Tell me about your migraines (other than the obvious)
August 17, 2019 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Help me gather some data: What symptoms do you experience before, during and after a migraine other than a headache?

I had what I and my doctor think may have been my first migraine last weekend (I.e. it was an apocalyptic 4-day headache that sent me to the ER). But I'm beginning to suspect that a lot of the mysterious symptoms I've been experiencing over the past 6 months (I've been to doctors many times, gotten shrugs all around) may all be related under the banner of migraine disorder. While I wait to get in to see a neuro, can you help me understand the broad range of migraine symptoms from your own experience?
posted by soren_lorensen to Health & Fitness (61 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
For me:
-Sometimes a mild euphoria or general feeling of being a bit loopy
-aura (visual distortion)
posted by elke_wood at 2:20 PM on August 17, 2019

posted by Bebo at 2:22 PM on August 17, 2019

Scintillating scotoma and mild loquaciousness only, no headache.
posted by Peach at 2:22 PM on August 17, 2019

Nausea. Flickering or shaking edges of objects at distance (say more than a metre), especially visible with patterns. Concentration issues.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I get vertigo and aura. (Sometimes I get sparklies in my field of vision, and sometimes I get the classic crescent-shaped distortion.) Both of the vertigo and aura can sometimes occur before or during a headache, but I also sometimes get them without a headache.

I couldn't prove this, but I am pretty sure that I'm more likely to get migraines when I'm constipated. I've always assumed that constipation causes migraines, but it occurs to me that there could be a different relationship.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:24 PM on August 17, 2019

Before: The hinge of my jaw hurts. Sometimes my back teeth hurt.

During: Top of head is tender to pressure in addition to the sort of insideness of the headache itself; nausea; light sensitivity; sound sensitivity

Winding down and after: I feel chilly and have a sense of euphoria and wellbeing, definite upsides.

Sometimes I get an ocular migraine with partial loss of vision in one eye, no headache.
posted by Frowner at 2:27 PM on August 17, 2019

I get vestibular migraines! (Heh, SO fun!)
Usually starts with HORRIBLE vertigo and nausea, everything spinning, can't move. Sometimes it happens right when I wake up. Sometimes there's shoulder tension.
I head to the bathroom and lay on the floor in the dark, I take ativan (for anxiety and vertigo) Zofran (nausea), IBS meds, meclizine, and Motrin. Followed by my imitrex and then deal with THOSE side effects for 1-2 hours as my chest, head, neck, and arms hurt from the meds.
During that I get extreme light and sound sensitivity and debilitating nausea and continuing vertigo and awful stomach upset. Literally can't move my head. Sometimes I get transient aphasia and can't really form my thoughts or speak properly.
Eventually (hours) it calms down and I can slowly crawl out to a main space and watch tv or something. Sometimes I've had excess vertigo for days. (I also am prone to dizziness and vertigo.)
I don't tend to actually have a headache, unless it's as a side effect of a med I took.
I don't know if I get visual things because I usually have to keep my eyes closed or nearly closed.

Thankfully, I only get them a couple times a year. Things that increased them (and thus decreased when they got handled) - the mini pill, the combo pill, food intolerance, needing glasses for years, having impacted wisdom teeth. So if you think you're having them, check your meds, check your diet, check your eyes, get a dental x ray.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:51 PM on August 17, 2019

Scintillating scotoma (Wikipedia; and here's a recent FPP on them) and light sensitivity (any sun feels like the excessive sun of a burning, dizzy afternoon) maybe 15-30 minutes before pain sets in. Mine began around age 16 and occurred irregularly for 10 years with very intense pain--the pain alone was enough to make me throw up if I'd eaten recently--lasting several hours. Then, they went on hiatus for a solid 10 years after I had my wisdom teeth taken out. These days, they're back occasionally, possibly in conjunction with eating a bunch of almonds or walnuts, but the pain isn't worse than an ordinary headache, thank goodness--it's just preceded by the other weirdness.
posted by Wobbuffet at 2:52 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have two kinds of migraine: regular old head migraines and stomach/gastro.

My left eye always starts to throb in the hours before a head migraine. In the past year or so I've begun to see aura: spots of light in my peripheral vision. I also get aphasia, particularly when it comes to speaking and reading--slurring, getting words and letters backwards.

During the migraine I'm light/sound sensitive, have very very sore muscles at the place where my skull connects to my neck, and sometimes get nauseous to the point of throwing up.

Afterward, for a day or so, I feel like a zombie--like someone's hit me over the head. Sometimes I get rebound headaches.

Still can't figure out the triggers for stomach migraines. Those keep me up all night and are like being punched in the gut constantly.

A tool that has helped me immensely is the app Migraine Buddy, which I found through r/migraine. It helps you track your triggers, which can include everything from food to weather to hormones. Whenever I go to the neuro I can just pull out my phone and tell her all the little details.

If you do find that foods are triggers, the migraine diet can also help a lot, though it's quite restrictive. There's a book on the subject that you can borrow from the library.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 2:58 PM on August 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Nausea during. Sleepiness before/during. Cravings for simple carbs right before.
posted by damayanti at 2:59 PM on August 17, 2019

For me it can be all over the map!

I get what I think are two types:

1) The days long migraine that lays me up

Sometimes it starts with a tension in my neck that radiates from about where my neck meets my shoulder up to the bottom of my ear.
I get super irritable.
Sometimes I just can't brain, I get racing thoughts that go so fast that I can't think straight, or my thoughts are so slow I feel like I can watch each one coming down the the track before it meets the station of being a full thought.
Sometimes difficulty focusing my eyes.
I see a lot of after image, like for a longer time than usual, from all bright lights.
Sometimes my arms and legs feel heavy, like I can barely move them.
Very rarely, vertigo.
Then the pain starts, usually on the same side of the head as my neck was hurting. Sometimes my head never starts hurting and it stays in the neck.
Light and sound sensitivity come next. If I can't get in bed and turn out the lights, I will just cover my eyes, I might even put a shirt or jacket over my head if I have to. Sometimes the light and sound sensitivity are so strong they border on synesthesia!
Then the nausea. Sometimes extreme enough that I actually get sick. Sometimes gastro symptoms come with it.

Some of the warning signs cause me super anxiety and I think some of the symptoms are anxiety about the migraine to come and not necessarily the aura leading up to it - particularly, I think, the racing thoughts and the heavy arms/legs. Anxiety can actually be part of the lead up to the migraine. But all those symptoms are enough to get some Advil and water in me, and rest. Sometimes that can stop a full blown migraine from happening. There have been a few times where the warning signs have popped up and I've thought I could make it through the day, or my meeting, or whatever, but that's always a mistake.

Then there's the other kind --

2) Visual migraines from Hades
These are mercifully short, and they don't come with any pain, but they are debilitating and I hate them. They are either scintillating scotoma, where I see what starts as a little shimmery dot and turns into a zig zaggy crescent of rainbows and blurriness. It lasts for 30 minutes each time. Then it's over and I'm left reeling, but I mostly feel fine. Sometimes I get them where I just get blurry vision or tunnel vision for about 30 minutes and then it's over -- either way, they scare the heck out of me and then they're over before I can do too much about it.

If it helps you to try to get some perspective on what's migraine and what might cause it:
I have kept a pretty regular journal of what I eat, how well I slept, how much water I had, my hormones, and some other factors, for a long time.

I use an app called Migraine Buddy to track my symptoms. The moment I start to feel weird, I fill the whole thing out in the app. It has some symptoms and indicators of migraines to click on that you might not associate with a regular migraine. It's all sourced from other migraine sufferers and it's pretty smart.

Using the journaling, and also the app, I've been able to deduce some triggers:

- Poor sleep the night before
- Tight neck or upper back or shoulder messing with the blood flow to my head
- PRESSURE CHANGES - this one is almost guaranteed to get me and I never would have learned it if not for the app
- Hormones / lady time
- Dehydration (this is a big one, related to too much alcohol usually)
- Of course, stress - particularly if it's been prolonged for a few days and I haven't been doing much to manage it
- Coming down from stress (like, just when you finally relax. Thanks, body!)
- Jet lag, particularly if the time difference has messed with my circadian rhythms
- Other disruptions in the sleep schedule
- Strenuous exercise if I've been off for a while

Some other potential triggers that I'm not sure are consistently causing them:
- Red wine
- Aged cheese
- Cured meats

I'm sorry you're experiencing this. My doctor put me on beta blockers to help prevent the migraines and I haven't had one of those nasty visual suckers since. They help stress and anxiety as well as help prevent migraines.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:02 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Before, I get incredibly bad-tempered and then very very tired. Before/during/after my hands get weak, so I can move them but couldn’t clench them into fists or grip things firmly, and my palms tingle. And after I’m washed out and feel hungover.
posted by Catseye at 3:17 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Light and sound sensitivity, especially for the eye/ear on the side the migraine is (getting ready to be) on. Finding it hard somehow to process things visually — it'll sometimes feel like the lights and colors are getting into my eyeballs, but my brain isn't sorting them correctly. Appetite loss, and especially finding the taste or texture unpleasant of food I normally like. Tension in my neck, back, and shoulders. Trouble concentrating.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:24 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is going to be long, because my migraines are weird.

I get infrequent migraines, and it feels as if each one presents differently, which makes "not realising it's a migraine till I go outside and it gets significantly worse" almost the only consistent symptom.

In the day or two before a migraine, I usually don't get any warning signs, but I have occasionally experienced:

- extreme thirst, drinking litres of water
- extreme exhaustion, getting up after a reasonable night's sleep feeling as if I've just taken a sedative, and carrying on feeling that way all day

Sometimes the first sign of a migraine is the headache, especially true if it starts in the night. However, immediately before the headache, and in fact sometimes without a headache at all, I've had:

- scintillating scotoma, the classic aura
- blind spot: whatever I look directly at disappears, as my brain helpfully interpolates from the surroundings: think people with no heads, or crumbs that vanish as you go to wipe them up
- tunnel vision, one-sided: suddenly I have no peripheral vision on one side, exactly as if I were walking close to a wall
- inability to interpret inputs: "Oh no, where are my keys, and what are these flat hard things in my pocket?"
- inability to put the trees together to make a forest: recognising all the letters but having to work out that this word is c, a, t, cat; recognising the words but struggling to grasp the sentence; seeing that a person has eyes, a nose and a mouth, but being unable to turn them into a face
- tangling my words when I speak.

All of the above last just a short time, maybe half an hour. The blind spot has been the commonest. Sometimes I get more than one, simultaneously or sequentially.

During the headache phase, it actually is more consistent, and the following are constants:

- headache above my left eye, which, if I didn't get any of the neurological symptoms I just listed, will reliably be accompanied by thoughts like "this is a really nasty headache, thank goodness it's not a migraine" or "I really don't think I can work in this state, I'd better go home, but it isn't even a migraine, how embarrassing"; not recognising them for what they are, even though the headache is exactly the same every time, is definitely starting to seem like a symptom
- digestion shuts down: painkillers don't work, and anything I eat just sits like a rock in my stomach
- daylight, even overcast, hurts more than artificial light; sunlight *really* hurts; this is the symptom even my befuddled migrainey brain can recognise
- I want to curl up somewhere dark and warm and quiet: this isn't the result of rational thought; my body craves it, the way it craves water when I'm thirsty
- it's hard to process language, and hard to think.

Afterwards, for a couple of days:

- I feel vaguely hungover: thinking is still hard and I'm very tired
- I have a shadow of a headache where the awful headache used to be, just noticeable enough to remind me there's a reason I'm feeling rotten
- sometimes I get the sniffles
- my digestive system and appetite are still broadly offline.

I've also had occasional visual symptoms that don't fit the pattern - they go on for hours or even days, and no headache follows - but which, when I consult a doctor or optician, elicit a baffled shrug and "your retinas are fine... you said you get migraines? Probably that." One time, it was like having a mark on my glasses lens or a hair across my eye: not moving so not a floater, it seemed like something external I was having to look past, but persisted when I took my glasses off. Another time, it was something like the afterimage from looking at something bright, coming and going repeatedly over the course of six hours from when I woke up in the morning.

I recommend Oliver Sacks' book Migraine for a really good overview.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:24 PM on August 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

I know mine are starting because I get auras. The headache follows shortly afterwards. It's typically on the right side, but I've had it start there and migrate to the left (and sometimes back to the right). I definitely get nauseous. I have extreme light sensitivity, as in all I want to do is have my head under a pillow in a dark room. Somewhat severe sound sensitivity. I'm always exhausted. My last one I took 2 days off work because even thinking about being in a preschool was a no starter.

I have Imitrex, but it gives me horrible muscle tension in my neck and shoulders. I take it with Flexeril. I often take Excedrin and Motrin. I have Tramadol if I need it. Sometimes Gatorade (the yellow kind) helps. Coffee helps sometimes too. The one I had a few weeks ago, I took all of it and was still in pain. I called the doctor and he said if the pain was that bad, go to the ER/urgent care. I have Medicaid and I try to avoid the ER at all costs. I have a feeling being at the ER would have made me nuts.

The migraines leave me wiped out for as many days as I had them. So with this last one, I was home 2 days and not 100% at work the next 2. I end up feeling really dumb until I recover all the way.

My migraines used to be triggered by my cycle. I prevented them, for the most part, by being on continuous birth control. Now I don't have a cycle (breast cancer treatment) so stress triggers them. They are less frequent than they used to be. I dread coming off the Lupron because I know the migraines will start up again. But because I had HR+ breast cancer, I can't take estrogen anymore.
posted by kathrynm at 3:36 PM on August 17, 2019

Visual distortion (things look unreal)
Sensitive to light and sound
A hot, tiny, evil little headache
A general all-over feeling of ill health that is hard to describe. I told my husband recently that I just feel so unwell during an episode, as if I might be dying, even. But acetaminophen and aspirin generally relieves it, with maybe some Coke or ginger ale for the nausea, and a nap if I can get it, and in about an hour I feel just fine. So I haven't probably been dying all those times, if simple home remedies make it all better. But it just feels so generally awful, which adds a bit of anxiety into the symptom mix as well.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:50 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Light sensitivity before and during the painful portion of the headache is the main one for me. Also more often than not I have a postdrome phase or two where I feel, for lack of a better description, hungover - sort of slow and nauseated and generally unwell.

My migraines correlate highly with my menstrual cycle and with periods of high stress in my life, YMMV.
posted by Stacey at 3:56 PM on August 17, 2019

Finding it hard somehow to process things visually — it'll sometimes feel like the lights and colors are getting into my eyeballs, but my brain isn't sorting them correctly.

Yes! This exactly.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 3:57 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

-intense hunger even if I’ve eaten
-visual aura
-light sensitivity
-sound sensitivity
-excessive need to urinate
-excessive thirst
-very infrequently, mild aphasia
-very infrequently, ringing in my ears
-muscle tension in my neck and jaw
posted by mai at 4:16 PM on August 17, 2019

Also mine seem to be strongly hormonally correlated lately.
posted by mai at 4:25 PM on August 17, 2019

Before and during:
I get very clumsy. I drop things and trip.
I can't get my words together properly.
The top of my head and around my eyes can feel very hot. Ice packs give a lot of relief.
Sometimes I lose sight in one eye, or my vision in one eye is very blurry.
Extreme sensitivity to light, scents, textures, and sound. Even if there is no pain happening, my senses are on overdrive and it's overwhelming.
Nausea and vomiting

Lightheaded/feel like I'm floating
Still overly sensitive for awhile
posted by Feminazgul at 4:25 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mind have eased in terms of order and range of symptoms over time. These days it mostly starts with my vision, its as if there is a gap in my view as my eyes scan, like objects in front of new don't fit together. After that is the ziggy saggy aura, drop off in cognition, can't read, difficulty with understanding what people are saying and with forming sentences. Then headache.

I used to get numbness/ pins & needles in fingers, face as an early warning sign, nausea, wanting to purge, etc.

My recovery period on the day has got shorter, probably due to medication. However, I now tend to feel pretty shit from about lunchtime the next day. (Fine in the morning, dreadful from midday)
posted by biffa at 4:25 PM on August 17, 2019

Headache often feels like someone is squeezing one eyeball.
posted by biffa at 4:26 PM on August 17, 2019

Before a migraine, I can't read. this is separate and distinct from both visual disturbances and aphasia. it's usually the first sign, when I've been looking at a screen or a book for a while and something isn't proceeding in the normal way, and is the thing that makes me know I'm going to have a migraine soon if I don't take a drug. I am always right.

The scintillating hole in my field of vision follows & eventually goes away, along with a headache if I don't take painkillers before it starts. Used to get little numb spots in fingertips or sometimes face, too, but don't anymore. the reading problem takes longest to resolve. generally in that state I can work out each letter in a word I'm looking at and put them together, but it's a laborious and totally conscious process, and I can't do it until I realize I need to. this deliberate letter addition doesn't feel like reading although I suppose it technically is.

I have written fairly long comments while in this condition, that I couldn't read until later. they don't seem very different from the comments I write while I can read them. does this worry me? yes
posted by queenofbithynia at 4:37 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have relatively few migraines these days (I'm male, 51), particularly when I'm religiously taking Wellbutrin, but about 15 years ago, I had tons. I gradually worked out something like the quadratic equation of all the symptoms I had and how much they affected each other:

1. lack of sleep
2. stress (getting divorced helped a bunch here)
3. (I only realized this a few years ago, and almost certainly because of a fellow MeFi member, so thank you, whoever you are!) relaxing *after* being stressed
4. more caffeine than normal
5. more sugar than normal (an energy drink after a crappy night of sleep ticks multiple boxes)
6. standing/walking after being sendentary for a good chunk of the day
7. going outside/seeing sunlight after being indoors a good chunk of the day

Given all those as triggers, the most likely precursor I'm going to notice before a scintillating scotoma is that my knees may buckle when I get up after having been sedentary a while. Sometimes this isn't too intense, but I do sort of bob once or twice as though I'm going to fall down (I'm 6'4" and over 300 pounds so this probably looks more dramatic than it feels at the moment). Other times, though, it's a matter of my having to grab onto something to make sure I don't actually fall down.

One time, I had been sat at my computer desk, went out into the hallway to do something and bumped into a coworker. I said something, he said something back (he tends to go on a bit), and I gradually felt my consciousness slipping away, but I didn't feel like I was going to drop. I realized I was *just* conscious/aware enough to nod or go "uh, huh" while he talked, but I wasn't actually processing *any* of what he was saying except on the social level (I mean, not as information). A scintillating scotoma followed at some point, and as always, a migraine hit about 45 minutes later.

My scotoma is always in my right eye, it starts as a pin-prick of light then expands into a rod, then a "C," then gradually expands and forms a circle that will fill my entire field of vision in my right eye. Once it expands beyond my field of vision, I have about 30-45 minutes before the pain hits. The pain is always in the back left part of my head. Even after the pain is basically all over, anything that causes me to spike my blood pressure for about a day afterwards (like coughing) will make, my the same area hurt.

Reading some of these other responses, it occurs to me that I once thought that the rare instance of my jaw popping might be a precursor/trigger. I think clenching my jaw during the day counts, but that's a matter of being stressed.

Oh, there was some minty-flavored migraine medication I was on back when my migraines were at their worst that tasting that medication initiated the nausea that would normally only follow the onset of the migraine. I presume that to be nocebo/conditioning, but still, I wasn't expecting that. I've been mostly okay with Excedrin Migraine these days, when I do get them. Best of luck; this is a crappy club to be a member of!
posted by kimota at 4:41 PM on August 17, 2019

-Neck tension
-Bad nausea/vomiting
-Light/sound/smell sensitivity
-Most intense in my forehead/eyes/face/generally the front part of my head
-Eyes watering
-Pain that gets worse when I bend over
-My skin can get pretty sensitive vg
-Sometimes a lingering headachey hungover feeling
-Sometimes kind of loopy/dumb during
-Sometimes euphoria the next day
posted by jameaterblues at 4:46 PM on August 17, 2019

My partner gets nausea, light and sound sensitivity, and visual interference usually in the form of blind spots that they describe as "static," where the cones and rods in part of their cornea simply aren't processing information and their brain can't fill in around it.
posted by brook horse at 4:56 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Scintillating scotoma that lasts approximately 5-10 minutes, accompanied by mild anxiety (I never recognize it at first and always think I'm going blind... every damn time) followed by a fatigue-like sensation that generally lasts all day but doesn't actually prevent me from doing anything. I just a bit... mentally cleaned out. Floaty.

It's never accompanied by a headache.
posted by invincible summer at 4:57 PM on August 17, 2019

also, the two worst I've ever had were my first one as a child and my most recent one. I thought they had subsided in intensity a lot as I got older but now I think it just seemed that way because I figured out I had to pre-medicate (just with ibuprofen or similar, nothing prescription, but a night and day difference in pain level if I do that.) The two hell migraines both came on while I was asleep, so I woke up only when the pain was in full flower and because the pain had been allowed to develop unhindered, which is why they were so bad. If I had been 30 instead of 11-ish the first time it happened, I would have been dead positive I was having an aneurysm or a brain tumor.

The first time or times, I also had aphasia and whatever it's called when your thoughts are disrupted as well as your speech. what I mean is I would try to test out a sentence in my mind before trying to say it out loud to myself, to see if I could say the words in the right order, but for a while I couldn't even get that far because I couldn't order them mentally either. very disturbing.

anyway that was long ago, but I haven't forgotten. migraines are also the only pain I've ever had that responds to OTC meds but not to opiates at all.

my dad apparently also had migraines and I hear he got phantom smells as his precursor.
posted by queenofbithynia at 4:57 PM on August 17, 2019

The nausea is overwhelming; possibly even worse than the headache itself, at least in the beginning. It’s different from just “feeling barfy”, because I never actually feel like I’m in danger of throwing up, but it’s kind of like the pain you feel just before you’re no longer able to hold it back.

Someone mentioned that the pain feels like squeezing eyeballs, which is spot on for me. If you strapped me to a polygraph and asked me if I honestly believe my eyeballs are being squeezed out of my head, I’d answer yes, and it wouldn’t register as a lie.

The pain is so intense that, even when the migraine isn’t terribly serious, I can’t concentrate on anything else. I’ll usually have to leave work because I can’t focus (I’ve actually done this in the middle of conference calls where I was presenting before), but I don’t usually drive home because I can’t concentrate on driving, either. I just sit in an empty office and try to sleep on the floor.

The pain will linger, too. I’ll take some Excedrin and sleep, and when I wake up, it won’t be as intense, but it’s still noticeable. I’d analogize it to burning your tongue. You know how when you burn your tongue, you feel that dead sensation for a couple days where it’s not actual sharp pain but you can’t not notice it? Kind of like that.

Best wishes.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:00 PM on August 17, 2019

My balance is impacted and I find myself leaning to one side.
posted by bile and syntax at 5:02 PM on August 17, 2019

My most typical migraine starts with what I call “migraine eyes” - it’s a very specific kind of visual disturbance, I see bright shimmery spots of light. It’s most noticeable as spots if I look at a (phone/computer) screen or a blank wall - otherwise I can just tell that my vision is disturbed. After 10-20 minutes of that, it goes away and I get a mild headache. It took me a long time to realize these episodes were migraines, because the head pain is pretty mild - I get tension or dehydration related headaches sometimes that are much worse.

Occasionally, instead of or in addition to the bright spots, I’ll lose part of my vision. This was super scary the first couple of times it happened, but it’s pretty rare for me. Occasionally the head pain is moderate instead of mild, but it’s very rarely severe.
posted by insectosaurus at 5:03 PM on August 17, 2019

My major symptom has always been pain, localized on the right side of my head above and behind my eye. I'd say 95+% of the time, it's on the right side, with most of the rest on the left and once a decade I'll have one on both sides. The pain itself has a characteristic feel. The best analogy I could make would be what it feels like to stick an extremely cold limb in hot water (though *inside* you, rather than on the surface, which is another kind of weird), mixed with the sort of bursting sensation you get in your tissues with a big shot of adrenaline (though that's momentary, while the migraine pain is sustained). It tends to come in waves for me, building up to big crescendoes, then ebbing but never completely going away during the headache. It can help a little bit to keep my head upright during the worst of those cycles, though that becomes increasingly difficult to do.

I also get photophobia, which is painful in a different way. You could certainly compare it to stepping into direct sunlight when your eyes weren't ready, or having a bad hangover and stepping into the sunlight, but both of those tend to dissipate with exposure after a little while. When a migraine progresses this way for me, the pain of being exposed to the light does feel like those things, but it also builds and amplifies with time, rather than trailing off. I also sometimes get nausea, though that has never struck me as all that different from when I got it from food poisoning or the flu.

I have only had aura a couple of times, and for whatever reason, it came without any pain or nausea. When I realized what it was, I just kind of rolled with it and enjoyed the light show. (No, it's not like that for everyone.)

I also get them in differing degrees of severity:
1 - mild pain, increasing slowly but dissipating after a couple hours
2 - moderate pain, lasting a day or more if unmedicated
3 - moderate to severe pain, some photophobia, some slurring of my speech, queasiness but no nausea, lasting up to a day even with meds
4 - severe pain, significant photophobia, slurring of speech, extended nausea, lasting up to a day even with meds
5 - everything in (4) at a high level, lasting multiple days

In my worst years, I averaged around 100 migraines, with around 20% 1s and 2s, about 70% 3s and 4s, and the rest 5s. With better management, it's probably about 40 a year now, with better meds and so fewer 4s and 5s.

My strongest triggers have been alcohol, sunlight and long periods without sleep. (Hence, I've had only a handful of drinks in the last 15 years, each time thinking "Maybe it's different now!" It's not different now.) All my cold weather friends were jealous when I moved to a hot, sunny corner of the world for five years, not really grokking that I had to wrap up like a vampire 300 days a year. I would try to sleep until noon and stay up till 4AM or so to maximize sunless hours. I now live in one of the more overcast regions of the US, and may be the only person in history to move here FOR the weather.

One thing that others have never mentioned to me, but which I get after a bad migraine (esp. with nausea) is that a couple hours after it ends, I will be as hungry as I have ever been in my entire life. Yes, my stomach is empty, and of course you'd be hungry in that case, but this is another level entirely. And whatever I'm eating will cause a rush of happy endorphins so strong that the act of eating becomes almost hallucinogenic. It's always slightly embarrassing an hour later when I stop feeling like I'm riding a blue whale through the Crab Nebula and realize that I've been eating half a leftover burrito.
posted by el_lupino at 5:08 PM on August 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Frequent yawning as the migraine is coming on.
posted by oiseau at 5:08 PM on August 17, 2019

My migraines have changed over the course of my life (I've had them since I was 15, I'm now mid-40s), especially after a round of treatment (blood pressure meds, which apparently work like this for some people) about 15 years ago, which took them from 'agonising pain and also neurological weirdness' to 'neurological weirdness, almost no pain'

(Which I am totally for! The neurological weirdness is still annoying and means I have to rearrange my life, but it means I can still do some stuff, or at least curl up and probably read instead of be in agony.)

My current symptoms:
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Unusual irritation (I often notice this because I have yelled at the cat for something that would not normally just be a mild correction.)
- Nausea of the form 'nothing here is food ever' (I don't feel real nausea, so much as I want nothing to do with the idea of eating.)
- Sometimes with variant 'the only thing I want to eat is mac and cheese' (It's something about the combo of starch + cheese + salt, as far as I can tell. It's a really specific craving.)
- Proprioception issues (banging my ankle or arm on a door frame, for example, or almost missing a stair I should be able to manage.)
- A particular kind of clumsiness (I no longer have glass glasses in regular use in my house: I do ceramic with handles, so that when this happens, I do not end up with shards of glass in my kitchen at the worst moment.)
- Some visual changes, but nothing dramatic - I have a harder time focusing my eyes, stuff at my peripheral vision goes a little wonky.
- Particular categories of typos/word swap/mild aphasia issues (that are consistent, and I can ID them, and a few close friends can, but most people don't notice.)

I do usually go home when I feel one that is more than very minor hit because I do not want to be driving when my reflexes are like that. My big triggers are some kinds of weather (48 hours in advance of certain kinds of pressure fronts), lack of sleep, certain kinds of noise especially vibration, and if I'm already having mild issues, fluorescent light will set me off. I have also had menstrual cycle triggered ones (two varieties of Pill did it to me like clockwork: other varieties don't, including my current IUD).

My doctor recommended Migrelief, which is a migraine-specific supplement (magnesium, B2, and feverfew: the latter is not very well substantiated, the other two you can buy and combine easily, but I find it easier to have one pill.) I take half the recommended dose (about my magnesium tolerance) and it's helped a lot with making the weather triggers manageable. (I may still notice migraine glitchiness, but it doesn't get in the way of my life nearly as much.)
posted by jenettsilver at 5:13 PM on August 17, 2019

So much nausea, especially right as it's forming. Also during. I keep electrolyte tablets around to take so I have less nausea as it's fading enough that I can eat - the not eating causes a nausea cycle which the electrolytes breaks.

Often they are associated with pain in my neck muscles and/or in my right nose sinus (? whatever it's called).
posted by amtho at 6:03 PM on August 17, 2019

Intense vertigo.
The way it usually goes is there will be a sudden sensation that I can best describe as a sort of... popping?
Then sudden, intense vertigo. Like. I'll be walking along and it will feel like the floor has turned 90 degrees and is now where the wall should be.
Then, heavy salivation for a minute and sometimes a metallic taste.
Sometimes it feels hard to breathe.
In addition to the internal pain and pressure, the skin of my head will be incredibly painful to the touch.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:07 PM on August 17, 2019

I also get vestibular/atypical migraines. I think they started several years ago and I thought they were sinus headaches, because the pain felt like sinus pressure. Then I started randomly getting horrible vertigo with nausea—I would wake up in the morning and almost fall to the floor. I don't think I ever threw up, but it would be hard for me to eat anything other than really bland food for a few days. Then it morphed into the sinusy pain plus nausea.

My migraines are triggered by food, and I have noticed that I am very sensitive to even tiny bits of those foods for several days after, and I sometimes get what I call "aftershock" migraines.

I also get sort of a "hangover" the next day, I just don't totally feel like myself and it's hard to focus and sometimes form words.

Often now when they come on it's sorta slow, I have a small headache and I feel out of it, but I try to ignore it and push through (because I'm usually at work) and then I feel worse and eventually I have to go home and lie down with an ice pack on my face. I'm not particularly light sensitive, but one time while I was having one at work, the strobe lights for the fire alarm went off and I thought I was going to die and/or vomit. Of course I'm a Floor Warden so I had to make sure it wasn't a real alarm, then I ran to the elevator and got outside in fresh air as fast as I could.

I isolated the foods that I'm sensitive to by using the MySymptoms app and tracking my food for a few months. It became very clear that my two big ones are soy and chili peppers. I have also discovered that raw onions/shallots/garlic, paprika (which is a chili pepper), and blue cheese are triggers.
posted by radioamy at 6:25 PM on August 17, 2019

My first migraine (that I'm aware of) was just the vision weirdness. Like... there wasn't a headache at all. Just, I realized I couldn't quite read the paper I was looking at... and then after a few minutes all I could see was darkness and sparklies.

Now I get them the day before my period, every month. (Having a uterus is the worst.) Course that makes it hard to know what's a migraine symptom and what's a period symptom, but I definitely get the muscle tension on the right side - above my ear down through my neck and down behind my shoulder blade; light sensitivity, smell sensitivity, not being able to think as clearly; disrupted sleep, cuz who can sleep when the head hurts this bad; after 2-3 days it fades out and then I feel pretty hungover the next day. Funny, I hardly ever get the sparklies anymore.
posted by hishtafel at 6:30 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, forgot to mention that pre-migraine depression is real, and it can happen a day, or several days, before an episode. If you have depression at all, it may be linked to migraine.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 6:55 PM on August 17, 2019

Intense tension in my neck, usually just on one side, that radiates down to my shoulder blade and up to behind my eye. Even once the meds kick in, I can still feel the tension, it's just that pain is mostly gone.

I also get light sensitivity, but a lot of the time, it's more contrast sensitivity. As in, if it's light out, I can handle it being light inside, you know? I'll be squinting, but I can deal. But I cannot handle going from dark to light, headlights and streetlights at night are painful and/or uncomfortable, screens need to be turned down to be very dim and orange-tinted. My sound sensitivity during a migraine is similarly limited to sudden loud noises, because loud noises turn into bright flashes of light which are, due to said light sensitivity, painful.

I get nausea and vomiting when my migraine is really bad. The one time I went to urgent care for a migraine was when I woke up with said migraine in eyeball-squeezing, tense neck agony, and could not keep anything down. Not fun.
posted by yasaman at 7:17 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sound and light sensitivity. I can tell if it's a migraine versus HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) if I look at a light source and the pain increases sharply.

I have vertigo in that I want very badly to lie down flat at all times, but I don't process it as vertigo because my migraines had been so chronic it had become a background noise until they were treated, so I've lost the ability to distinguish nausea and hunger, vertigo and giddiness, exhaustion vs sleepiness etc. It's getting easier now that medication has reduced migraines to weekly, but if you have chronic migraines, your symptoms may be just background noise to you and you need to think "how do I feel on a GOOD day" to see what a migraine feels like.

One medication change and a new symptom emerged which is a little unusual but helpful in its specificity: calf and ankle pains, like shin splints but even lower. Once I feel those I know a bad migraine is coming and to take my meds and rest.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:57 PM on August 17, 2019

migraines since teendom.
known triggers: fragrance products, some flowers (lilac, lily); hazelnut flavor (probably any coffee flavor) but not hazelnuts themselves; red wine; some barometric changes (not yet precisely characterized).
precursor (fragrance): usually i am unaware of the surface area of my sinuses, upon exposure to triggering fragrance i become aware of what seems to be the entire internal sinus surface area seeming to become inflamed and distressingly dry, feeling like it is cracking like mud that has dried, with some throbbing (i describe it as feeling like the surface area of sinus are doing this, and then i make rigidly quivering claw hands). and the scent remains present against all those surfaces in my olfactory and tactile experience.
there is rage, but i think this is a reaction to being trapped in the promise of no relief for who knows how long (usually less than 24 hrs) more than a symptom, and panic.
precursor (generally): more typically a sort of disinclination to move my eyes, turn my head or, as it develops, do anything with the muscles of my face/head. i don't think i experience actual tunnel vision, but a similar feeling affecting my entire sense of awareness -- if i turn my head, it is as though my mind does not turn with it, but takes a few disorienting moments to catch up -- and related difficulty focusing (attention, not merely eyes). often increasing tension in shoulders/neck. flattening of affect (again, more a learned response than a symptom, i think).
very rarely scintillating scotoma.
i have not found a reliably relieving treatment. have had relief, decades ago, from butalbitol formulations (with some tendency to rebound/overuse headache). imitrex almost always provides relief, but at the cost of passing out for an hour then vomiting for an hour then passing out for another hour or more.
usually, if i can achieve unmedicated unconsciousness for a significant period, i awaken migraine-free, sometimes with a sense of euphoric lightness in my shoulders and neck.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:42 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

Always starts with the aura. For me, that is like the spot you get when you look at a bright light or a flash. Kind of like the absence of vision, rather than an actual black spot, and somewhat sparkly around the edges. I know I've got about 20 minutes before the headache starts. When it hits, the pain is in the center of the top of my head, usually slightly to one side or the other, and I'm very sensitive to light and smells. Eventually after a few hours the nausea gets bad enough that I throw up, and then I start to feel better. I usually am pretty tired for a day or so afterwards.
posted by Preserver at 8:42 PM on August 17, 2019

All kinds of visual disturbances, but most commonly the scintillating scotoma described above.

Sensitivity to light, sound, and smell--one time I walked into a room where a person was peeling an orange and the smell knocked me backwards.

Mood disturbances beforehand, too, although that may be two phenomena with a common origin (menstrual cycle) instead.

Nausea, of course.
posted by praemunire at 8:56 PM on August 17, 2019

An aura used to be common for me, but is now rare. I get a feeling of impending doom that I've learned to recognize as the first touch of a migraine. Sometimes my hands get cold; if I warm them up, I can occasionally prevent the migraine from progressing.
posted by bryon at 9:13 PM on August 17, 2019

During a migraine =

extreme light aversion
; wearing sunglasses indoors; even sunlight coming through a glass window and reflecting off wooden floor boards hurts;

: difficulty finding words, and/or stringing words into a sentence;

impaired spatial perception
/trouble telling how much distance is between you and something else: not safe to drive; keep walking into things; keep bumping into things; drop things

can't think straight
/difficulty making decisions;

Depressed mood

posted by Murderbot at 9:19 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

The day after a migraine =
feel hungover;
feel more groggy than usual;
feel more brainfog than usual
posted by Murderbot at 9:21 PM on August 17, 2019

Before - Scintillating scotoma, flashing lights, sounds are magnified (I can hear sounds I don't normally hear), everything has a strong smell, blurry vision

During - everything has a strong smell, light sensitivity, nauseated

After - feeling tired, hungover, inability to remember certain words, can't form sentences right
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 3:49 AM on August 18, 2019

Nausea that can only be remedied by puking. Light sensitivity and needing to hear very calm organized sounds (i love gregorian chant for this). Seeing sparkles and if in complete dark i see those kinds of rainbows that happen if you press on your closed eyes. Aversion to all food. Inability to feel a comfortable temperature, sweating and cold at the same time, no good clothing or blanket configuration. Eyelid twitching. Trobbing temples. Afterwards i isually want carbs and feel like a squeezed lemon or like i just washed up on the beach after being pounded underwater by waves for hours. Usually cannot fully function until i just manage to sleep it off.
posted by WeekendJen at 5:52 AM on August 18, 2019

Aura before the headache that includes scotoma, tingling that moves from my hand up my arm, aphasia, difficulty processing other people’s speech. Nausea and photophobia during the headache.
posted by Pax at 6:34 AM on August 18, 2019

My migraines changed in character as I got older.

For me, the first sign was often feeling suddenly hot. Then the pain would start to build. I didn't usually get some of the common symptoms: Visual auras very rare for me. Sound did not bother me except if it kept me from sleeping. I was sensitive to light but not to the extent that a lot of other people described. I was very sensitive to smells, though, and even imagining the smell of something like a hamburger if I happened to see an ad for it would be nauseating.

Afterwards, I would feel ... fogged. I would feel kind of weak - not so much I'd have trouble getting about, but enough that I'd feel weird. My mind would feel disconnected for a while and I would feel clumsy, almost like I was observing my body's attempts to move from a detached perspective. Sometimes I was ravenous, but I wanted things like fruit, cereal, juice, salad - "rich" foods would still be off-putting for a while.

Now my migraines have transitioned from pain to primarily being motion-sickness-like nausea. I still get the hot feeling, and still have the aversion to strong smells, but instead of my head hurting I feelconstantly horribly motion sick until it's over. Can't move in certain ways or I'll puke. Afterwards I still feel fogged, though it doesn't seem to be as strong as it used to be.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:40 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Now that I'm older, some changes to the symptoms named by previous commenters have reduced, but I have joint pain - even my feet hurt, before the headache hits. Sometimes I can feel the pain creeping up my spine for an hour or two before the migraine hits.
Triggers - weather changes, flickering light, over exertion, dehydration, malt vinegar, too much sun.
Some migraines can last days or weeks. Some will occur for several hours, leave for a few hours and then re-start. They are exhausting and depressing and make me clumsy and forgetful. Sleep and sumatriptan are the only things that help.

They took forever to get diagnosed. For years I thought I had sinus infections. I had my wisdom teeth removed. I thought I was a crazy hypochondriac. The neurologist said You have chronic intractable migraines. I waited in hopeful expectation for a cure or treatment to be offered. I'm still waiting.
posted by Enid Lareg at 9:03 AM on August 18, 2019

Mayo clinic has a decent rundown of some of the most common migraine attack symptoms divided by stage.

My prodrome sometimes comes with food cravings and emotional lability and difficulty focusing. I also often have neck and shoulder pain and stiffness that I used to think was triggering the migraine but is actually just a sign that I’m going to get one. Sensory complexity or intensity isn’t painful, but it’s confusing and irritating.

Closer to the migraine, I’ll really start to struggle with perception and understanding and usually have some of the following - words may not make sense, i get clumsy because i can’t figure out distance properly, i smell gas or smoke, I hear ethereal music, I see kaleidoscopic green or purple patterns, one side of my upper body goes numb and tingly, I feel ugh.

In the actual attack I usually but not always have pain. Some aura symptoms appear or continue, like Alice in wonderland syndrome or visual aura. Irritation with complex and intense sensory inputs has transitioned to pain and or nausea at even simple inputs, though usually not all. I typically only have one or two senses that are really on a hair trigger. I have incredible, unfightable fatigue. Even when I have migraines without pain, I have to go to bed because of this. Sometimes the pain isn’t just in my head, but seems to be activating every damn nerve in my teeth or the side of my neck and shoulder - always one sided, but not always the same side.

Coming out of a migraine, I’m often kind of childlike in my speech. I’m emotionally labile like I’ve taken a low dose of acid - whatever feeling I have I can really fall into it and it’s relatively easy to get distracted into a new feeling. I’m highly suggestible and not very clever and have difficulty focusing. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything in heavy mud. My head usually hurts at this point, but it’s dull and not very bad.
posted by congen at 9:08 AM on August 18, 2019

oh what a timely question i'm on day idk of a multiday agony extravaganza. i've had intractable migraines since i was 5, i'm very tired of having them. i have 3-4 distinctly different kinds depending on the triggers, of which there are nearly infinite. some stuff in general below.

- everything related to sight, sound, and smell is terrible
- adhd is violently intensified to the extent that the slightest mental frustration makes me want to hurl myself into the abyss
- ominous burps foretelling terrible barfs
- hair trigger fury, one day i will do a murder, i'm resigned to this

there's a period here where i can kind of hold it back to get done whatever i'm doing before the real suffering begins, but the longer i hold it back the worse the eventual outcome will be.

- everything related to sight, sound, and smell now wants only my prolonged agonizing death
- crushing pain in my entire skull or
- stabbing pain in my face or
- burning pain behind my eyes or
- all 3 at once in the base of my skull or
- any combination of all of the above at all times
- the advent of the barfs
- still a chance for a murder

if it goes too long without meds:
- badly slurring speech, transient aphasia
- vision loss from tunneling but also can't focus eyes
- drooling, nose running, eye leaking, and general facial weirdness on the side i have nerve damage on
- loud shrill tinnitus
- everyone thinks i had a stroke and is freaking the fuck out
- i just want them to shut up and leave me alone while i die
- it persisteth

- depends on type, very bad all-inclusive ones have intense stupidity and misery afterwards
- after some i get that weird euphoria, those are my Preferred Migraines™
- the bad ones that come from my spinal injury sometimes require high doses of the meds i formerly took for my spinal injury, these make me feel bad for like 2 days afterwards

at the height of my migraine badness, aka the past 3 years, i was having 2-3 per day. hundreds per year. i don't recommend that. i get botox for them now every 3 months and the first 2 months are amazing; when it wears off it is real fuckin bad, but still better than 2-3 migraines a day, every day, for 3 years.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:51 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Intense cravings for sugar and dairy. Ice cream becomes literally ambrosia - and the only thing I can eat without intense nausea.
posted by WidgetAlley at 9:58 AM on August 18, 2019


- on the rare occasions when i'm not sure if what i'm feeling is an impending migraine or not, all i have to do is Smell A Thing, literally any thing, and if the smell is anything other than inoffensive then i know the horrors are afoot. it would also work with looking at a bright light but that itself can trigger a migraine so i try to avoid it, whereas there deliberately is nothing in my house whose scent could otherwise trigger something.

- the best way for me personally to tell if a migraine has fully ended is when i suddenly have to pee like 11 gallons
posted by poffin boffin at 12:08 PM on August 18, 2019

I've had migraines since I was a teenager, and only was able to diagnose myself (PCOS) at age 30. For me, it's tied to hormones which alter blood sugar levels. The blood sugar crash is what triggers my migraine. If I take some pills right away (at the slightest tingling in one of my temples), then I can hold it at that tolerable level or resolve it completely. If I wait because "it's not that bad", and I let it ratchet up in pain, then all the sensitivity to sounds, smells, and light kick in....along with powerful nausea. And at that point, I can have the multi-day misery you describe. Understanding how it was tied to diet was a gamechanger for me. I went from 3-4 migraines a week to maybe 1 a month. And that 1 I could predict, because I knew I was making bad food choices.
posted by pdxhiker at 3:03 PM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Mine started when I was nine and were hellacious with scotoma for about thirty minutes just as everybody describes, starting with a tiny dot and expanding 'til seriously inconvenient, and aphasia, followed by mindblowing pain and puking for like twelve hours. They put me on cafergot which did nothing at all. The good thing was, they weren't very frequent, maybe six to eight a year, but the scotoma and aphasia freaked me out because, every single goddamn time, "MAYBE THIS TIME IT'S NOT JUST A MIGRAINE WHAT IF I'M STROKIN OUT," repeat a million times until aphasia renders language impossible, then just writhe in wordless dread and agony. This shit continued on and on and on until I got to be 20 or 21, when I went on the pill. Suddenly I had migraines twice a month, but they were quick little four- or five-hour affairs with pain that was enough to shut me down but not enough to make me want to lie down with my neck on a railroad track and wait for a train to decapitate me. Then I went off the pill because omg, what "doctor" puts somebody with classic migraine on the daggity pill? Madness. And the frequency dropped back down but the murderpain did not, thank God, come back. I went on Imitrex and the frequency went back up and the pain did not change, so I threw away the Imitrex. Now I get maybe two or three a year and they're nbd. I no longer puke, though I certainly wouldn't want to eat anything. I still get scotoma and aphasia. The aphasia is so odd. I'll be reading or writing or talking and then language just drops away, whereupon, especially if I'm trying to read aloud, "T- ta... tawn... talk... talker... talkING. Got... get... GETS. Ver. Versa. Ever... Every... No, V. VER...Y. Very. Sss. Swole. Argh! S! L! O! W! Oh, ssslow!" and halting with misreads of the kind I remember from roundrobin reading in first grade. Early on I'd have headaches where language would go completely, where I couldn't recognize letters or talk at all. Now there are maybe five minutes where I can't talk right or read easily, and then it drifts back but not all the way back, so listening to speech is a big effort and reading is not fun at all.

Somewhere along in there I discovered that "not tonight, dear, I have a headache" is reversed for me. That was fun to learn. The other thing about them that is cool is that they knock me out flat. If I can get to a bed and lie down, it's the best sleep, and I wake up feeling pleasantly calm, like, I don't know, like I went to the gym and did a whole thing and now I'm done and can have a snack and watch a movie. But I do still think, every single goddamn time, "maybe this time it's a stroke." I'm hoping that stroke symptoms are distinctive enough that I'll know right away and won't waste a bunch of time thinking it's just another migraine.
posted by Don Pepino at 12:23 PM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Before/at the start of a migraine: metallic snake-like aura (which I guess is a scintillating scotoma?), tunnel vision/visual distortion, neck ache, dizziness/disorientation.

At the onset I usually take Imitrex, which will ultimately contribute to me feeling super nauseous and disoriented after the headache passes. I have to take an anti-nausea med with it or else I’ll typically throw up at least once. I have a hard time regulating my body temperature – I’ll be super cold and put a blanket on, and then I’ll get a flash of being hot and kick it off. My back, shoulders, and neck are super tense and I feel weak and out of it for a few days afterwards. In general, I notice that I tend to feel the after effects for at least a day or two after the migraine itself.

My triggers are typically when I’ve been sleeping poorly for a few days in a row, when I’m really stressed out, and when I'm really upset and cry heavily. I also recently realized that seeing a picture of an aura can trigger a migraine. That was fun to find out!

Looking at everyone else’s responses, I really relate to quite a bit of what ManyLeggedCreature experiences during their migraines.

I hope you find some techniques that work for you to deal with your migraines. Imitrex (though it makes me nauseous) and Zofran, along with caffeine, have worked best for me. :)
posted by yeahyeahrealcute at 7:47 PM on August 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

the best way for me personally to tell if a migraine has fully ended is when i suddenly have to pee like 11 gallons

That's how I often know a migraine is coming on. It's like my body is saying, "You're not going to want to deal with this in a couple of hours, so let's do it now." Lots of trips to the bathroom before the migraine hits.
posted by bryon at 9:24 PM on August 22, 2019

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