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Postdrome? Maybe?

  • By RaeAiello

    Okay, so I’m pretty new to migraines. My mom suffered from them really bad when I was young, and my husband gets bad cluster headaches as well as migraines. BUT, I never had one until the past couple years, and they aren’t very often, likely related to my hormone cycle. I’m 23 and have had maybe 5 in my life so far.

    BUT Sunday I had one, pretty standard. throbbing around my eyeballs, the pain kind of ebbed and flowed accompanied with nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, smell. I know mine aren’t as bad as other people’s for a fact because I was able (barely) to finish sitting through church after it started. The weird part happened after the migraine was gone. After laying on the couch and taking a nap I felt better enough to stand watching TV with my husband and the next morning I felt almost 100%. Had one incident of a sharp pain in the morning through my whole skull that lasted maybe 30 seconds, nothing else noteworthy the rest of the day. Until Tuesday. Tuesday I wake up with my scalp feeling sore like I’d hit it on something and any extreme exertion causes the same splitting pain as I described above, as well as things like combing my hair… It hurt way worse than my migraines, but for short periods of time, a minute at most. This lasted the entire day and I spent most of the afternoon lying down resting. Not really any sensitivity to light or sound.

    My question, is this postdrome or a “migraine hangover”? I’ve researched it and that seems to be described as fatigue, etc. I can’t find anything about more pain post-migraine. For the record today (Wednesday) my scalp still feels a tiny bit bruised, and I have what I would describe as a normal headache. Totally manageable, a little pressure on the front of my head. My mom says these sound about like what she experienced post-migraine but that it never waited a day to hit. Is that normal? Is this actually still part of some really weird migraine not described by the standard?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi RaeAiello,

    Thank you for sharing that with us. It’s not uncommon for postdrome or the hangover phase ( of a migraine attack, to last up to 48 (maybe longer for some of us) hours. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to fatigue, changes in mood and/or concentration levels. Allodynia (normally painless sensations become painful) can also be experienced during this phase. Yesterday while I was washing my hair in the shower, I noticed my scalp was very sensitive in certain spots, and brushing my hair was a bit painful as well. I realized I was recovering from a migraine attack! This link has more information on allodynia I hope helps;

    I hope this helps!