Taking responsibility for trigger exposure

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net;
Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net;

There’s a certain amount of personal responsibility when it comes to avoiding migraine triggers. Taking risks is generally not advised. Over the weekend I took some pretty serious risks for a Migraineur. On Friday night I decided to throw caution to the wind and accept a last minute invite to the movies that resulted in fast food burgers gulped down in the car, way too much candy and Pepsi, and a very late bedtime. As much fun as that was, it certainly wasn’t worth the price I paid the next day. I wouldn’t call it a full-blown Migraine, but I was sluggish with periodic threats that an attack was pending.

By Sunday I was feeling okay and thought I had dodged the bullet that my misbehaving ways certainly could have triggered. We had an evening BBQ with burgers on the grill. Without even thinking, I helped myself to a slice of cheese on my burger.

Then Monday arrived, cold and rainy. That was when I felt the all-too familiar twinge of heaviness in my right eye. I was busy and the discomfort was easily ignored, so I rationalized my delay in treating the attack. Besides, I was back on the wagon, staying away from cheese, caffeine, and junk food. I embraced healthy doses of water and herbal teas with wholesome natural foods, plus no strong smells or bright lights.

However, it was all in vain. My misbehavior caught up with me at 5:00 a.m. in the form a full-blown attack. What a morning alarm! I can’t say I was surprised. Sure, the rapid changes in barometric pressure played a large role. However, I knew the weather forecast and made choices that increased my vulnerability. It took 4 days for my poor choices to catch up with me, but they sure did.

Here’s the take-home lesson: If you know you have Migraine Disease, part of your job is to pay attention to things that others take for granted. Weather forecasts, menstrual cycles, and busy schedules will be on your radar indefinitely. If you’re going to take the risk of exposing yourself to a known trigger, then you might want to wait until the sun is shining, Aunt Flo is not planning a visit, and you had good night’s sleep.

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