Migraine Limbo Land

Much attention is given to the severe pain and debilitation that accompanies most migraineurs’ attacks. It’s true that, for most of us, the headache, nausea, and increased sensual sensitivities that are usually part and parcel of migraine episodes are what usually gets the attention from us and from those observing us. At its most painful, it’s somewhat hard to describe migraine as a wholly invisible disease, at least as far as my looks are concerned: during really severe attacks, my eyes are dilated and glassy, I can’t tolerate any loud noises or light, and I look as if the color and shine have been wrung right out of me. It’s pretty easy for friends and family to tell that something’s off and that I’m not feeling well at all.

But there’s a weird hazy mode that many of us have to deal with, and it’s hard to describe to others, let alone to ourselves. For my part, I consider what I’m about to describe as a sort of migraine limbo, the time when you are trying to decide if the migraine is going to set in full force or if I’ll be spared this time around.

If you’re on triptans treatment for acute migraine care, you’ve heard the following line before: “Take at first sign of migraine.” Well, for those of us who deal with the migraine limbo, especially if our migraines are chronic, this can be risky. Sometimes the migraine starts to roll in and then recedes again either on its own or after a little rest and relaxation from you. And other times it barrels in with little warning, settling in fully and making it even harder for your triptans to work.

There are indeed many days when I’m affected by actual migraine pain and debilitation, but lately there’ve been just as many days that are affected negatively by migraine limbo. I feel a little off, a little tired, a little dizzy and nauseated. I can still function normally and often don’t end up getting any worse, but my day is still being strongly affected by this disease.

How many of you have lived in Migraine Limbo with me? Has this sort of thing happened to you? How do you cope with days when your migraine is affecting you but is not so severe that you become debilitated?

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