Inheriting the migraine curse

A mortgage-free house worth four times what you paid for it. A big fat ISA stuffed full of tax-free money. Childhood memories of long summer days on Mediterranean beaches. These are the things you’d like to pass on to your children.

Sadly for daughter #1 the only thing she’s inherited so far is migraines. Handed down through the generations like a curse, these awful things bring us to our knees without a minute’s warning. You can be going about your business and suddenly out of nowhere you can’t see properly out of one eye, your vision goes all blurry like a smudge on a smartphone screen and, as for any plans you had for the rest of the day, cancel them.

Left unchecked, migraines are the most spectacular firework display you’ve ever seen, about six inches in front of your eyes. Then you can’t see straight. Then when you talk, you sound like you’re speaking Cornish.

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What triggers them? You tell me. High pressure, low pressure, too little sleep, too much sleep, too much exercise, not eating enough, cheese, red wine, chocolate, certain colours in your peripheral vision, bright light, reflected light and stress.

You name it, it can kick it all off. And all you can do is lie down, shut your eyes and hope it goes away quickly.

Luckily certain medication blocks out the worst symptoms, so after an hour or so you can actually function. But it doesn’t work for everyone. And even if the most terrifying bits are squashed and after 20 minutes you can actually say your own name, the two-day migraine hangover feels like early onset dementia.

Last Friday, June 21, must’ve been a perfect storm for migraines as nine hours after the telltale signs landed on yours truly, on the way out of Williamson Park with the boy Walter, daughter #1 had to be collected from an evening out in town after she moved from sitting in the bright sunshine of a beer garden to the darkness of the bar and the curse struck again. Side effects, in the days leading up to an attack and the days after, include extreme rattiness, euphoria, cravings, clumsiness, sensitivity to light and nausea. Enjoy your inheritance, kid.