The busy holiday season is among us. At least in Canada, Thanksgiving and Christmas are spaced out a bit more, but if you’re a Kraniac living in the US, I feel for you! So much hustle and bustle in a relatively short time! How do you have enough spoons?!
So as my early holiday gift to you, Kraniacs, I thought I’d give you a little reminder of some triggers to watch out for this holiday season. They are everywhere, aren’t they?!
Migraine Trigger #1. The dreaded holiday shopping! The crowds, the noise, the physical activity it requires to wrestle someone for that last tech gadget… is it any wonder it’s a migraine waiting to happen?
The good ol’ holiday party. Whether it’s parties with coworkers, friends, family, it seems that this is the time of year for getting together and catching up. The problem is, when you have migraines, this can be absolutely dreadful! I think one of the things I find the worst is the small talk:
“Karen! Haven’t seen you in ages! How are you doing? What’s new?” queries some random old friend.
“Hey, yeah. I tend to lay low these days – still suffering from chronic migraine.” I say, trying to not look as awkward as I feel.
“They haven’t figured out what to do about those yet?” they say, and I can tell they aren’t really interested by the way they keep staring everywhere else.
“Well, there is no cu-” I begin while groaning inwardly.
“My aunt’s boyfriend’s brother’s coworker’s mom suffers with migraines and she got one of those ear piercings. Have you tried that?”
At this point, whomever I’m with should probably be interjecting here or leading me away because nothing makes me lose my broken, migraining mind more than talking about daith piercings.
If you’re at the above-mentioned holiday party, the temptation to partake in some liquid holiday merriment can be high. Although the price us Kraniacs can pay if we’ve sipped a few too many rum and egg nog is higher. Is ‘nog’ the noise your body makes as you’re puking into the toilet the next morning?
Ahhh Christmas! All the beautiful lights, everyone so merry! Twinkling lights, a Christmas carole or two. But our consumerist society isn’t conditioned that way! All the lights, set to music, and flashing, flashing, flashing! It’s the most wonderful time of year indeed! 😛
I love chocolate. And I’m fortunate that it’s not a terrible trigger by itself, but it will often gang up with other triggers for me. And of course, an open box of chocolates is an empty box of chocolates (unless it’s one of those weird assortment boxes with the fruit filled chocolate landmines that you don’t realize how gross they are until you bite into them.)
I’m not triggered by all scents, but overpowering perfumey ones are brutal! Even if they don’t trigger a migraine, I’m so sensitive to all smells that what seems like a normal level of perfume often isn’t.
Which brings me to this next fall favourite. Love cinnamon foods, but as a candle or straight up cinnamon stick or whatnot, it’s a dealbreaker. Cinnamon, and it’s other heady scent-sister Clove, just do me in at this time of year.
If you’re a Kraniac with young ones, it seems like every toy kids want these days is noisy. Very noisy. Good luck with the new toys!
And rounding out today’s post of migraine triggers, dinner with family. Now, don’t get me wrong, family is priceless. But it can be hard to realize just how valuable time with loved ones is when you’re struggling with migraine. Dealing with family members who don’t understand your illness adds an extra level of stress to the holiday season.
Migraine triggers exist around every corner, holiday season or not. And of course, what is triggering for one of us, isn’t triggering for the rest of us. Hopefully though, you can make it through the holiday season as migraine-free or migraine-minimized as possible.
Stay tuned next week when I’ll share some tips for making the holiday season easier when you suffer from a chronic illness.