LHB Blog

A girl, a blog and a cactus named Pudding

The Travelling Migraineur

Alternative title: You’re somewhere over the North Sea, a child is screaming on loop, your ears are still popping as though it’s going out of fashion, some utter tool is having a rather loud (and rather personal) conversation just a row behind you and your head is experiencing the mother of all migraines…What do you do? What DO you DO?!


Do you attempt to get into the brace position, weeping uncontrollably, while fellow travellers give you perplexed stares? Do you lock yourself in the toilet cubicle, head on the wet seat (knees on the wet floor), feeling all the more nauseous for the movement of the plane and the whiff of piss? Or do you take your second (or third) dose of painkillers using the overly bitter (and by now cold) cup of tea and hide in your Superdry hoody in a vain attempt to sleep (and even vainer attempt not to hurk bile all over your shoes)?

I joke about being a walking pharmacy, I joke that my handbag rattles when it moves, I joke that medically speaking I feel like I’m carrying the kitchen sink. I joke…But when packing a bag my main worry isn’t how many pairs of knickers I’ve packed or if two eye shadows are enough or even if I’ve remembered the hair straighteners, oh no, my main worry is if I have enough medication to last me the holiday…Because (let’s face it) if it’s a choice between having one pair of underpants for the whole week or not having painkillers to battle a Migraine with I know which I’d choose. After all, spending a few days going commando (if I can’t find a shop selling undies – you never know!) is far less painful to contend with than your brain clawing it’s way to freedom through your skull.

During my trip to Norway I visited three different places (blog posts to follow!); this meant internal flights, ferries and coaches. It also meant trying to stay hydrated, eating as healthy (and as regularly) as possible, keeping a sleeping pattern (to some that sounds so boring, but having this routine is important for me)…It meant listening to my body (not just waiting for aura to show up) and knowing when it needed to rest…It meant acknowledging that despite my best intentions, I can’t remove all potential triggers (if, like me, you find heavily scented moisturisers or perfumes to be an issue then you’ll probably understand the dilemma of being stuck on a coach for over two hours with someone who smells as though they bathed for days in what can only be described as “Sodding Kryptonite” – Now available in all good beauty stores).

Being a Migraineur makes me nervous when it comes to holidays; there is the inevitability of a brain meltdown hiding in the background (just waiting for the moment in which to wee on your cornflakes or granola) and, it may be surprising to read as not many folks know about this side of it all, but I also find that the social stigma attached to migraines (i.e. “quit your whinging – it’s just a headache”) can just exacerbate that worry…I’m lucky in the respect that my OH is quite understanding of my condition but other people (be it family, friends or strangers) can be less so.

So as you can imagine, being mid-flight with your noggin throwing a tantrum is not a good situation to find yourself in…Sick bags at the ready!


En route to Alesund

Propeller planes are awesome…Though they can make you feel a bit sickly if you try and video/photograph it (This photo was taken during a Migraine-free internal flight…Obviously! So glad I got chance to experience this… For more of my travel pics – check out my Instagram)


Fellow Migraineurs – Share your travel tips! What are the do’s and don’t of travelling? How have you coped with Migraine during your holidays? Do you find breaking from routine makes them worse?

R x

PS – While there was no old bloke chucking his trollies over my case or burly female security officer sticking their hands down my pants this time…My handbag did have to undergo a swab test (quite possibly due to the security dude catching sight of the pharmacy inside it…And then catching sight of my migraine addled expression).


Blueberry Smoothie Bowl


Kiwifruit, Cucumber, Avocado, Spinach and Ginger Smoothie


  1. Bless you, You really do suffer 🙁
    I don’t really go away much, so have not had a Migraine on a plane but I do suffer with excrutiating pain in my ears when landing. So I do feel a little of your pain and wish I had the magic cure for you. I expect you have tried it but will just mention Imigran? I had Migraines for years before I heard of this and it really does help me 80% of the time.
    Hope the after effects didn’t take hold for too long. xx

    • Ruebi

      I have tried Imigran…It was one of those weird drugs that works the first time and then never again! Which is always an odd experience. I’m determined not to let Migraines stop me from travelling as it’s something I love to do, I really enjoy seeing new places. But oh my word, that plane journey was just horrible!

      I’ve heard that quite a few people get ear pain on landing, think it’s called Barotrauma…Sounds pretty darned horrendous! Normal earache is bad enough 🙁 x

  2. i hate flying. If I suffered as you do. I would never go anywhere!

    • Ruebi

      I’m not a brilliant flyer either I have to admit…I’ve gotten better over the years but it still causes me a bit of anxiety (I look for the sick bag as soon as I take my seat! Lol). I’m also refusing to let the Migraines ruin travel plans, I have too many places I want to experience for that.

  3. Oh my goodness, this would be one of the WORST things ever for me! I do not know how you made it through! I would just have to put ear plugs in, close my eyes and go to sleep. I haven’t had a migraine for years – thank goodness! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

    • Ruebi

      I took some painkillers and tried to sleep…I’m just glad where we were going wasn’t a popular hen / stag do destination otherwise who knows what state the plane would have been in (or how loud it would have gotten!). I refuse to let migraines stop me from travelling…But that experience was nasty!

  4. This is exactly me too hun 🙁 I am so paranoid about running out of tablets or not having medication everywhere I go that I made a little bag to carry them in which is permanently in my main handbag! I am a terrible traveller… Car sickness, nausea, flying sickness, sea sickness… Any kind of motion really! X

    • Ruebi

      Running out of medication is one of my top stresses pre-holiday and with travelling around so much in Norway I was constantly checking my handbag for thyroxine and cocodamol…More so the thyroxine as I know I could probably get painkillers over the counter for the migraine in pretty much any pharmacy (granted it’s a bit of an inconvenience when migraine strikes) but the thyroid meds are prescription only.

      And we’d make a right pair when travelling as it seems we share the motion sickness side of it! I’m forever seeking out sick-bags just in case 😀 x

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén