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35 years and counting

Over 35 years of Migraines, I have learned that I am a bundle of unexpected triggers. Migraines change in their presentation over time and their effects differ too over time. It has almost gotten to the point where a dark silent corner seems to be the cure- however I am sure that would produce triggers of a different manner in due time.

    Triggers I have discovered:

  • Stress – frustration, aggravation, inability to control
  • Skipping Meals – low blood sugar
  • Alcohol – wine
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Fragrances – sometimes perfume, sometimes food, sometimes other stuff
  • Eyestrain – reading or computer time
  • Sex
  • Nausea
  • Congestion
  • Loud prolonged noises
  • Weather changes – From bright sunlight, too tornadoes to extreme heat
  • Crying – leads to congestion, crying relieves stress but causes increased pain
  • Hormonal Changes– from cycles to menopause
  • Dehydration

And the unexpected all of the sudden EVERYTHING is TOO MUCH trigger- when you become dizzy nauseous, lightheaded- its too bright, too loud, too loud, too hot and the smells are off- you are antsy, spinning and you just want to hit someone or something and scream- when EVERYTHING needs to STOP NOW!

The last one is the scariest for me. It comes out of the blue or I miss all of the warning signs leading up to it- but it can happen anywhere and at any time. And it is the one that can knock me flat-what I imagine it would feel like getting hit by Tyson. Saw a commercial once that depicted a woman having a migraine- she was standing in the middle of the road, it was raining and the bright lights and loud horn of a semi was headed straight toward her…. and I thought YES! That is it! That is what it feels like sort of. And one of the hardest to bounce back from.

These cause numbness on the right side of my face and throat, speech difficulty, memory lapses, difficulty seeing and understanding, writing becomes very hard to read to impossible to read, nausea, cold feet, trembling, sleepiness to sleeplessness, and the excruciating pain of course. When you don’t want to be touched but want to be held, where you want total silence but want to know you are not alone, where a total topsy-turvy spinning world that you cannot control is rushing madly by- and you need to catch your breath- for just a minute.

Still looking to the positive- I am still alive, I have great children and a wonderful husband. A few fantastic friends that mean the world to me and some great family members that try hard to understand. Every day without a migraine is a blessing; every migraine is a teaching moment- therefore a weird type of blessing too. There are other afflictions I could be stricken with but thankfully I am not. So therefore I am blessed.

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.


  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    You have a great attitude about your situation and that can carry you far in life. It’s hard to suffer from these Migraines and it’s ok to be frustrated, sad or upset by them. But in the end all that energy is wasted when you could be getting better.

    People ask me what my triggers are and I reply, “breathing.” Triggers change over time, like you said and being chronic for so many years, it’s difficult to point out exactly what makes them worse.

    Best Wishes to you and thanks for your words of encouragement!
    -Katie Moderator

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