My Take On Triggers

So. As I sit here on a rainy, windy, stormy Memorial day, I started thinking about migraine triggers. I never really gave them much thought. Once diagnosed with chronic daily migraines, I stayed away from certain foods and ingredients (red wine, aged cheese, nitrites, and sulfates) as a rule. I stopped using artificial sweeteners, and avoided excess caffeine and chocolate. I will never give the last two things up completely! Life is too short! I have had horrific allergies since moving South and take meds and weekly shots for them. I know to shut my bedroom window at night and go out early in the morning before pollen is too bad. I brush my emotional support cat Samantha several times daily to keep her dander down. Plus she loves it! 😼 I am extremely sensitive to bright light and loud noises. I wear my sunglasses indoors when needed and outdoors in all weather to cut glare. I wear a hat occasionally, but not a big fan. When the landscapers come around and I’m home, I wear noise-cancelling headphones to block them out. I carry earplugs in my purse. I try to plan for any and all situations, but unfortunately cannot predict them all. The random thunderclap, car alarm, loud PA system announcement, etc. make me jump like I’ve been shot. Smells are more difficult to control. A sniff of someone’s perfume can send me reeling. (Tip: eucalyptus oil rubbed under the nose before entering a space does block to some extent) A good day (4-5 pain level) can be ruined by just walking by the detergent or spice aisle. I do try to eat regular balanced meals at the same time daily, but depending on pain and nausea, cannot always do so. I realize how important regular, restive sleep is for my physical and emotional health. I have chronic insomnia so that is often not possible. I try to exercise, take walks, but pain and exhaustion hold me back. I often experience worsening pain after light exercise. There is nothing to be done for what I’ve found is my worst trigger. Barometric pressure. Cold fronts, warm fronts, storms, any change at all leaves me stuck at home, usually in bed, in the dark and quiet. It’s no wonder I get depressed and anxious when faced with leaving the house. I have no control out in the world. I am constantly bombarded by light, sound, weather, and smells that paralyze me and send me running for home. My safe place. The only place I feel somewhat in charge of my own life. Such as it is. But I know I can’t stay in forever. I’m already watching my life pass me by and unable to be an active participant. I push! I do! I go out when I should be home. Because in the back of my mind is always the idea that if I don’t, I’ll wind up unable to leave my house. I will avoid that at all costs! The disease and the struggle are real. But I will prevail. I must! #AlwaysKeepFighting 💕

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