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Trigger Traps

Knowing which triggers to avoid and more specifically how to avoid them, makes it frustrating when we fall into the trap from time to time. Some people do not know all of their triggers, so they are unable to avoid them. In other cases, some of us have some triggers we know and can pinpoint.


In my own case, dehydration plays a big part. Dehydration causes a number of other issues as well, but in my case, it can set off a migraine that leaves me feeling like, I’ve been in a car wreck. For me this type of migraine is brutal and can last for days. This is the case even if I immediately recognize what triggered the migraine. The problem is, even if you begin to drink more water right away, the damage has already been done. Most of us do not get dehydrated in a day, and likewise we cannot always fix it in a day either.

When I find myself suffering this type of migraine, I typically have to take multiple doses of my medication over the course of a few days, along with drinking plenty of water. If my wife has her way, I will be drinking Gatorade too. Eventually things get back under control, but those few days while it lasts are absolutely miserable.

I also suffer from tension migraines but as of late, they are not as regular of a factor. Perhaps I am outgrowing those types of migraines. I still have plenty of stress, but the older I get the less it seems to affect me.

My wife’s help

I’ve never been a person that dealt with the aura effect although I do suffer from a lot of my pain around my eyes and temples. It grows like a steady pressure that eventually moves to the center of my head almost like my head was inside of a vice that was slowly compressing together. On these days, my wife has become my hero. Having lived with chronic migraine for many years, she can see what is happening almost before I realize it myself. Without any cries for help from me, she is quick to get a cold pack and bring my medicine to me. She is also better about the whole second dose of medicine thing when it has been long enough but I am still in pain, especially if I have to work the next day.

Let-down migraines

I have found a strange coincidence with my migraine regularity. I will occasionally get a migraine during the work week but they are usually minor and subside with a single dose of my Imitrex. The odd coincidence is that the majority of my migraine activity never fails to show up during the weekend. On one hand, I am grateful that this happens because it means I have the time to rest and let it run its course. On the other hand, I feel like I have been robbed of the joys the weekend is supposed to bring.

Obviously, there is no conspiracy here and even considering it makes me laugh, but one cannot really control the thoughts that wander through their mind during these times. It causes you to create this inner monologue with yourself where you’re looking in the mirror thinking, “Seriously?” In our house, this is just the beginning.

Typically, the next event that follows is the discovery that my wife is also having a rough go of it with a nasty migraine of her own. We run through the paces of doctoring each other up. While these are usually miserable times, more often than not we find ourselves laughing about it, joking about how we are such a hot mess. Her sister loves to tell us we live like old people even though we are not significantly old.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • dovesdescent
    1 year ago

    Just a thought I had while trying to find my own triggers:

    Is it possible that your weekend triggers could be something that you’re doing differently on the weekend from your normal weekday routine? Sleeping later, more or less caffeine intake, different medication schedule?

  • Steven Workman moderator author
    1 year ago

    Dovesdescent- you’re absolutely right. Our weekends present so many triggers we avoid during the work week. Medications are pretty consistent, but our schedule and eating habits vary quite a bit. Sleep is perhaps the biggest change. We spend so much effort trying to get to bed early during the week that on the weekends we always seem to find ourselves up far too late watching movies and just generally spending time with each other. The change typically leaves us in pretty bad shape. The change in diet over the weekend I would think is to our benefit. During the week I only eat once a day. On the weekend I try to add in breakfast and lunch. I don’t think our caffeine intake changes much. Regardless of the day I always have either an energy drink or a cup of coffee fairly consistently.
    Hopefully you have better luck than we do avoiding your triggers.
    Steven Workman (author)

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