Part 2 Driving Tips for Migraineurs

Continued from Part 1

  1. Be prepared to have police and helpful bystanders inquire if you need help. Stay in your car. Unroll the windows only for a police officer. Telling them you aren’t feeling well is usually sufficient, but if you want more help from an officer you may need to explain further. If the attack is severe, dial *55 for police assistance. They are there to help you.
  2. Be ready for an attack so when one hits you are prepared. Don’t let worrying about this kind of attack rule your life however. If someone else can drive you, let them if you’re concerned about driving. Plan each week in advance so trips can be consolidated and 3 or 4 trips can be made in one longer trip. Never, ever drive if you suspect a Migraine attack is imminent. If your medications allow, you might even consider pre-treating before a long or important trip.
  3. Consider getting a letter from your doctor that states you know the signs and symptoms of Migraine and that you have agreed that you will not drive when you are having an attack. Consider consulting with an attorney to make sure that you will be abiding by all the laws of your state, especially if your driving privilege comes under question.
  4. If Migraine with aura hits you more than rarely while you’re driving, you may want to seriously reconsider when and how you get yourself from A to B. We can’t control our Migraine attacks, but we can control how we live our lives with them. It may be necessary to take a voluntary break from driving until you can get your Migraines under better management.
  5. If you want to know how your medications or your aura can affect you, most police stations have a kit that helps illustrate what happens when you are drunk. The kit includes special goggles that cause variations in vision that can be very similar to visual aura as well as the effect these medicines can have on visual perception and how our bodies reactions change. The goggles can also cause mild dizziness that many people feel during Migraine or while taking their medications. When we are in the middle of an attack, we don’t realize how profound these things can be on our system until we have the opportunity to experience them when our senses are working appropriately.
  6. Relax and enjoy driving when you can. We don’t always enjoy driving but we should. It truly is a privilege. When the privilege is no longer there, it’s then that we notice those things we took for granted for so long.

Driving tips for migraineurs
I remember my worst marooning. I was alone with my daughter in Kentucky, miles and miles from my home in Missouri. It was the middle of the night and I knew I probably needed an emergency room visit, but I had no way to get there safely, save an ambulance ride. I was horribly afraid of an ER visit while away from home and alone, and afraid what would happen to my daughter who was with me. I called my person — my husband — who immediately set out with my son for an all-night drive to get me. In the end, I got it under enough control in a hotel room that I could send them back home to bed.

I’ve been on the other end too, when my son called in the middle of the night in agony. I drove 6 hours to give him the medication he’d forgotten and stay with him until he recuperated, then followed him back home the following day.

Living well with Migraine Disease is not easy, but with some teamwork, it’s amazing what we can accomplish just the same!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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