My "Dark Room"
Last updated: August 2021
Every migraine patient has their own “set-up” when it comes to days they experience symptoms and full-blown mind-bending migraines that last all day or for days. I wanted to give a little input and get some feedback from our community on what their darkroom looks like and what it contains.
Cool air and soft floors
The first thing you’ll notice when you come into my “cave” is the temperature. For me, it has to be cool and that room in my house that is constantly a cool, consistent temperature happens to be my kitchen. It has an unheated, cool tile floor. This is also the room I keep a lot of my plants in. So the oxygen from my plants keeps the room nice and balanced for me.
The next thing you’ll notice is a large circle rug that is faux fur. It’s thick enough to lay on comfortably but thin enough to keep the rug cool from the tile floor beneath it. This provides texture for me if I’m lying down and I’m trying to cool myself off, ground myself and meditate and also be aware of the things in the room that provide me comfort.
A space for relaxed breathing and comfort
Speaking of comfort, you’ll also find a rocking chair next to the rug. I do a lot of breathing exercises in the chair and often rock “with the pain” if I’m not nauseous or there is a chance I’ll vomit. Not worth it. On top of the chair, there is a weighted blanket that hangs over the top. The weighted blanket truly provides a sense of comfort to me, like a large hug without the body heat.
The next thing that is always with me in the darkroom is a cooling blanket. Sometimes I’ll put it under the weighted blanket or sometimes I’ll just use it to make a wrap for around my head, neck, and shoulders. This works like a dream and suggest anyone that heats up with migraine gets a cooling blanket.
An orthopedic bed
The next thing in the room I utilize is the large orthopedic beds that my pets use. When everything hurt and it feels like I can’t go on due to all sorts of neck, head, and body pain, I slip a blanket on the top and stretch my body out and let the orthopedic bed conform to the shape of my body. This also feels like a giant hug. I keep a type of cloth headband in the room so I can pop them into the freezer and put it over my eyes as I try to get some rest on those beds.
A quiet, dark and unscented space
There is no light in my darkroom, as the dark-out curtains in my living room upstairs have already been shut and you cannot see downstairs. I rarely have any music playing, but if I do, it’s my typical piano music or easy on my ears men singing acoustic music. More often than not, there will be no music playing.
You might notice the absence of something in this room and that would be smell. No citrusy candles or scented objects. Unless it smells like something I’ve cooked previously, there is absolutely no smell. I don’t want to make my pain or nausea worse, so this sense is taken away completely from the room.
Find your own comfort
The last thing I’ll mention is to only have with you what gives you comfort. Don’t have something stressful that will make you think about anything other than healing in your darkroom. The blankets I have, the orthopedic beds and pillows I have, and my cool, head-wrapping scarf are truly enough for me, besides an ice-cold Coke and a large glass of ice water within reach of me.
What does your darkroom look like aesthetically?
What else do you have in your darkroom that provides you comfort and nourishment when you experience migraines?
What do you recommend to others making themselves a dark room?
Have others downplayed your migraine pain?