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Social Migraine

I’ve never written here before, but after what happened today I have to. I’m a 53 year old woman and have had migraines since I was six. While they have gotten to be more frequent and more of a major issue in my life in this past ten years, generally vomiting with a migraine is not typical for me (as an adult). In the last couple of years my social life has dwindled to little or nothing, in large part because of my not being able to get out due to light sensitivity.

Anyhow, I had on the spur of the moment invited two acquaintances over for a Memorial Day barbecue. Well, then I woke up this morning feeling somewhat sensitive to motion. I did my best to go easy, get things ready in small bits, and then sit and rest. Nevertheless, my head continued to get worse, and I declared I couldn’t do any more preparation, leaving the rest to my husband and 18 year old daughter.

Well, it was a lovely lunch, and I did my best to enjoy it. The company was good. But when my husband asked if I wanted “hamburger, (nitrate-free) hot dog or Italian sausage, I knew I was in trouble. The quinoa salad Judy brought looked safe, so I had a bit of that. I made it through one false alarm to the bathroom. But then one more forkful of that salad sent me running again, but I didn’t make it to the bathroom. All over the threshold of the back door.

After cleaning myself up, I took to bed. And stayed there. I wasn’t well enough to get up, but talking about embarrassing. My guests knew I get migraines, and that “my head wasn’t so good,” but still. My husband said no one ate any more after that, although they did stay for another hour and a half. Should I call my guests and apologize (if only for not saying good bye? Has this ever happened to you?

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  • Docha
    4 years ago

    So sorry to hear, and I certainly understand as I too have gone through similar situations, actually, too many to mention.

    I have decided when a migraine hits, I put myself first anymore. If I have to cancel, walk out, whatever…I do it.

    Giving myself the permission to do so has made my life better in many ways. Lost friends along the way, but they just made way for better friends to come into my life. Sounds kind of selfish when you read it, but it just didn’t work for me when I use to push through everything and what for? To prove what? and at what cost?

    I have pushed through life with migraines. They have accompanied me on just about every important event in my life. I don’t do vomiting very lady like and it has happened when people or myself, tried to push through and continue with whatever we were doing only to have me spew all over the place…so they kind of learned to stop pushing and I have learned to give myself a break.

    No one would expect someone with a broken leg to walk a marathon so why would anyone ask a person who is going through a migraine attack to do the impossible?

    What do I do if I’m out and it sneaks up on me? Hit the washroom and then straight home. What do I do if it hits at home…stay home and treat it. What’s my life like? I do my crafts…when I can, and enjoy each moment. On good days ~ I take off like a scared rabbit and enjoy it for as long as it lasts. Work? Nope, tried it and unless you work for yourself, your constantly made to feel like your less than??? well, you know what I mean.

    Did I give up stuff because of Migraines? Naturally, that’s like asking a diabetic did they have to give up anything?

    Be good to yourself, don’t beat yourself up because of what happened. If the friends didn’t understand, have some empathy for you…then it is their problem not yours.

    Look forward, not backward. Living with migraines is a challenge and certainly not for the faint of heart.

    ps some of my friends (the one’s who stood by me) have many laughs at some of the funnier times with migraines…well, funny now but not back then!

  • Teri
    4 years ago

    I am 56 years old and started having migraines 15 years ago after a stroke and brain bleed. Prior to that i was a very social person. I had a good job, 2 teenage sons and a wonderful husband (stiil do!). After i started having migraines, they have always been the kind that just take me down, i vomit, have to lay in the bed with an ice pack and I isolate myself, and pretty much have turned into a hermit! Relationships are the most difficult part of this whole thing and i am very lonely because no one really gets it and it is hard to be a good friend, sibling, Mother, wife, etc. I go through phases. Sometimes i am at peace with it and then i go through a grieving phase bercause no one really understands. How could they? They have no idea what it is like to be in such pain. I am very blessed to have a wonderful husband of 35 years who understands because he live with it through me. Even so, i reguse to give up. I try to pick myself up and put a smile on my face and i put on my happy personality so that eveyone thinks i am fine. It is an odd way of life but the alternative (being a full time hermit) is no way to live. So, i will continue to be positive, thankful to be hete, and feel very blessed for everything i have and put one foot in front of the other because i believe thst is what God wants me to do!

  • Katie M. Golden moderator
    4 years ago

    Sharon M,
    It seems that everyone in attendance knew you suffered from Migraines. We all tend to feel guilty about not making it to an event, about not getting enough done around the house or puking at a party. Let the guilt go. Sadly this is what you have to deal with on a daily basis. Who knows, maybe someone at the party now has a better understanding of how debilitating Migraines can be.

    If you really feel compelled, call or send a note to the hostess, but not to the entire group.

    -Katie Moderator

  • Carolyn
    4 years ago

    First, I’m sorry your gathering didn’t quite go as planned, but good for you for having the courage to invite people over! I’m very light sensitive and motion sensitive, which makes traveling in a car generally hellish, so I can completely sympathize with how your social life is affected. It’s hard (for me, at least) to make plans with people, not knowing if I’ll be able to follow through. It’s always very encouraging to me when I see others doing it, so thank you. =)

    I’ve never gotten sick that way at a party, but I have had gatherings end unexpectedly because my anxiety about having a migraine and trying to function got out of hand. I also have PTSD, and the two are like a really not-fun PB&J in terms of triggers. It’s like the pain sets off my fight-or-flight response, my brain is in such a fog that I can’t make sense of what people are saying or doing, or what their intentions are, and I just spazz out and snap at everyone, feel cornered, take off, and hide. Very embarrassing, especially when I’m shaking, stumbling, and struggling to speak properly because of my migraine. I had to leave my sister’s wedding early after spazzing out, and I once spazzed at a professor so badly during an exam that she had campus services inquire about my mental health. To be fair, she was circling the room telling us “time is slowly slipping away!” I began crying, nearly fell down the stairs of the lecture hall, tried to explain the issue to a very hostile prof, shouted a bunch, completely destroyed my exam booklet, and then just gave up and took off.

    Anyway, I’d say if your guests stuck around for a while, the gathering must have continued to be pleasant enough. Maybe touch base with your guests if it feels right, but I don’t see why you should feel sorry. It’s your party and you’ll puke if you want to! They would puke too, if it happened to them.

    Best of luck with your next gathering, I hope it’s more comfortable and enjoyable.

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