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My Migraines Came Back During the COVID-19 Crisis

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Before the COVID-19 crisis, I went 433 days without having a migraine. That’s over now.

I had been having migraines on a regular basis since 2016 and they stopped after January 13, 2019. I have no idea why, but they stopped and I was grateful. No more waking up in the middle of the night with a sharp pain behind my eye, no more overheating, nausea, light-sensitivity, noise-sensitivity, and so on. My life became a little simpler without migraines and I was able to sleep through the night and get through the day without resorting to Excedrin.

When self-isolation started, I already knew it was going to be difficult for me emotionally due to depression and various other concerns (immuno-compromised family members, worrying about how this will affect the students in my autism class, etc.). However, I did not expect that my migraines would start up again just two days later. Quarantine started on March 19 and I’ve had 37 migraine attacks since the 21st.

They have changed a bit. Rather than waking me up around 3 a.m., I’ve been getting my migraines just before I normally wake up, as if my body is punishing me for trying to sleep the extra hour. I also can’t stay in bed half of the time because my migraines have been triggering the need to use the restroom, which makes the whole experience extra fun (sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell).

What does it mean? I still don’t know why my migraines began in the first place, whether it was genetics, my eating habits, stress, or some other factor. I don’t know why they stopped, and now I don’t know why they’re back again. Maybe migraines are my body’s way of responding to stress, but if so, it does not help. What does help is Excedrin, ice packs and a dark room.

As the pain throbs behind my eye, it becomes another reminder of being stuck inside and wondering just when this will all be over. Will my migraines disappear with quarantine? Are they back for another three years with no clear explanation? I don’t know. My migraines bring more questions than answers during a time where we already don’t know much.

I don’t know when things will safely return to normal (hopefully, a more compassionate normal), but until then, I will be washing my hands, staying home when I can, using a face mask when I have to go out, and taking Excedrin as needed.

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:

Getty image by Ridofranz.

Originally published: May 11, 2020
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