Dear headache month: please don't show up this year.
Historically, April is a notoriously vicious month when it comes to my migraines. I live in Georgia, and the pollen count is OUT OF CONTROL. It’ll rain, and an hour after the sun comes back out, your car is already coated in a fine layer of yellow-green dust. When my sister and I go for walks together, we can feel the pollen catching in our throats and threatening to clog our sinuses. I just did a search for “pollen” on my blog and was surprised to see that I have mentioned pollen-migraine issues a great deal over the last few years—I hadn’t realized that! If you want to read more about my complicated relationship with pollen, here are some old entries:
Allergies aren’t the only culprit here. The rapidly-changing weather systems seem to be quite remarkable in Georgia springtime. Yesterday afternoon, the sky was a clear, bright blue. By midnight, we had raucous storms and power outages as the rain came pounding down—parts of the state were even hit by hail. By the time I got out of bed at 8:30, the sky was perfectly clear again, not a cloud to be seen. Miraculously, I didn’t have a migraine last night or this morning.
A couple of years ago I was talking to my complementary care doctor and he asked about my migraine patterns. I told him how early spring and early fall were especially terrible times. He corroborated this finding, saying that scientific studies have shown that various illnesses are often at their worst during April and September. I don’t remember his exact phrasing, but he did mention that bipolar disorder is one of many ailments that seems to reach its peak in April and September. Interesting.
Once I began to understand how the weather holds power over my health, I tried to develop ways to be ready for the triggers.
Mediclim can be quite helpful if you have weather-related ailments (including migraine disease). In fact, I got my Mediclim migraine alert yesterday morning and wondered what the deal was—after all, the weather was perfect and there were no clouds in the sky! Getting the email prompted me to look up the weather, which of course showed that severe thunderstorms and a possible tornado would be moving into the area after nightfall. When I know the weather is going to change, I am extra-careful not to deplete my own resources. I don’t drink often, but I make sure to abstain on days when the weather is crazy. I (try to) make sure to eat well and exercise to build up my resistance against the migraine train.
Here on Migraine.com there’s been some talk about weather-related migraine.
What do you think? I know that it took me many years to even realize that the weather was affecting my headache cycle (thank you, headache diary). What do you do to cope with weather- or allergy-related migraine?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?