My Most Popular Migraine Side Effects
Last updated: December 2021
There was a time when my migraine side effects were only a couple of the most popular ones. I'm sure you've heard of them - bright lights and big sounds. Never having been all that popular, this knowledge made me feel like my head pain was at least in keeping with the experience of other migraineurs. Then after a time, I became even more popular when nausea and vomiting got added to the list. I'm not so sure I like being popular anymore.
Nausea just worsens my attacks
It seems a migraine in and of itself won't trigger my nausea, but if I try to function while having one…well, that's a recipe for disaster. Trying to push through my migraine to take care of my kid, prepare meals, or just walk quickly to the bathroom makes my stomach feel like I'm riding the "rollyest" of roller coasters. Once I start feeling queazy, not even deep breathing or sips of 7-Up helps. My upset stomach never eclipses my migraine, but it does make the whole experience way harder to stomach — so to speak.
Staying still brings me relief
The only thing that eases my distress is to stay perfectly still in bed. Still, eventually, I move to answer a question about mealtimes or Minecraft for my family or switch positions, and then I find myself running to the bathroom. Throwing up always increases my head pain to an intolerable pounding, but for a short time after barfing up last night's dinner, my pain decreases. I usually take those minutes to try and fall asleep. The bigger problem has always been once I start vomiting, it's hard to stop.
Coping with nausea during an attack
Dealing with a migraine boiling my brain is hard enough, adding vomiting to that mix—I barely know how to cope. In order to avoid this nasty cycle, I try staying hydrated and keeping something in my stomach to avoid feeling nauseated because of not eating. While eating and drinking during a migraine isn't the easiest, sipping Gatorade and eating bites of a Saltine can keep my barfing at bay.
My dark bedroom is a safe space
I did talk to my neurologist about all of these symptoms, and he prescribed an anti-nausea medication, but sadly they don't always work. They do sometimes help me sleep and take the edge off my migraine — so that's helpful. Over the years, the best way I've found to fight my nausea is to stop it before it starts. If I can manage it — retreating to my dark bedroom when my migraine begins keeps my stomach happy.
Coping and saltines are the answer
I suppose in the case of my migraines, I'd rather be demoted to a more unpopular status if I could say goodbye to my more popular side effects. It seems, however, they are here to stay, and learning how best to manage them is what helps me most of all — that and a side of Saltines.
Do you have a migraine toolbox for when an attack hits?
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