Set of palms face up with two dark eye shaped ovals hovering over them

Standing Up to Migraine

Last updated: September 2021

Moving to Long Island during a global pandemic has given me a master class in anxiety. Every day is filled with minor to major anxieties. Like, are there going to be more acting gigs available? Will that mean that there will be more or fewer opportunities to audition now that things have opened up? Am I able to navigate public transit or try and drive to Brooklyn myself and try to find a spot to park?

I am my own worst enemy

All these little pestilent frustrations and worries like to build up, and I fuel them with my own beautiful imagination. Creativity really is a double-edged sword in that I can muster up brilliant character choices while also conjuring unrealistic fears, like imagining being stuck on the highway and getting swarmed by bees.

These anxieties finally popped the other day. No, it wasn’t during the fourth of July with firework explosions that would trigger a migraine. It wasn’t me running to catch a train before it pulled out 15 seconds after I sat down, nor was it before an audition that I feel I’m unprepared for!

I stood up and it triggered a migraine attack

That’s it; I frickin’ heckin’ stood up! I was pulling out my laundry from my dryer while leaning over. After I stood up, it took a couple of seconds to figure out what had happened. My vision had gotten fuzzy. I was hoping it would be head-rush, or I had looked into the ceiling light for too long.

My hands are my test

Every time I get an aura or feel like I’ve brought one on, I look at the palm of my hand from different distances and try to trace the lines of my skin with my eyes. They're familiar and intricate. Something I look at every day, like a blank canvas, to see if my vision is fuzzy. When I couldn’t see my fingers, I knew it was the onset of migraine. The swirls and fuzziness were a grim reminder that I needed to go to bed now.

It’s wild how, with migraine, we become thankful for when migraine is convenient. No, the pain and suffering are not something I wanted, but it just becomes a matter of timing. I have had some awfully timed auras in my day, but tonight, it let me off the hook. My audition lines for the night would have to go unread, for could I read anything. I took some naproxen sodium and went to sleep. I always try and sleep my migraines off, even during the middle of the day. But for once, I could just sleep at a normal 10:30.

It's my lesson

I think it just goes to show that no matter how much I prepare in my day-to-day life, with drinking enough water and steering clear of triggers, I can’t always keep migraine away. It will just sneak up on you when you’re unprepared, whether you can sleep it off or not. Unfortunately, migraine has become the sh*ttiest alarm clock. One that goes off every time I start to slip. Sure, that can be bleak, but I just see it as a means of motivation. This move was a lot for me, and my body finally caught up with all the anxieties I had been feeding it. I just need to slow down, not bend over as much, and manage my stress to the best of my ability. It’s frustrating, but that’s migraine for you.

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