Archive for the ‘migraine triggers’ category

migraines, the jersey devil, and me

November 8, 2009

I love monster-hunting shows. I know the monster hunters will never find a monster, and I don’t believe in monsters, and that’s why I like the shows. If I thought they would find a monster I would be too scared to watch.

Anyway, I am sitting in my living room one night watching a monster-hunting show. They are searching for the Jersey Devil. I do not believe in the Jersey Devil, but I am scared of it anyway. My family is not at home. I am all alone. A couple of times I become aware that there is an awful lot of barking up and down my street. I ignore it.

Then my dog, who is asleep in the living room, raises up his head and growls. I put the TV on mute and listen carefully. I still hear nearby dogs barking, and now the dog next door is barking also. I get up, open the front door cautiously, and try to get my dog to go outside. He won’t go.

I shut the door, lock it, and go around my house peering out windows and making sure everything is shut and locked. I see nothing unusual anywhere so I go back to my program about the Jersey Devil. Things seem to calm down outside for a while.

Then I hear a metallic rolling and clanking noise, and my neighbor’s dog goes crazy with barking. I remember that my neighbor has a bunch of pipes stacked up against his side of the fence. I put the TV on mute again and listen some more. Eventually the dog stops barking, and my own dog is pretending to be asleep. I wonder if I should go out into my backyard and investigate, but this seems unwise. I go back to my program.

A family on the show is recreating the night the Jersey Devil tried to get them. They had foolishly gone into their backyard at night, and of course the Jersey Devil was waiting for them in a tree. They ran for their house, and had almost reached the back door when the monster swooped down from the tree and. . .

My electricity goes out.

I am all alone in the dark.

My first thought is: my electrical box is directly over the fence from the pile of pipes in my neighbor’s yard. Did somebody climb up the pipe pile, over the fence into my yard, and turn off my electricity?

My next thought is: get up and see if everybody’s lights are out. But I can’t get myself to leave my chair. And while I am sitting frozen to my recliner in terror, the rational, migraine-observing part of my brain notices that my left temple and the side of my neck are suddenly throbbing with pain. Hmmm. Interesting.

Eventually I managed to pry myself out of the chair and saw that the entire street was dark. A few minutes later the lights came back on. I watched enough of the rest of the program to discover that the Jersey Devil that chased the family through the night was probably a great horned owl. So far as I know there were no owls involved in my electricity outage. But I can’t be sure.

The left side of my head hurt for the rest of the evening, but in the morning I was fine.

My question is: Is fear a migraine trigger?

I am not willing to experiment on myself further to find out.

What’s up with 4 pm?

May 27, 2008

The majority of my migraines get started in the early morning. I either wake up in pain, or wake up out of sorts and with a bunch of auras that I don’t recognize until the pain starts in an hour or so. (Oh, that’s why I was sitting with tears in my eyes and my hands over my ears to protect them from the sound of my husband stirring his coffee.) It’s not that a headache never starts at other times of day, mornings are just most common.

So why, now, all of a sudden, has it switched to evenings? The last few weeks, almost all of my migraines have started attracting my attention around 4pm. (Why does my neck hurt so much? Get that light out of my eyes! What is that terrible smell? What do you mean, you don’t smell anything? Oh, my head … oh, wait, am I getting a migraine?)

I can’t figure it out. Well, I haven’t tried very hard. If I could just sit down and objectively analyze any changes in my habits in the last couple of months, maybe I would discover some triggers I don’t know about. Although, if I’ve been having migraines since I was 7, what could possibly have remained the same for all those years and then just changed suddenly in March?