Migraine Minefield 1: Outdoor Summer Festival
If you’ve read my articles before, you know that I am an enthusiastic reading addict. If collecting books is a problem, I don’t want a cure: I love acquiring books, meeting authors, attending readings, and more.
This is why it pains me to acknowledge that one of the best book festivals in the country is an hour from my house each year, and I no longer attend.
Knowing I need to pass on the fun
The festival in question is a blast—the entire downtown square of a nearby city is filled with readers of all ages, authors, illustrators, booksellers, vendors, and more. Now that I am in the bookselling world, I have a lot of friends who come to town for this event: writers and old friends who don’t ordinarily make it to my state.
Unfortunately, after having two or three years in a row where the festival kicked my Migraine Girl butt, I realized that it’s not a healthy place for me to be.
Here are a few reasons why I call not just this festival, but outdoor Southern summer festivals “migraine minefields”:
- Intense heat, with few chances to get somewhere to cool down
- Frequent summer thunderstorms, which lead to changes in barometric pressure
- Limited seating
- Nowhere to go rest/recover if I do start feeling ill
- Intense sunlight if you’re not under a tent
- A stark difference between sun and shadow (which makes my eyes go nuts) if I’m standing in the shade looking out into an open area
- Loud noises (loudspeakers, music, children’s happy shrieks)
- Dehydration, especially if there aren’t frequent water stations set up on the grounds
- Getting overheated and exhausted
Steering clear of migraine triggers
Whew. Just last night I was telling one of my coworkers that I was considering attending the book festival this summer—I was riding high after a really fulfilling day of work and the fifth day in a row of being migraine-free. Now that I have listed all the hidden mines in this migraine minefield, I realize that, unless my migraine patterns change drastically for the better in the next ninety days, I won’t be attending this event this year.
Fingers crossed we all steer clear of hidden migraine mines this summer. If you live in a hot place like I do, remember to rest frequently, drink way more water than you think you need, and not be too hard on yourself.
What experiences are migraine minefields for you? Do you choose to enter the minefield despite the potential for an attack, or do you steer clear? This is the first post in the beginning of a series I’ll develop over time called—you guessed it!— Migraine Minefields. So if you comment below with a minefield I identify with, I may write an article about our shared minefield one day.
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?