Woman clutches her head while experiencing brain fog

Post-COVID Migraine Attacks

Last updated: September 2022

I had COVID, likely the Omicron variant, in January 2022. My son, who is five but goes to a preschool with kids too young to be vaccinated, got it first and we don’t know where - likely from someone asymptomatic. He coughed directly into my mouth during his week home and gave me a kiss on the mouth when I was sleeping, so it was no surprise when I got a positive test at the end of the week.

Our COVID symptoms

Suffice it to say, we both had mild symptoms. He had a slight runny nose and was extra sleepy for a couple of days. My main symptom was intermittent fatigue with brain fog. I had some light cold symptoms later which may have been unrelated or allergies and had a headache that didn’t feel like a migraine but more like a tension headache off and on the entire month of January, though that might have been from the stress of parenting during an unending pandemic.

My symptoms changed after quarantine

After my quarantine, the fatigue and brain fog was indeed better, but I started getting daily auras, usually around midday. Screens are the main cause, which is very unfortunate since I use one all day. I often catch myself feeling tired and a little spacey as I work in the mornings and by lunchtime, I have a dark aura closing in more days than not.

Life is more challenging

I’m scared to drive, worried it’ll get worse and make me unsafe. I don’t like feeling foggy or confused. I’m interested in intellectual things and want to use my brain to the best of its ability. I want to read articles online or watch TV at night. I don’t trust my work and find myself re-reading and finding more errors than usual, errors I am surprised to see and have no memory of making.

Did something else cause the change?

I’m not positive it’s from the COVID, though it makes sense since I didn’t have this happen before the infection. I’m looking into other causes. It could be hormonal as I do have an IUD, but I chose an IUD because it was progestin-only, not estrogen. I’m also due for an eye exam, so it could be due to my vision.

My attacks since COVID are different

These are not “full-blown” migraines for me. If I take sumatriptan, they usually go away. I have yet to get a debilitating migraine since COVID. No pounding headache and the aura, while present, isn’t fully blinding. Instead I get the fog, the aura, some muscle tension in my neck and shoulders, and sometimes a mild headache. Drinking coffee seems to help, or at least not hurt.

I'm at a loss for what to do

I’m not sure what to do, though. I assume it might get better over time, but even in the short term, having to take frequent screen breaks, while good for my health, is not good for my bank account. I’m a freelancer, so as much as I work (on a screen!) is as much as I work. I’m going to ask for some medical advice if it doesn’t resolve, but since COVID is new and post-COVID symptoms are newer, it’s hard to get time-tested solutions.

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