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What’s the first thing you plan to do when your migraine goes away?

What’s the first thing you plan to do when your migraine goes away?

During nearly all my migraine attacks—whether they be mild ones I can half-ignore most of the day or really severe ones that have me in a cool, dark room—I daydream. I daydream about the person I think I’d be if it weren’t for this disease (more on that in another post). I daydream of what I would be doing if I felt well that day. I daydream about the first thing I’ll do the moment I feel good again.

Because I’m someone who tends not to dwell on negative things (I am [in]famous for not being able to hold a grudge—just one example of my usual sunny-side-up philosophy), I often need to rely on my migraine journal to see just how bad things have been for me, health-wise. I was about to write about how this last week was bad. But really it’s been the last few weeks. And really—if I face it—the last few months have been worse than the same time frame last year. Health-wise, things haven’t exactly been wonderful around here. But because tend I focus on the positive and live a good life when I am feeling well (and sometimes when I’m not feeling well), I don’t think about just how much I’ve been suffering until I take a moment to look at my migraine journal and think back to the darker side of life.

My Migraine Self has a lot of perceptions—false or otherwise—about my somewhat elusive Healthy Self. When I’m in the midst of a migraine, I start to envision what I will do the moment, the minute, the hour, the day I begin to feel like migraine-free Janet again.

This last week, I was sick with migraine and a bad virus, so the daydreams were out of control. Here are just a handful of things I daydreamed I’d do as soon as I felt well:

  1. Shower without feeling faint
  2. Bend down to pick up my cat without all that horrific sinus pressure building up in my head.
  3. Clean the kitchen!
  4. Write some posts for
  5. File and pay some Avid Bookshop bills.
  6. Become someone who cooks healthy meals regularly and whip up a delicious lunch, then a delicious dinner, then a delicious dessert!
  7. Write a letter to my grandma.
  8. Change the sheets.
  9. Put away that stack of clothes that’s been sitting on my dresser for, oh, three weeks?
  10. Write more book reviews.
  11. Go for a walk with my sister.
  12. Call my mom and dad.
  13. etc.
  14. etc.

15. etc.

Turns out my Migraine Self has very high expectations for my Healthy Self. Please note this is just a small selection of “Would-if-I-Could” things I am now remembering having thought of when ill earlier this week.

Once I started to feel better, I did indeed accomplish many of my goals, but of course other things got in the way. On the one hand, daydreaming about all the things I will do once I feel up to it is a positive motivator to take care of myself the best I way I know how and trust that I’ll feel well enough to accomplish those things in due time. On the other hand, daydreaming about all these things I’m not feeling healthy enough to accomplish might be likened to adding more stress in the form of to-dos to my ever-growing list.

When you are ill with migraine, what do you picture yourself doing as soon as you’re well? When you do start to feel better, what of your Migraine Self list do you accomplish, and what falls by the wayside? Does it help or hurt you to imagine what you’ll do once you’re up to it?

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


  • Jules2dl
    6 years ago

    Go on vacation and not have to worry about whether it will be ruined by migraines! While on vacation, I will:
    1) eat a pastrami and swiss cheese sandwich every day
    2) lounge on the beach in the sun drinking alcoholic beverages
    3) ride roller coasters and flume rides
    4) go to a concert with loud music and bright lights
    5) eat chocolate
    6) go to bed late and wake up early

    When I get home, maybe I’ll clean my house ;-P

  • Vanessa
    6 years ago


  • vmcclell
    6 years ago

    when this migraine is finally over (it will end, i know it will) i will:
    play my music loudly
    eat kettlecorn
    finish my art hw
    watch an episode of tv on my computer
    hang out with my friend without squinting at her with one eye closed
    go swimming

  • nrsrcht
    6 years ago

    I assume that the first thing that will be done when my migraines cease is that my family will arrange for cremation.

  • vmcclell
    6 years ago

    too true

  • lara
    6 years ago

    1. Write code (I need practice)
    2. Take pictures in and around Seattle. I’ve lived here for years and have yet to get some good stock photos
    3. Finish that python class
    4. Did I mention write code?
    5. Practice in Illustrator and/or finish off any one of my 6. or Adobe Illustrator books.
    7. Finish a few “classes” in my no time limit online classes.
    8. Finish the book I’m currently reading.
    9. Finish my personal statement for the COE at UW.
    10. Play with my cats 🙂 and write more code.

  • CarolineM
    6 years ago

    WOW… I am new here, and I’m so shocked that I’m so not alone! I totally daydream while I’m in migraine mode. I, too, seem to remember the good over the bad and rarely remember when my last migraine was. I’ll think ‘Wow I haven’t had a migraine in 2 weeks!’ but then I remember ‘Oh yeah, I lost last Weds…’ and “Oh, right, that was a 2 day episode…’.

    Thanks SO much to all of you who share your own experiences of what is so familiar to me. I love this site! I’ve had Migraine for 35 years, only recently have I really started to understand that it’s rampant, I’m not just being a baby, and how much of my life I lose to it.

    You guys are awesome.


  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    6 years ago


    Welcome to the website. I’m so glad that this resource exists and that we’ve met virtually. 🙂 I’m sorry you’ve suffered from migraines for so long, but I hope you’ll find some relief. Many of us have been able to support each other through difficult lifestyle changes and more, and many folks have found some comfort through reading others’ stories.

    Take care, and hope you’re feeling great this week.


  • S. K. Hootman
    6 years ago

    I agree: hot shower is the first thing on my list. It always feels so good to at least try to wash away the migraine hangover.

  • dnvnfam5
    6 years ago

    Be myself again. 2 weeks ago I had a really good day where there was less brain fog, the pain was 2/10 (which is really really good) and it was one of the best days I had in 2-3 years. I woke up before 6am, cleaned out the entire kitchen, replaced the knobs and pulls on the cabinetry, reorganized the kitchen storage, went shopping and made my husband dinner for the first time in over a year, then made it the gym after. Best day ever. The next day the migraine was getting worse – did I push it? Probably, but I felt so good that I didn’t care. That’s who I used to be. Not this shell of a person who can’t focus on anything, who forgets people’s names (including family members) and who has to be stuck sleeping or in a bed most of the time. I work full time in 4 days, thank goodness my boss has migraines too, and that I’m good at what I do or I’d be out of a job/career because my productivity has dropped a great deal.

  • AmyBabee
    6 years ago

    When a bout of migraine is over, I get on with life or rather pick up from where I was rudely interrupted by the pain. Medication stops my migraine but the after-effects as we know, lingers but we trudge on through it. I basically dream of:
    1. singing loud with others in church without fear of breaking out in pulsating pains again.
    2. sitting close to the lights in church rather than hiding out in the dark corners like some demon.
    3. not calling my neighbor each time to turn down his music.
    4. strolling around without dark shades on my face
    5. not having to wrap myself up because of cold hands/feet.
    6. watch tv with decent light & sound on
    ….. sigh!

  • Lizard
    6 years ago

    I have found combination of med which shortens my my migraines from at least three days to two hour. Imtrex (generic sumatriptan, tramodal & two acetiminophens. If I take it directly at the first onset within an hour im migrain free. Which is the only relief I have had in 48 years of migrain. Thanks for allowing me to in put. Elizabeth C. FMB, Fl.

  • Louise Neville
    6 years ago

    1. Celebrate being pain free for the first time in 18 years…drinking so much champagne that I’d probably give myself another headache
    2. Go outside and stare at the sun (hmm, maybe this is a little unsafe, but you get what I mean)
    3. Go shopping and feel normal after the spree, without wearing a dodgy cap to block the lights over my head
    4. Be really creative without brain fog to hold me back
    5. Progress up the career ladder further, because I know I’ve got it in me (I would have made it it if it wasn’t for those meddling migraines! *shakes fist Scooby Doo style*)
    6. Smile and laugh a lot
    7. Sleep in really late, knowing it wouldn’t make me feel worse
    8. Have the tele up really loud
    9. Have the lights on properly in my apartment
    10. See what it’s like to wear perfume without feeling sick

  • pīwakawaka
    6 years ago

    When I don’t have a migraine, I’m an very positive and optimistic person. I can’t say that I plan anything specific while having a migraine. After having them for 50 years, they become second nature, and I know the current migraine will eventually pass so that I can carry on with normal life.

    My migraines don’t always have a high level of pain, but they do seriously affect my speech, sense of balance and cognitive skills. It’s also not unusual for me to have little or no memory of an attack. In many ways I am fortunate that I have so little recall many migraine attacks. It helps one keep a more positive outlook.

    On the other hand, when I’m well, I sometimes dream about what I would be able to do if I had less frequent attacks.
    1. get a real job.
    2. take a real holiday
    3. spend more time with the grand children
    4. paint/repair our home.
    99. see a movie
    1000. spend less time browsing migraine websites.

  • 100dollarheadache
    6 years ago

    relief is what i feel. a deep breath and sigh. the real problem is the migraine lingers. i feel like i was in car a traumatic event the day after a bad episode. i feel as though i was in a car crash or i landed on my head from 15 ft. above. i do not know what it feels like to get punched in the head in a 15 round fight but i can tell having several concussions in the past, i feel like migraines are damaging my brain further. its like i have been in war the after a migraine. sometimes the symptoms continue into a 2nd. and 3rd. day.i feel beat up and defeated. just the pain and the vomiting is so violent. that is the only way i can explain it. as the symptoms ease away , i am relieved for that day.then i awake again in worry if today i will have another headache. i am always in fear of what awaits me when i awake. it is with me every day, every minute. will i be sick today ? i never know the answer. i try to avoid triggers and i try to do all the things that can bring on a migraine; missing meals, over exerting my self or not getting enough good sleep. even then i get severe migraines. i never know when they will strike. when the aura strikes, i run like hell to get my medication. it can make the difference between being sick 6 hours or 3 days. it is a battle, everyday, a war. most of the time i lose. michael

  • Saff Stephens
    6 years ago

    Go out without worrying whether I might get another migraine

  • lmbrackett
    6 years ago

    1. Do the praise Jesus dance!
    2. Have a conversation with my daughter without asking her to lower her voice.
    3. Go on a trip with my daughters without… well, you know
    4. Be active in my church again
    5. Get a job
    6. Spend time with friends and family

  • Nina Rose
    6 years ago

    these are things i want to do as soon as i get totally better!
    1. drive
    2. go to the cinema
    3. go out to a nightclub even if there is flashing lights
    4. go for a long cycle
    5. did i mention go to the cinema?!
    6. go to a coldplay concert
    7. go to a bright hot country on holidays
    8. go back to college

  • Joyce Bradley
    6 years ago

    When I had a migraine as a kid, with nausea, my mom would feed me crackers and 7-Up. After it was over, I’d have something light.

  • dmae
    6 years ago

    1. Drive to my mother’s house for a visit.
    2. Go for a very long walk, even if the sun is out.
    3. Brush the dog.

  • mattparker
    6 years ago

    Its sad I have quit planning cuz they are not controlled again

  • Cindi
    6 years ago

    Oh, how I long to spend vacation time away with family and friends. Day trips used to be such fun, muchless a week planed full of daily excursions. Those are distant memories, and I love for them to become real for my grandchildren to experience with me as guide.

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