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!
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?
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).