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A Walking Barometer

My Name is Jess, I have had migraines since I was in high school but we weren’t able to find the true trigger until I was in College because it was hiding behind another diagnosis, a chronic stress disorder. Growing up I lived in a valley and would get a migraine everytime I would travel, but we thought it was just that travelling stressed me out. Then I noticed whenever there was a thunderstorm I got a migraine, again stress was blamed because perhaps I truly was unconsciously scared of thunder. Stress seemed to be ruining my life.

Then I went to college, and noticed I would get a migraine only when I would go into the valley, or if there was a rain or snow storm. Finally someone pointed out that it was whenever a cold front would arrive I would be incapacitated by the pain and when I spoke to my doctor She mentioned that the drop in elevation when I got to the valley probably was a trigger, but that I’d missed the storm migraines for so long due to the strange way the weather in the valley operated.

Now I am a walking barometer and can tell down to the second when a cold front hits so I stalk the weather network like nobody’s business and soon as I see that there is something on the way I start taking whatever headache medication I have in reach, hoping to avoid the searing pain that announces the arrival. I’m usually successful but if not I’m down for days. I can only hope one day my life won’t be run by the weather, the one variable I have no control over.

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.


  • jjrae author
    2 years ago

    Joanna, interesting article but I’d be worried because Topamax had severe side effects of numbness and disorientation for me to the point I didn’t feel safe being alone at home and was unable to drive which ment I couldn’t work but would be worth a try just to know for sure.

  • DonnaFA moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Jess, thanks for sharing your story. I know exactly what you mean! I live in a valley as well and the weather is like its own little world. We’re actually a series of neighboring valleys over 3 counties and 2 states and when you crest the mountain from one valley to the next you can have a full range of weather conditions!

    I’m glad to hear you’ve found a way to read the signs and avoid or lessen your migraines. We’re glad you’re here! -All Best, Donna ( team)

  • Kimwal
    2 years ago

    The barometer pressure is also a big trigger for me! I live in the South. Which we have a lot of pop up storms that can create havoc for a migraine sufferer.

  • Joanna Bodner moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi there Kimwal,

    I thought I would share this article with you as it mentions a particular medication that may help if you are triggered by weather –

    -Joanna ( Team)

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