I lost yesterday to a migraine…

I’m fortunate in that I don’t get migraines often anymore as I worked out a few years ago what tends to trigger them for me.


I used to get them a lot.

Then one of my doctors had me keep a diary of everything I ate and did for a month and it very quickly became apparent that my migraines were almost all correlated with using the telephone.

Trying to hear is extremely hard work when you’re deaf. It’s difficult enough in person when you can speech read and use other cues as to what is going on. When you use a telephone you lose all those things and have to concentrate incredibly hard to make sense of the 20-30% of the conversation that you actually hear. Even with an amplified phone in speaker mode, it’s hard work.

Added to that I also have to work at speaking more loudly myself. My natural voice is, I am told, very soft and quiet. It doesn’t sound that way to me as I hear it inside my head more than I hear it with my ears.

As a result using the telephone was very, very hard on me physically. To the extent that it triggered migraines.

Consequently, I rarely use the telephone and if I have to do so then I keep the call as short as possible.

Right now, of course, I’m not using it at all as I can rarely speak well enough to be understood due my ongoing breathing issues.

So on this occasion, it wasn’t using the telephone that had triggered my migraine.

Most likely it was the combination of the weather and the stress of being ill with no end in sight and some of the decisions and consequences of that which I had to deal with in the past week.


So I spent yesterday in the dark, not moving, with an ice-pack on my head, begging my dogs not to even move or breathe on me.

Migraines are awful.  I get nauseous with them as well so have the added fun of needing to eat, because of the medications I’m on daily, and knowing that whatever I eat is going to be coming back up.

Deciding what to eat based on how it will taste and feel coming back up is a unique experience. Not one that I hope to repeat often. In fact, never again would suit me just fine.

Thankfully, and most bizarrely, I found myself waking up this morning having slept for 4 hours straight for the first time in months. What was bizarre about it was that somehow I had ended up sleeping on an incline but with my head lower than my feet.

Almost all advice for migraine sufferers is to sleep on an incline but with your head higher than your feet. With my breathing difficulties I’ve been ‘sleeping’ sitting up for weeks because as soon as I lie down, I start coughing. Yet somehow sleeping on a reverse incline hadn’t triggered my coughing, or not enough to wake me up anyway.

Interesting! Certainly, it’s worth trying again.

Nothing else has ever worked for me but doing absolutely nothing, darkness, and ice. It amazes me when I see people online posting about having a migraine. Beyond about two words to let people know that I was alive there was no way I could look at a computer screen. So either their experience of a migraine is very different to mine, or they have a headache and not a migraine.

The best explanation of the difference between the two that I have ever heard is the same as the difference between a cold and the flu.

You are stood at the side of a football pitch and somebody places a million dollars cash in the middle of the field and all you have to do to keep it, is get to it and touch it… if you have the flu or a migraine you can’t even make yourself get there. If you have a cold or a headache, it might hurt but you’ll make it somehow.

Anyway, tonight I’m going to try sleeping on an incline again with my feet higher than my head. That is if I can work out how on earth I ever got in that position, to begin with!

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