Woman in front of a window with monster representing a migraine behind her with it's hand on her shoulder

Waking Up With Migraine When You Thought You'd Be Home Free

The alarm goes off and I snooze it just one last time (you already know I have a lifelong problem with this). Nine minutes later, it goes off again, and I snooze it again—seriously, this time is the last time. Really. I promise.

Waking up without a migraine

It’s now 7:45 in the morning and it really is time for me to get up. I try hard to keep my sleep routines fairly consistent. My eyes open for good and I look out the bedroom window to see that it’s a partly cloudy day. The weather app on my phone says it’ll be in the sixties. Not too shabby, Georgia, not too shabby.

And get this: I don’t think I have a migraine today. After waking up the past few mornings feeling pretty crappy, it’s awesome to feel okay. At least I think I feel okay.

Then, the migraine beast rears its ugly head

I swing my feet off the bed and sit up only to be hit yet again by the monster. The migraine is back, and all I needed to do to rouse the beast was move around the tiniest bit.

This is one of my saddest and most disheartening kinds of moments as a migraine sufferer: the moment when I realize that, yet again, migraine is going to impact my day.

Surprise migraine attacks

Do you ever have these days, days when—if even for a moment—you think you’re going to feel good only to realize that the migraine is back to get you again? Days when the migraine seemed to be lying in wait to attack right when you thought you were in the clear? (Sometimes it takes me a bit to figure out if the migraine is really here or not—but that’s another article all together.)

The impact of losing that healthy day

It’s hard for me to accurately and adequately express the profound sense of disappointment, sadness, frustration, and even anger that hits me when I realize I’m not going to have a healthy day. It’s supremely upsetting to realize for the millionth time that I am not a so-called “regular” person, that I am not going to be able to go about my day with any real expectation that I’ll get even half my tasks done.

How do you explain migraine's lack of warning to others?

This is the sort of thing that can be hard to explain to people who don’t have migraine or don’t have another chronic illness. It’s not always the pain and discomfort of an attack that hurt the most—it’s the fact that, with little warning, you are suddenly being whisked out of your own life again, and there’s no real estimate of when you’ll come back.

Sure, if you’re lucky you have medications that work.  But even after taking them it can be a while before you feel like you’re returning to your “real” self.  And people with chronic migraine sometimes have no break at all and are no longer sure who they are without migraine.

The heartbreak of migraine disease

It is, in a word, a series of heartbreaks to live with migraine disease, to wake up day after day and not know if you will be able to live your life or if the whole thing will have to be put on hold. If you will be of sound mind and body or if you will be some shadow of yourself.

How many of you can identify with what I am expressing here? How many of you woke up one day this week only to realize you were having yet another migraine day?

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