Prodrome: Anyone Need A Nap?
Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney princess. As a child, I was enthralled by the way she could dance so effortlessly with chapeaux-wearing forest owls. It was as an adult that I truly identified with her. Namely, the way she could sleep through anything. If an evil sorceress, turning into a dragon, having epic battles with a prince in her own castle wasn’t going to wake her up, then nothing was. That's totally me. When the sleepy-time prodrome phase of my migraine kicks in, a fire breathing dragon in my own living room won’t rouse me.
Prodrome: The beginning of a migraine
Prodrome. Until I suffered from migraines, this word was totes foreign to me—much like the word “totes” until my tween niece and I started texting. I discovered that “prodrome” is the term given to the beginning stage of a migraine.
Warning signs and symptoms
It’s an early warning sign or symptom that a migraine is about to begin. These include: fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, excessive yawning, being way thirsty, food cravings, sensitivity to light or sound, and/or nausea. Initially, I had no idea what my early warning sign(s) might be. I mean, I knew I was a Virgo but I didn’t think that was the kind of “sign” that would help me with my migraines.
What's my biggest warning sign?
I figured if I could suss out what my main warning sign was then perhaps this knowledge could help me lessen the frequency of my migraines. So, I paid close attention to how my body behaved. My sun sign did actually come in handy because my Virgo-like attention to detail took over and I started a list. I wrote how I felt in the hours before a migraine stuck me down. I began to notice fatigue as one of my signs.
Fatigue as a prodrome symptom
In the beginning, I didn’t see how my fatigue and migraines were related. I believed I was just so tired because I hadn’t slept well the night before. But once I saw my list marking down the fatigue in conjunction with a migraine, I saw the signs.
Not just feeling tired
It became more clear when I realized that this wasn’t just the “I need to take a 20-minute power nap” kind of tired. This sort of sleepiness felt like I’d gone on a 14-hour plane flight, changed time zones seven times, went disco dancing, and then stayed up all night with my colicky newborn. I could not stay awake when the prodrome took over.
Combatting prodrome fatigue
Learning my warning early signs enabled me to take steps to sidestep my pain. Sometimes if I slept when prodrome took over, my migraine left. There were instances it was a combination of tactics like a hot shower, caffeine, and sleep that knocked it out. Then occasionally I felt the fatigue pulling harder and I knew it was time for prescribed medication.
Sleeping Beauty is my spirit princess. I thank her for her valuable lessons because she and both know the value of a hardcore nap. And who knows, maybe she’s just sleeping through the prodrome phase of her migraine too...
When it comes to planning vacations or other events where travel is required, how much does migraine factor into your decision-making?