavior. My husband has learned to tolerate it but he shouldn’t have to and I feel ashamed of myself when I realize I’m doing it.

  • Trudette
    3 years ago

    I have only recently connected this behavior in myself to a migraine. I had figured out that I had some kind of syndrome, with the headache only being a small part of it. This extremely irritated feeling in me occurred the other day, no patience with anything, I had to leave a situation where a guy was talking really fast and non-stop, and then some blurriness, and shortness with my husband, and the drainage. I had always thought the headache was a sinus headache, and the drainage was causing the nausea. That intense sensitivity and irritation is one of the worst parts of the whole experience for me. I feel so overcome by it. I think eating helps it, if I am not too nauseaous to do so.

  • Still Smiling
    4 years ago

    I’ve noticed this as one of my prodrome phases too – fortunately I don’t think its bad enough to offend anyone, but I’ll definitely be more short-tempered and snappy for no reason – and if/when i realise I’m being that way and can’t think of a reason for the mood, it’s a clear indicator that migraine is on its way…

  • 4 years ago

    Same here. My poor husband probably gets the worst of it. He does so much to help me deal with these migraines and I give him such a hard time during these phases.
    The only thing I can really do it recognize it and the other symptoms present. For me, when my mood is that foul, I usually know it’s the migraine. I don’t feel that hateful or black any other time, so it’s a key indicator that it’s a migraine related. Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do. I watch some “feel good” movies, take it easy, and try to avoid social interactions as much as I can.
    Unfortunately there are times when I’m fine 1 minute and then out of the blue I’m wondering why I snapped. Those times, there just isn’t much to be done, but let those around me know that I am having an oncoming migraine. Some of my family has even begun to recognize the predrome symptoms before I do.

  • Writermom
    4 years ago

    Hi, Tammy! I do the same things with the bad moods and sometimes nasty behavior. It’s not readily apparent to me that it’s a migraine coming on. But, sure enough, before long, here it is. Our bad behavior, especially toward those loved ones around us, really make us feel badly. I’m happy you’ve found something that helps even a little bit. I feel as though I sleep my life away. Some days, it seems nothing helps. The Cefaly has helped quite a bit, but since weather is a big trigger, and we’ve had lots of bad weather recently, it’s hard to really feel that it’s helping as much as it should. Obviously, we haven’t found anything to fix the weather. I think maybe when we feel so nasty and like everyone around us are idiots, we should just go hide our head under our pillows. Or maybe someone could develop a “be nice” pill. That would be good.

  • 23r1c5h
    4 years ago

    Too often this happens to me too and when I realized what I was doing, I made myself go to every person I am in contact with and said ‘okay, look – obviously moodiness and being the big ‘B’ word is a prodrome symptom I wasn’t aware of before but I am now. If you notice that I’m exceptionally mouthy you need to stop me and let me know so I don’t hurt your feelings and I’m not blindsided by a migraine’. It’s worked about 30% of the time but that’s 30% I didn’t have before now and I’ll take it.

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