greta garbo, la traviata, fainting, migraine, headache

Welcome to migraine maths

Breathe, mustn’t get too stressed. Or tired. Go to bed early – but don’t lie in. Stiff neck, do shoulder rolls. Tiger balm. Look away from the screen, eye strain bad. Optrex spray. Ask doctor about the Pill – some worse than others for egging on migraines, ditto the coil. Eat regularly. But step away from the citrus fruit. And onions. While you’re at it cut out dark chocolate, wheat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, seafood, Diet Coke, and anything with MSG. Humid outside? Double water intake. No, triple it! Welcome to Migraine Maths.

Ever had a migraine? Honestly… a migraine. Not a headache. Migraine is a much abused term, so let’s separate the ache from the can’t-look-at-light-while-hurling. Pain. Unable to speak or move. This is cheerful, isn’t it? You’ll know someone who does have migraines, as it’s the third most common disease in the world and three times more women than men get them. Stupid hormones. They cost the economy a mind-blowing £3.42 billion a year.

Us migrainers (we’re a tribe) spend our days plotting. We might hear a rumour that swears almonds work and religiously eat 31 a day. Eureka! Until the next attack.

So – just to be clear – please don’t say any of these things to us:

  1. Did you see the breakthrough research that migraine sufferers’ mouths have more nitrate modifying microbes than everyone else?
  2. Take a paracetamol?
  3. You’re probably dehydrated…
  4. I know how you feel, I overdid the red last night.
  5. Have you tried… lavender oil/kinesiology/my acupuncturist?
  6. It’s probably stress. I have this great meditation app.
  7. I get headaches too.
  8. You don’t look sick.
  9. Have you tried cutting out gluten/dark chocolate/Teflon?
  10. Are you sure it’s not a brain tumour?
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