Completely Unofficial Made-Up Migraine Types: the Bulldozer

As someone who has dealt with migraines for two decades now, I’ve become somewhat of an expert in this sneaky, oft-unpredictable disease. I not only try to keep up with research by reading scientific articles, talking to experts in the field, and attending conferences: I also study myself in a completely unscientific way.

My powers of self-observation have allowed me to create what I call Completely Unofficial, Made-Up Migraine Types. So far I’ve shared my opinions on The Creeper and The Wind Tunnel Headache with the Migraine.com audience, and it sounds as if many of you knew exactly what I was talking about even though my made-up types of migraine will be found in no scientific literature anywhere (at least by the names I call them!).

That introduction brings me to today’s post, which is all about The Bulldozer Migraine.

Let me set the scene for you: it’s a lovely day, and you’ve experienced the wonder of waking up relatively pain-free. You’re almost oddly enthusiastic about the day and don’t even groan much as you climb out of bed and into the shower. Your morning routine, which usually squeaks along for you (and can grind to a halt if you’re having a migraine) is going so smoothly. By noon, you’ve put in a few hours of work and decide to meet a friend out for lunch—this is a rare treat.

You and your friend sit at an outdoor café, marveling at the temperate weather and cloudless sky. All is feeling right with the world. You continue to feel such gratitude for your clear head, positive attitude, and lack of migraine.


And then.
THEN.

A barely-audible rumble approaches you from the left. A sudden and profound sense of discomfort niggles its way into your head. “Something’s wrong,” you think out of the blue. “Did I forget something important? Something’s not right.” The woman at the table next to you gets up to go and, even though she’s been five feet away for the last hour, suddenly a whiff of her perfume seems to slap you across the face. The squeak of her chair on the outdoor patio feels like a knife in your grey matter.

“Are you okay?” your friend asks the very minute you realize what’s happening: YOU ARE BEING BULLDOZED BY THE BULLDOZER MIGRAINE.

Usually your migraines approach slowly and give you some warning, but not the bulldozer migraine. The bulldozer migraine rams into you when you least expect it, right when you think you’re in the clear and will have a pain-free day. The bulldozer migraine doesn’t give you time to head home and crawl into bed. The bulldozer migraine only gives you time to fumble around in your bag for some cash, tell your friend you’re not feeling well, and get out of there. Before you even make the five-minute drive home, your head is pounding.

Have you ever experienced what I describe as the Bulldozer Migraine? Have you been completely caught off-guard by a swift and sudden migraine attack? What is your name for this phenomenon?

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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