Staying Home Has Given Me a False Sense of Migraine Reality
Last updated: May 2021
I feel a false sense of security. Being able to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel has created this bubble — a sort of migraine ship where I have control of (almost) every lever and switch. Staying at home has given me the ability to regulate both my symptoms and triggers like I’ve never been able to before. Maybe it’s just me trying to make light of how awful this past year has been, but I find myself thankful that I’ve been able to control as much of my life as possible. Adjust every independent variable to limit my migraines as much as I can. For the most part, I was able to.
Finding control over my triggers
I’ve been able to control what olfactory triggers are floating around my house, how bright my lights get, how much water I drink whenever I wanted! With all this free time, I’ve been able to eat healthier and cut back on spur-of-the-moment processed foods. Fewer fast food trips and more family meals at the dinner table have drastically helped my body feel satisfied and healthy.
A slow reintroduction to society
As I find myself being reintroduced into society, one risk at a time, I clumsily try to revisit engagements with sheer muscle memory. I’m going to the grocery store more often, heck, even eating out occasionally. Pandemic fatigue is real, but I find that as more vaccines roll out, the more we, as a collective, feel like we’re stepping out of the darkness and heading towards the light. The light of which blinds me.
What was life like before all this?
That comfort of controlling everything in my day, limiting my contact with smell and sight-based triggers, is being challenged. On the one hand, of course, I want to go back to work and re-enter society, but the fear of life without control is daunting. I don’t want to increase my risk of migraine, and this year, I feel, has lulled me into a false sense of normalcy. I find myself scared to drive at night now since I’ve been avoiding it for so long. Before all this, I used to be a yearbook photographer who would drive all over the state to take pictures! Now, a year later, the idea of traveling, throwing myself to chance, scares me. Even these thoughts trigger stress reactions, fueling migraines in and of themselves.
In the in-between
This weird interim between lockdown and reopening is just the beginning. It won’t be easy, but I need to remember what it was like before this comfort. I’ve been relishing it, but it’s just not realistic! I need to adapt to life and its hurdles as I used to while still taking the same precautions that I’ve gotten all too accustomed to. Yes, I have had more migraines since I’ve taken steps towards leaving my house, and it sucks complete a**. I love being able to lie down whenever the need strikes, but I can’t stay like this forever. I’ve gotta accept that life, one day, is going to get back to normal. So I just want to make sure I’m ready to meet it when it’s time.
Are you also nervous about things reopening? How has that impacted your plan when returning to normalcy? I’d love to know in the comments down below!
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?