Odd One Out

I’ve said and done some pretty odd things while in the midst of a migraine---some of those things were embarrassing, and others were outright bewildering. I thought I would share some of my strangest moments and habits with migraine, because so often I hear folks in the community share things like: “Oh, I thought I was the only one who did *insert quirky thing here* when having a migraine attack”. It is so important to be constantly reminded that we aren’t alone in this struggle, even through some of our most ‘odd’ moments.

My odd ways of coping with migraine

  1. I often bite down on a cold cloth when I have a migraine that is concentrated to one side. For some reason this helps me relieve some of the pressure I can feel built up in my head and teeth, and the cold temperature of the cloth feels soothing.
  2. I massage my temples under running water at my sink, even in the middle of the day. Water is a golden elixir for me when it comes to migraines, drinking it and pouring it on my head can offer me a lot of relief. Sometimes I even like to take the sprayer faucet and run water over my scalp, as a pain therapy.
  3. I have let down the window in a moving car as a passenger, and poured bottled water on my head while letting the wind blow on my exposed head. The brisk air and the water sometimes offer me relief---I know I look odd to the cars around, trying to massage away the migraine and pouring bottled water on my head---but in the middle of a migraine I often am in too much pain to care about what the surrounding car-inhabitants are thinking.
  4. I sometimes stick my head right into the freezer and just stay there for a few moments, particularly during the hot summer---for me, cold therapy works wonders, and what better cold environment than a freezer? Heh.
  5. I talk to people with one eye squinted, especially when there is pain concentrated on one side of my face. I know I might look odd holding a continual squint when I am in pain, and to be honest I don’t think this really serves any relief properties, I have just noticed I do a lot of squinting on the side of the pain.
  6. This one will be familiar to many migraineurs: the word mix-ups. Forgetting words altogether. Names. Places. Ideas. Sometimes the middle of a sentence becomes the end of the sentence with migraine. Oh and calling people by the wrong name, that’s a big one.
  7. Sudden bouts of anger: being patient and calm while in pain is an active affair. I sometimes find myself ‘slipping up’ when I am in a lot of pain, where I become very impatient and my engagement with activities or in conversations will become short and sometimes eventually even angry at small things. I try to remember to offer the same patience and respect that is given around me, and to remember that for me, being worked up and upset contributes to a worse migraine. It can be tough to stay calm and joyful when in pain, though.
  8. Avoiding certain foods: for me, I can’t take smell of certain foods at all when having a migraine. Developing nausea can also contribute, and quickly. There have been times when I have started cooking, only to wind up not able to continue because the smell is too nauseating, and my appetite is gone by the time the meal is finished.
  9. Experiencing awful nausea, and them bam, ironically wanting something greasy and fried. This one is a new one for me, and opposite my last 'quirk'. Depending on the day, my body can lean more towards one tendency than the other. I tend to want things that are bland and unobtrusive when in pain and nauseous, but recently I have found myself unable to get over the nausea and craving an Impossible burger and fried onion rings.
  10. Wearing sunglasses indoors. Okay, so this one isn’t odd at all for many of us who live with migraine. It is often just a necessary part of our daily wear, though others might find it odd.

What are some of the things you experience that might be seen as a little odd, but that you would be glad to know you aren’t the only one experiencing with migraine? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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