Migraine Hacks I Wish For: The Psychic Scent Blocker
This is part of a somewhat silly, somewhat silly blog series I started called “Migraine Hacks I Wish For,” a collection of would-be inventions that would make my life as a migraineur that much better. I already “invented” glasses that would block out the lights from oncoming traffic while still letting you see the road at night. (Readers tell me that TheraSpecs and other types of migraineur-friendly glasses are helpful for this, so maybe my wish isn’t such a pipe dream after all!) I also want to force into existence some magical earplugs called the Psychic Earplugs—they block incoming loud, sudden, and annoying sounds before they happen.
For today’s installment, I’ll continue to focus on my always-hyperactive senses. My sense of smell is always keen, and a strong perfume can push me over the line between health and migraine land pretty quickly. A couple of months ago, Jim and I decided to run some errands. Instead of going to our usual bank, we went to one of their satellite locations. I walked in and had several deposits I had to make that very day. I should have just left the moment I smelled the air freshener permeating the small lobby. It was so, so bad. I had to get my deposits into the bank that day, and I’m the only signer on the account. Still, in retrospect, I wish I had left, gone out to my car, and driven through the drive-through instead. I couldn’t find the source of the smell until we were leaving and I saw one of those heat-activated plug-ins. I was tempted to kick it out of the wall (not really) but already knew a migraine would be on its way—I was sick within ten minutes. Oh, brain. Just calm down.
I wish that that day I’d had the [imaginary] Psychic Scent Blocker, an invisible device that blocks up your nostrils a few seconds before you encounter a particularly loathsome smell. Did the woman on the train next to you just spray her perfume in a fine mist all around her body? Worry not: the Psychic Scent Blocker is here! Does the restroom at the restaurant have air fresheners installed in out-of-reach (but definitely not out-of-smell) locations? No need to fret: the Psychic Scent Blocker is here.
For a little extra cash, you can add on a feature that will allow you to excuse yourself from the smelly situation without anyone thinking you are strange or rude. Press a button and you are in a totally different section of the train, or in a separate bathroom in which no air fresheners have been installed. Did you just walk into a party where so much incense was burning you thought you were back in high school? Blink three times and you will be transported to a magical new room in the house where windows are open and no allergens or stinky smells make their way to you.
What sorts of smells would you block if you could? Can you think of a recent time where the Psychic Scent Blocker could have prevented a particularly bad migraine episode?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?