How do you occupy your time with a migraine?
February 24, 2013 4:52 PM   Subscribe

I've been having a lot of migraines lately, and in the grand scheme of things, I'm dealing. However, the photophobia is driving me crazy, mostly because sitting around in the dark is boring. How do you spend your time when you can't use lights?

Sometimes I can tolerate enough light to read or play on my computer. Other times its just laying around, which isn't good for keeping one's mind off of things, or overall productivity levels. Other than some basic cleaning, I'm stumped.
posted by gilsonal to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe a shower or bath? That usually helps when I have a really bad headache, and it's a nice way to waste half an hour anyway.
posted by steinwald at 4:56 PM on February 24, 2013

Listen to a Movie. (Or TV)
Pamper my feet and hands with soaks, lotions and stuff.
Stretch on a yoga ball.
posted by ApathyGirl at 4:56 PM on February 24, 2013

Ugh, I hate that part of a migraine, so boring, especially for the super migraines that last a long time. I usually catch up on my podcasts or listen to an audio book. I can't read for very long, but I can lie there and listen to someone reading.
posted by upatree at 5:02 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Learn Braille?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:02 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Listen to podcasts? Books on tape?
posted by kat518 at 5:02 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 5:03 PM on February 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

Hot shower. Drink something with caffeine (if that isn't a trigger). Sleep (enough blankets and I always sleep). If I'm lucky they're ocular only. Those are just annoying.
posted by jwells at 5:05 PM on February 24, 2013

I could never deal with music, cause it exacerbated the migraines, but listening to spoken word stuff would be good, like podcasts.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:13 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've been recovering from a brain injury (large symptom overlap with migraines, let me assure you) and asked this question just today - you might find it useful!
posted by idlethink at 5:17 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I only get migraines where the pain is so all encompassing that this question totally baffled me at first. You mean you can have a migraine & have a functional brain that wants to be entertained at the same time?

I am somewhat joking but I really don't get the types of migraines where I'd be capable of wanting to be entertained. That said, upatree's suggestion to listen to audiobooks or podcasts sounds like a good way to avoid light but distract yourself. Maybe listening to music, or calling a friend or relative and talking to them would work as well.
posted by lyra4 at 5:35 PM on February 24, 2013 [5 favorites]

Nthing audio books, podcasts, or NPR. These also help me sleep in non-migraine situations.
posted by luckynerd at 5:52 PM on February 24, 2013

I have to deal with a few days of fever and headache every month as a side effect to my cancer treatment. I find that at it's worst, I can't handle listening to long podcasts or movies. My favourite things to listen to are short stories -- Selected Shorts podcast is a great one -- because I can usually listen for 20 minutes or so before needing to take a break. I've spent the last two days "catching up" with Parks and Recreation by listening to it.

Generally, though, when I'm feeling really terrible and the headaches are at their worst, I'm more likely to put on a meditation podcast or whisper videos to calm myself down/put me to sleep while I'm riding it out.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 5:56 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I usually just daydream until I fall asleep. Mentally redecorate my house, debate France vs. Italy for a vacation, try to decide what's the best movie I've seen in the last year, etc. The most useful thing I do is plan meals for the coming week, but it only works because I don't really need to reference my cookbooks anymore for ideas.
posted by vytae at 6:01 PM on February 24, 2013

I came to recommend audio books, but I see I'm not the first so here's a tip instead. I only just discovered that my local library offers audio books that I can check out and download directly from their website onto my smartphone. Just download the app, pick the right format for your phone, and pick a book to download. Voila, instant audio entertainment!
posted by platinum at 6:11 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Listen to biofeedback tracks or a binaural beats app or Terry Gross or something else relatively soothing.

Get an ice head wrap and cinch that sucker nice and tight. The tension and cold really help with the throbbing nerves.
posted by barnone at 6:12 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sleep. All I can do is sleep.
posted by Ignorance at 6:35 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I like to listen to the police scanner if I don't have any podcasts to catch up on. I use the Scanner Radio app for my Android and headphones.
posted by youngergirl44 at 6:51 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I can knit, sometimes. You'll have to learn when you're feeling ok, but I was able to knit in minimal light not long after I started knitting. Stick to simple things--scarves, hats, basic socks. I've made my whole family holiday gifts like this!
posted by MeghanC at 7:02 PM on February 24, 2013

Dunno if you're a sports fan, but for about $20/year, you can listen to all the baseball you want. I use it to pass the time at work.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 7:11 PM on February 24, 2013

Podcasts. BBC radio on stream. CBC radio on stream. NPR.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:20 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also suffer from migraines, and I have some really nice wrap around sunglasses for when I can't stand the light but I need to deal with life anyway. They help, they help a lot. If it's so bad that I need to sit in a dark room with no sound, it's nothing but sleep for me because anything I do is gonna hurt.
posted by patheral at 7:21 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Could you use dictation software to write?
posted by nat at 7:42 PM on February 24, 2013

Wrap around sunglasses--both indoors and out--are your friends. In addition, get used to closing the blinds or curtains, dimming or turning off the lights, and living in a state of semidarkness. Reduce the illumination level of your computer's display to the absolute minimum required to read or watch videos.

The trick is to make your environment as dark as possible at the migraine's onset, then introduce light in small amounts (in the form of your monitor's display, and so on) until you find your sweet spot of tolerance.
posted by Gordion Knott at 11:46 PM on February 24, 2013

Curl in a ball and pull the covers over my head, whimpering in pain. Anything more --- listening to music/audio/whatever, reading, any kind of concentrating --- just makes it worse.
posted by easily confused at 2:48 AM on February 25, 2013

I dim the screen as low as it will go and play videogames. I can achieve complete facial relaxation in a way that reading books or looking at anything else prevents.

I call my mom. She's retired and talks forever.

I listen to podcasts.

I give up, get off, and let that pull me into sleep.
posted by nile_red at 5:05 AM on February 25, 2013

I'm not sure what you mean by "in the grand scheme of things I'm dealing" and I know migraines can be difficult to treat, but there are actually a lot of options for treating migraines so on the off chance that you haven't addressed this problem with your doctor I'd encourage you to. See this recent AskMe for more information on what to expect when you bring this up with a doctor and what treatment options exist.

Unless there is some more complex medical issue involved there's no reason to just suffer through migraines when treatment is possible!
posted by Wretch729 at 7:59 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can't listen to anything but Gregorian chant when I have a migraine. Something about deep voices droning soothes my piercing brain.
posted by WeekendJen at 8:25 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

It depends on the severity; many times, I can only lie there for a few days and wait for the pain to subside. However, I had a mild migraine this weekend and was able to knit (short spurts at a time) and watch tv with low volume. I can't read with a migraine, as it makes me nauseated, but tv is ok in small doses. I am generally not sensitive to light or sound during a migraine, though, so ymmv.

There are a few options for migraines; medication is pretty effective (I can't take it for other reasons). Have you talked to your doctor about your headaches?
posted by k8lin at 9:29 AM on February 25, 2013

« Older My 1st year of marriage is tough. Wife may be a...   |   Free Streaming the Oscars? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.