Presents for Your Loved Ones with Chronic Migraine — The Migraine Chronicles

via Presents for Your Loved Ones with Chronic Migraine — The Migraine Chronicles

My own migraines have been getting the best of me this week. I’m about to go out of town for a business trip, and I’m praying I can get them under some control before I leave. I wasn’t aware before this reblog that pre-prepared gluten-free meal services were a thing, but I now feel like my life has been lacking something critical. I wonder if they also have FODMAP-friendly meals?

I’m sure those prepared meals are ridiculously expensive, but I would accept them in a heartbeat as a gift! They would be especially welcome after my colonoscopy, when I am finally able to return to my normal low-wheat allergy rotation diet. It has been fun in some ways doing a full-gluten challenge in advance of the test. I haven’t eaten this much cake, pizza with real dough, or non-cardboard-tasting pasta in ages! It has also been unpleasant in more ways – even more GI symptoms, random hives, congestion, and nausea! (At least my partner thinks I have “cute little sneezes.”) I already knew I had a wheat allergy. Celiac disease would be worse, and I do think it is important to know whether that could be causing my issues. I’ve been doing my ‘challenge’ meals at home, to minimize work symptoms, but I haven’t been able to avoid them. I’m worried about symptoms on my upcoming trip, though my GI suggested I follow my previous diet during the trip and resume the challenge when I return home.

I already own a lovely quiet immersion blender and I have a partner who acts as my non-robotic vacuum cleaner most of the time. I felt like this list of gifts was speaking to me personally as I read through it until I came to the (sensible) suggestion of migraine-tinted sunglasses.

I feel self-conscious about migraine sunglasses. Many people know that light sensitivity is a common symptom during migraines. They may not know, at least before meeting me, that light sensitivity can also cause migraines. I’m one of those lucky people who need to wear sunglasses all the time, and I do mean all the time! I have often had to wear them indoors because bright fluorescent lights trigger attacks. I use glare-reducing computer covers, but I often can’t do anything about bright lighting.

The best working experience I ever had was the time I was able to request an office with no windows. I still think back fondly about that office. After I left the company, the building security guy actually took it over, and he finished the job of turning it into a vampire layer. He painted the walls black, set up his CCTV and turned the office into the security command for the whole building. I wasn’t surprised. I wondered in hindsight if I could have gotten away with dark wall paint. I had earned the office nickname of Sparkly Vampire, so I probably could have pulled it off! I would have stayed in that office forever, but corporate downsizing is a b*7ch.

When I’ve had my own office with windows, I’ve at least been able to bring in my own dark blinds and use soft, low-watt lighting. A co-worker/semi-mom (she was thirty years older than me) once bought me a Scentsy because she said I should just go ahead and complete the Massage Envy decorating effect. I had the dark blinds, soft-lighting, gentle white noise machine to drown out distractions. She also knew about my tactile fidget toys, such as pin art toys, sand gardens and a wide variety of random ‘squishies,’ that I brought out when I was alone and unobserved.  I actually discovered that solid essential oils would melt in her Scentsy. I experimented with them for migraines, too. Though I never found essential oils to help, they made my office smell pretty in a rare way that didn’t cause sensory overload, and they made my coworkers happy. I kept the Scentsy until I eventually ran out of essential oils and forgot to replace them. Oops.

In open-offices, the bane of my existence, I just wear dark sunglasses. I work in tech-savvy offices. Eventually, my coworkers who have figured out the relationship between light and migraines inevitably suggest tinted sunglasses, as though they were probably the first to suggest them to me. They aren’t, but I have never bought them. The idea of migraine-tinted sunglasses instills a deep longing in me, especially when my coworkers make fun of my cheap, ugly wraparound sunglasses. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will ever even be able to justify asking for them, even as a gift.

Migraine sunglasses are a pipe dream when, as a girl with ADHD, you both must always be wearing sunglasses to function and yet you have also always managed to lose at least a pair of those sunglasses bi-monthly for over ten years. $150/pair for specialty sunglasses? I could lose ten of my cheap wraparounds for the cost of one of those things! Even if I could afford them, would they even fit over actual glasses? I also have a high-prism prescription that makes contacts impossible for me. Even the bully-in-my-brain has given up berating me for my cheap wraparounds. With them, I might be able to keep my job. Without them, I’d definitely be unable to manage it, and my RSD fears financial ruin more than the social rejection caused by my poor taste in fashion. I’ve long since determined that there are not enough ADHD meds in the world to actually enable me to keep hold of a pair of sunglasses or an umbrella, so I thank people for their suggestion and continue on as I have.

However, I’ve always wondered how much better, if at all, they work than my wraparounds. If they actually stopped migraines cold, maybe shelling out $1500 yearly to replace them each time would be worth it. Have any of my readers ever tried them? I’d love an honest review. (I’d also being willing write that honest review myself if any of my readers happen to work for a company that makes them. I have such a wistful longing for them that I wouldn’t be above prostituting my blog to get my hands on a guilt-free pair!)

By all means, if you love a migraineur, consider getting them a pair of specialty sunglasses for their photosensitivity. If they happen to have ADHD, though, just don’t be surprised if they both love them and lose them. For me, I’ll keep wearing my wraparounds for now, and I’ll keep wondering if the grass really would still be greener on the other side of the fence if I were wearing green-light filtering glasses…

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5 thoughts on “Presents for Your Loved Ones with Chronic Migraine — The Migraine Chronicles

  1. Hi! Thank you for reblogging my post. A friend of mine gave me a pair of Theraspecs, and I LOVE them. Of course, I didn’t pay for them, but I like them so much I am truly considering shelling out the money to get the ones that go over my regular frames. (In fact, I will likely do that for myself at my birthday!) Right now, I use the pair I have when I’m out and about because that’s usually when I also wear my contacts. At home, though, I tend to wear my glasses unless I’m trying very, very hard to keep a migraine attack at bay. Then, I put in my contacts and pop on my Theraspecs so I can keep staring at my computer and working as long as possible. It really does help. Also, some insurance companies will reimburse for them or allow them as part of an FSA expense. Just a thought. I also never spend more than $10 on sunglasses. I either lose them, break them, or my kids do one or the other for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had no idea that migraine sunglasses existed. I’ve just being wearing sunglasses over my glasses, with occasional post-it notes on the top. Yeah, I know. Have you ever tried peppermint oil on your head when you get a migraine? I find that very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peppermint oil on my head flags as “sticky” for me, which is one of my primary ADHD sensory issues. I smell the oil and suck on natural peppermint candy. It is one of the few things that help. Definitely look into cheap wraparounds even if the fancy ones are too expensive. Having the ridge on top of them to block light from above is a big step up from regular sunglasses, but I always have to ask because they are too ugly for most stores to put out front where I can find them.

    Liked by 1 person

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