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Completely Unofficial Made-Up Migraine Types: Case of the Missing Migraine

I use an iPhone app daily to keep track of my migraine-related health. It used to be called “Curelator,” but it was renamed “N1-Headache” not too long ago. Every evening as I lie in bed, I use the app to answer a series of questions about my day—whether or not I had a migraine attack that day.

One of the very last questions on the daily survey asks me to rate my migraine expectation for the following day: low, moderate, or high.

Guessing what my migraine will be like tomorrow

These days my migraine health has been pretty good (knock on wood), and I usually pick “low,” as my attacks are less frequent. Occasionally, I’ll evaluate my expectation for getting a migraine the following day on the moderate level—usually I do this if I’ve been really stressed out, if I know there’s a major storm rolling in, or if I did something wonky to my body like pull a muscle in my back or bump my head on the car door frame.

Of late, I very, very rarely have a “high” migraine expectation for the next day. This rating is one I give when I’ve already been having a really rough migraine week and am about to fall asleep without my attack having lessened at all. If I’m going to bed with a migraine attack that has been resistant to medications, it seems likely I’ll wake up to one the next day, right?

Except sometimes I’m wrong. Very, very wrong.

Shocked to not wake up with a migraine

When I awake on a day when I’m expecting to feel crappy but instead feel like a [relatively] normal, healthy person, it’s like I’ve performed some kind of trick. “But I have had a migraine episode almost all week! I went to bed with throbbing pain in my head and neck! It’s raining outside! But I just woke up without a migraine! What is this mysterious magic?”

This happy surprise is the latest edition to my Completely Unofficial, Made-Up Migraine Types list: The Missing Migraine.

It can be challenging to enjoy migraine-free time

The Missing Migraine can be disorienting. It’s like staring at your phone, waiting for it to ring—but it doesn’t. It’s like watching a ball roll across a table but, instead of its rolling to the edge and falling onto the floor with a series of bounces, it slows to a full stop before it has a chance to tumble to the ground. It can be hard to enjoy your migraine-free time when you suspect a migraine is lurking around the corner.

For my part, I’ve tried to retrain my thought process to accept and welcome an unexpectedly healthy day. Instead of wondering what monster migraine attack is waiting in the wings for me, I embrace my healthy time and try to do things I cannot muster when ill. Instead of letting the mere idea of an approaching migraine haunt my day, I focus instead on the here and now. At least I try.

Have you ever encountered The Case of the Missing Migraine? Have you ever awakened in the morning, completely shocked that you don’t have a migraine attack already in progress?

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