Migraines and the Changing Seasons

March kicked my butt. Seriously.

Austin is infamous for its extreme weather changes and its year-round allergies. Time between seasons is the worst, and this March was particularly painful.

At 8 a.m. on a Monday, for example, it would be 34 degrees and overcast. By 5 p.m. the same day, it would be 84 and sunny. Tuesday would be the opposite. The morning would be hot and clear, but the evening would be cold and grey. Wednesday would be hot and overcast all day. Thursday would be sunny and cold. By Friday, it could be either almost snowing or 95 degrees.

Basically, it was a weather-trigger nightmare.

I spent four straight weeks with a level 4 or higher migraine. Most days, the pain reached a 7 by nighttime. There were a few particularly bad days when the pain was a constant 8 all day long. Thankfully, my husband (a private school teacher) was on vacation for half of the month and was able to help me with the baby. The days he wasn’t there – and there were many – were nearly unbearable.

One of the things being a new mom and a migraineur has taught me, however, is that what I used to consider unbearable is now something closer to unpleasant. I may wish to stay curled up in bed all day (and doing so would certainly curtail the migraine more effectively), but I don’t have that option. No matter how badly it hurts, I have to get out of bed. No matter how badly I feel, I have to smile at the baby. (After all, if I don’t, who will? And, the baby needs smiles!) While this helps ensure my son isn’t left to cry alone in his crib all day, it – like all true tradeoffs – has its downsides, the largest of which is my neglect of my husband.

On a bad day (and in March, they were all bad days), I simply don’t have any energy left over to take interest in or spend time with my husband. Caring for the baby, working, homeschooling my daughter, and trying to fight off the pain until he gets home is really all I can handle. The moment he gets in the door, all I want to do is curl up in bed, in the dark, and cry from the pain. This is not the way to sustain a marriage.

Thankfully, spring has finally sprung (well, almost; today is wet and cold, and yesterday was hot enough for my daughter to go swimming), and the endless migraines have ebbed. Here’s hoping they stay at bay long enough for me to get some quality time with my guy. 🙂

How is everyone else holding up? Have you noticed a change in your migraines (either pain or frequency) since the weather changed?


3 thoughts on “Migraines and the Changing Seasons

  1. Hi Sarah – I don’t have a child to take care of, thank goodness, but March and so far April has been kicking my butt big time. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and the weather changes have left me completely exhausted from #7-9 migraines all month. It has been not only the storms one after the other, but the fog, which hovers over the coastline and and perhaps 10-12 mile inland (depending on where you live) which keeps that Barometric Pressure hovering around 30 which is the point at which my migraines come in. When I lived on the east coast, and the storms were moving more slowly from west to east, 29 was my number, unless it was a Nor’easter and then 30.5 would do it.

    I have come to dread the change of seasons, as beautiful as they may be because I am always in bed with the curtains drawn, and don’t get to see much of them.

    • I’m sorry to hear the recent months have been hard on you, too. I used to live in Portland, Ore. and, for me, the city was a god-send. I didn’t have a migraine – at least none worth noting – the entire time I lived there. But, that’s one of the strangest things about this disease. What is good for one person is a horrible trigger for another. I hope the fog lifts soon and you are able to enjoy the spring. I feel for you. Hang in there!

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