still more to migraine than meets the eye

I created this post as part of a campaign by Teva Pharmaceuticals. I received an American Express gift card for participating.

Two weeks ago, I took a sick day in the middle of the week. And as I was writing an email to my boss to explain my absence, I felt myself hesitate when I typed out “I’m suffering from a migraine…” because I didn’t know if that would be seen as a legitimate excuse. You never really know what people think when they hear the word “migraine,” but my assumption is usually that they play it off as just a bad headache and a weak excuse for calling in sick. But as I’ve explained before, a sick day with a migraine really is so much more than just a headache.

Here’s just how that morning went:


I woke up and got out of bed, but was walking through those first few minutes in a complete haze.

Maybe I just need to hop in the shower?

Ten minutes later, after barely remembering to wash out the conditioner, I realize that something might be up.

Walk into the closet. The urge to select the softest shirt and the comfiest skirt overwhelm me.


Is it allergies? Walk downstairs and try treating that.

Get breakfast for Miss L. Get breakfast for Lincoln. Have zero urge for any coffee and definitely no interest in food.



Look in the mirror at my scrunched up face. Realize that it’s not scrunched up at all. But I look tired. And it’s hard to focus.

Write the “I’m sick” email to my boss.  And go get out my migraine bag of tricks and cross my fingers that you can keep the light and noise sensitivity and nausea at bay.

Each time that an unexpected migraine hits, I have a little set of motions I go through and definitely my bag of tricks. I think about what might have caused it, and then, based on that, what I can do to keep its effects at a minimum. If you don’t have a set routine down, here are some tips for you to keep in mind the next time you suffer from a migraine:

  • Keep a migraine diary to record your daily activities and identify patterns
    in what preceded a migraine.

  • Make note of what potentially triggers your migraine; avoiding these things
    may lessen the frequency and/or severity of your migraine.

  • In addition to your doctor-prescribed treatment create a migraine “kit” to
    prepare for a sudden attack. For example, sunglasses can help with light
    sensitivity, and a plastic bag or basin may be necessary if any nausea or
    vomiting occurs.

For more information and to find out how there’s #MoreToMigraine that everyone should know, visit