Spending Money to Save Myself From Possible Illness
I travel a lot. I am writing this article from where I live (Athens, Georgia) and am surprised to say I’ve actually been in town for two months without flying anywhere. This is a marked change after having spent a summer being out of town as often as I was home!
Many migraine patients, myself included, have learned that there are lots of travel-related triggers that can aggravate our condition. Changes in altitude (including ascending and then landing in a plane), changes in routine, missing meals or eating less healthfully than usual, altering your sleep schedule, and more can wreak havoc on the migraine brain.
Making an existing migraine attack worse
Here’s something else that can happen: factors decided upon before or during a trip can affect an already-existent migraine attack. For example, if you already are feeling ill, sitting in a conference hall full of fluorescent lights and ambient crowd noise might make your migraine a lot worse, especially if you haven’t brought any special accommodations like a hat or TheraSpecs with you.
And if you’re sharing lodging with people, their behaviors (including innocent ones like coming into the room after you’re in bed or snoring in the middle of the night) might make you unable to get the rest you need to recover
For these reasons, I sometimes make a decision that is bad for my bank account up front but good for my health: I rent a room separate from my travel companions.
Spending extra money and practicing self-care
For example, in early 2018 I went to Memphis with some of my booksellers to a book conference. Initially, we were going to share a couple of hotel rooms. Shortly before the trip, though, I decided to get an AirBNB for a few staff members and got the offer for a fourth bookseller to stay in another spot courtesy of a generous publisher. In sum, I got a room to myself. And oh how handy it was. I remember one morning in particular when I’d gotten just three hours of sleep and decided to stay in bed. I had a vague headache—not a bad migraine, just a slight tension headache that had the potential to trigger or turn into a migraine attack. If I had been sharing a room with others, I might not have been able to snooze that morning and opt out of the morning conference session.
But since I was alone, I napped peacefully and showed up for lunch feeling energized and healthy.
The price of avoiding a migraine attack
I think there are hard-to-quantify financial benefits of spending money on extra lodging due to health concerns. While it did cost my business extra cash to secure the AirBNB, it gave my booksellers time away from their boss to brainstorm and talk about business. It gave me a break from socializing and gave me peace of mind about the possible migraine attack(s) I feared. And it’s possible that having a spot to myself allowed me to prevent a costly migraine, a migraine that would have prevented me from attending educational sessions and networking with publishing friends—arguably the biggest benefits of conferences like this!
What sort of purchases have you made to mitigate the risk of having a migraine interrupt your routine? Share below and we can have a conversation about this tricky topic!
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?