A Day in the Sun and the Vomiting and Migraine That Followed

Have you ever had a migraine that left you completely confused?

I recently had the most confusing migraine attack. From attempting to determine the trigger and trying to understand some issues that coexisted. My day in the sun led to a long 24-hour period.

Why did I spend my day in the sun?

My day started with a field day event for my nieces. The school separated the children by their class grade. My sister has two kids, who are finishing 4th grade and kindergarten. Since she could not be with both of her girls at the same time, I ended up attending field day with them.

Each class had a canopy put up to provide shade for the kids. Despite this, there was not much shade available. The way the sun was sitting in the morning sky, made the canopies useless. Unfortunately, this resulted in all of us being in the sun all morning long.

How did we plan to stay hydrated?

We planned ahead as best as we could in terms of hydration. My sister and I had plenty of stainless-steel water bottles with ice water. The school also had a snow cone truck. We all enjoyed a snow cone that seemed to disappear way too soon.

What did I do when I got home?

When I got home, I immediately took a shower and refilled my water bottle with more ice water. I noticed that I was not hungry, just tired. Noting this, I did not force myself to eat but I drank plenty of water. My other half made dinner on the grill for us. I could only eat half the piece of chicken.

How did I feel later that night?

I was nauseous when I headed off to bed but that happens regularly to me, so I did not think much about it. By the time my other half came to bed, I had to run to the bathroom. From that moment on, I spent most of the night throwing up.

When did the migraine attack start?

When the following morning arrived, a migraine attack started. Unfortunately, this was a bad migraine. I had such extreme pain. It felt like my migraine abortive was not touching the pain. This led me to use my whole migraine toolbox by the end of the day.

What actually triggered this attack?

This is one of those times when I am unsure about the exact trigger of the migraine attack. In this case, so many things could have caused my migraine attack.

Did being in the heat the previous day cause the migraine? Despite my best efforts, did I end up getting dehydrated while at the field day event or while throwing up all night? Since I was throwing up all night, did the disturbance in my sleep trigger the migraine attack?

Why did the nausea and vomiting come before the pain?

Another confusion that I have surrounds my nausea and vomiting during this episode. This was the first time I experienced these issues prior to the migraine head pain. Normally, I have nausea and/or vomiting after the migraine head pain has started, not prior.

What does research say about vomiting?

I did find a 2013 review paper that stated, "vomiting may help with migraine headache symptoms because it":1

  • Changes blood flow to reduce pain or inflammation
  • Releases chemicals that ease pain, such as endorphins
  • Occurs toward the end of a migraine episode, leading to a reduction in symptoms

The first two were very surprising pieces of information to me. I suppose I never connected vomiting with any reduction of pain during a migraine. The last fact makes me wonder if my vomiting was not migraine-related. Was it due to being too hot during field day? Did I get dehydrated? It is so hard to know.

Did you know these facts about vomiting and migraine? Have you ever had a confusing migraine yourself?

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