I have had chronic headache and migraine disease for well over 20 years now. The symptoms and triggers have evolved and changed throughout the years and I am always unpleasantly surprised when a new one arises, but I just roll with it and do my best to deal with it. Recently, smell sensitivity has booted light sensitivity to the curb as my #1 symptom and trigger. With light sensitivity, I can put on very dark glasses, cover my eyes with a thick black cloth I keep in my ‘migraine bag’ if we are out in the car, I can hide in my dark room, I can avoid going out & I know I can avoid light if I really need to. But SMELLS – it seems there is NO escaping them! They are everywhere and just when you think you are safe… the smell of bacon or popcorn comes wafting into your bedroom, the cool, dark haven that has always been your safe zone from the light and noise. (My bedroom is next to the kitchen, where my teenage grandson never stops cooking and eating) There is no escape from the smells that cause such pain and nausea.This is my youngest daughter’s senior year and we were out shopping for her last high school homecoming dress. We wanted to have fun, but it was pure torture. I kept a smile somehow, but there were times the smells we came across almost brought me to my knees. It would be as random as a person walking past who smells like cigarette smoke or perfume. In one shop a sales woman sprayed a room deodorizer and I almost had to leave in the middle of trying to pay for our purchase. Then, there was the food court & walking through the make up and fragrance departments at Macy’s to get to the main mall.
Over and over again the smells all around us caused that sharp, jabbing pain in my eyes and temples and made the back of my head feel like it was in a vice – then the nausea and diarrhea started. My daughter kept saying “Mom, are you ok?” I just kept telling her I was fine. I didn’t want to ruin our day. We finally made it home and I crawled in my bed in my cold, dark room to hide from the world… and in came the smell of bacon (yep, my grandson cooking again!). I just curled up under my blanket hoping it would block out the smell. I never realized all of the smells around me until the last few weeks when this new symptom (or is it a trigger?) reared its ugly head. I haven’t figured out how to deal with this yet & I am not sure I will.