A woman sits in the drivers side of a car with the door open, she has a hand to her head as stars swirl around her head

Is Being Clumsy A Symptom Of My Migraine?

When I was 6 years old, my mom enrolled me in a dance class. I can remember being super excited about my new pair of dance shoes even more than the tap class I was about to take. Looking back, this probably should’ve been my first hint that dance class wasn’t going to be my thing. It only took a few shuffles in my tap shoes to discover a truth about myself: I’m clumsy.

Was I always clumsy?

Falling across the dance floor, was the first time I realized I was a little (or maybe a lot) clumsy. Walking into walls, slipping on invisible banana peels, and running into door jams, well…is my jam. As I grew up, I did achieve a little more balance, but being clumsy is a phase I never really outgrew. And these days, this trait of mine becomes significantly worse when I have a migraine.

How does migraine make me clumsy?

Many things can cause clumsiness like lack of concentration, lack of sleep, or just lack of coordination. In my case, I’m at my clumsiest when I’m distracted and in a hurry which is why I can miss seeing that extra step or our couch that always lives in our family room. However, when I have a migraine, strange things happen. My reaction time slows and my depth perception decreases to the point that I’m literally running into walls. What is going on?

Is this a prodrome symptom?

The other day, I really became aware of this phenomenon when I hit myself in the face with my car door. Yup. You read the right. But let me repeat it just in case, I hit myself in the face with my car door. I should explain: It was a good day because I had successfully avoided an oncoming migraine. My abortive meds worked, which meant I got to finish running my errands. I was happily mailing bills and checking items off my to-do list even though I could still feel my migraine playing hide-and-seek in the back of my head. My pain level wasn't too bad, so driving was alright and it was cloudy which helped. The bright sun wouldn't be an extra trigger to set off my head pain.

I found rockstar parking next to the front door of the post office, turned off the car, and stepped outside. I went to close my car door but apparently, I hadn't stepped back far enough to avoid being shut in it myself. The corner of the door whammed into my face. The jolt of pain surprised me more than it hurt - and it definitely didn't do anything to help ease my migraine pain. I was embarrassed and shocked. That was a first.

Why are my individual symptoms?

Symptoms for migraineurs are as varied as the type of pain each person experiences. These can range from sensory sensitives to nausea, and be super individual - like in my postdrome phase, I crave pizza. But now it seems I can add clumsy to my list of migraine symptoms. I just need to stay away from car doors.

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