A proverbial party of migraine triggers
Jim and I went on an epic road trip this summer—19 days, 5500 miles, many cities and states visited, and a handful of migraines.
The very last driving night of our trip, we pulled into Oklahoma City to grab some late dinner and find an affordable hotel. After leaving a cavernous Brazilian restaurant that was completely empty and about to close in 20 minutes, we ended up in a neighborhood Irish pub for a quick dinner. I was tired from being in the car and from being on the road, and I had gotten to the point where I was so hungry I almost didn’t want to eat because I’d made myself a little nauseated from not eating (has that ever happened to you?). The day had been stressful and Jim and I were short with each other after weeks of being together—we were ready to be home.
In short, the proverbial table was set for a migraine before we wandered into that restaurant, but the things that followed pretty much guaranteed a migraine attack.
There was a loud, raucous group of thirty-somethings next to us at the pub. The ceilings were high and the ceramic and glass made it so sounds echoed loudly. There was a lot of girlish whooping and yelling and oh-my-god!-ing, and I involuntarily covered my ears a handful of times when the shrieks got to be too much. (Their behavior was fine—we were in a bar, after all. But it was hard to listen to.)
Then more women arrived, all doused in what must have been eight thousand bottles of perfume each. The whoops grew louder, especially as the second round of shots were delivered. I was in full view of the perfumed table of partiers, so I felt bad for wincing or automatically covering my ears each time they screamed in delight. When it came time to call a nearby hotel to see if they had vacancy, I was quick to volunteer, as it’d give me a reason to step outside into the fresh, perfume-free night air and get a little quiet.
Even though I ended up with only a mild migraine attack instead of a huge one (thank goodness), I keep thinking back to this night. Keep thinking of how I felt like each inhalation of perfume was a direct line to my sensitive brain, how each ecstatic yell was stabbing my ears. It was, in essence, a little migraine trigger party—not the kind of party I want to be invited to.
Have you ever been in a situation where, all of a sudden, you were surrounded by migraine triggers? What’d you do?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?