Friday, June 22, 2012

Migraines on My Wedding Day

Migraine Awareness Month Blogging Challenge #22: "The Game Changer."

Today's blogging challenge prompt is: "Tell us about a time your plans changed due either to an unexpected Migraine or an unexpected Migraine-free experience."

This should be easy, because days ruined by migraines happen all the time, but it’s tough to narrow down to one single event. It’s difficult for me to call any migraine “unexpected”, because I always expect to get a migraine. I’m always planning ahead and preparing for the next one, just in case. It’s not just a fact of life, it’s a state of being now. I can’t NOT plan and prepare for migraines after so many years.

I guess the story I should tell goes back to before my migraines became chronic, when I was in college and only had about one per month. Back then, I didn’t just expect a migraine all the time, so I wasn’t always prepared. Especially this particular day, I didn’t have time to prepare in all the hustle and bustle. See, it was my wedding day! Yep, I got a migraine on my wedding day. Luckily, it hit towards the end of our wedding reception, and I wasn’t miserable the whole time we were in front of guests, but by the time we left, I was in a bad state. My husband’s mother and sister had been staying in our new home before the wedding, and that is where we were going after the reception to change clothes. My new husband left to go wash all the decorations off of our car, and bless their hearts, he came home to find me in a wedding dress, hovering over the toilet, with his mother and sister trying to strip me so that I wouldn’t get vomit on my dress! We went ahead and drove about 35 miles to where our hotel was so we could be close to the airport the next day to leave for our honeymoon, and when we were within sight of the hotel, I screamed for my husband to pull over, and I vomited on the side of the interstate. Within sight of the hotel where we should have celebrated our wedding night. Poor guy. I don’t even think he got a kiss that night. I don’t think he wanted one after all he saw! He was introduced to all a migraine can do rather quickly in our marriage, but boy, I bet he never imagined the way they would shape the rest of our lives. He handled the migraine that night with love and grace and he’s handled every migraine I’ve had since the same way.

Over the past year, I have had more times with less pain than I once imagined possible. I had begun to give up hope that my pain level would ever even approach zero, much less reach the promised land for even a minute. I rarely have a whole day that is headache free, but I do have some pain free times. My migraines tend to begin slowly and build steam and energy, so I can function in the early stages. In those early stages, I actually do better trying to function and distract myself from what I know is coming. If I focus on it, it seems to get worse faster, and I’ve learned unless it’s a day I can take a triptan, I can’t stop it. During those pain free times, or times when I can function or can take meds, I try to make the most of it. I try to be out of my house, and stack my days full of all the activities that I didn’t get to do on the migraine days. I have found this allows me to be most productive, and still do the things that make me feel purposeful in life. I try to hang out with my husband and make the most of my time with him. I try to see my niece and nephews, and catch up with them too. There’s a lot of living to do in a short amount of time on those few good days, but I’ll be damned if I am not going to take advantage of them.

Wishing you all many, many good days….

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger's Challenge is initiated by


  1. I was in a similar situation that I didn't have chronic migraines when we got married, but I was lucky enough to not have one on our wedding day. I was definitely worried it might happen, but someone I got lucky. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. Blech.

  2. Sorry this happened to you, but how very cool that your husband was so wonderful. This sentence, "It’s not just a fact of life, it’s a state of being now," sums it up so well! I read this to my husband and he said, "yes, that's exactly it. That's the part people without migraine in their lives simply do not understand." Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Thanks, ladies. It's amusing to look back on the story now, but at the time, it was pretty stressful. I knew I had myself a catch when my husband was so understanding and just put me in bed with the trash can beside me in case I threw up at night! Bless him.

    These are the things people without migraines in their lives just don't have to deal with, and it does permeate every area of our lives eventually. It's that unknown thing that can take over our lives whenever it wants to. Thank goodness for those husbands, and the rare friends and family who get it, huh?