Geek Girls Rule! #508 – So, Migraines…


I’ve had them intermittently throughout my life.  They used to be triggered by my becoming dehydrated, or not eating for an entire day, and later Nutrasweet (aspartame).

Now, apparently, it’s the moons of Saturn falling out of alignment.


But what, you may ask, do migraines have to do with geek stuff, apart from the fact that I am currently suffering with them?

Well, I’m kind of geeking out on the sheer array of gadgets and doodads that are around to help me avoid having them.  Also, the fact that science thinks it’s finally isolated what probably causes them.

I have a specific migraine doctor.

She studies and treats nothing but migraines.  That’s a thing.

It is a subset of Neurology.

In the course of trying to figure shit out, I have had an MRI in the new, fancier, more powerful MRI machine.  Still scary no matter how much like a spa the room it was in looked.  Also, still claustrophobic, so yeah.

I have gotten to see the MRI of my brain, which physically looks fine.  Apparently everyone’s brains have the occasional tiny white patch in them, and migraine brains have more of them.  They have no idea if or how that’s related.

I have tried several medications, which have had results from nothing to “OMG, this is worse than the migraine!” I have an app that lets me record when, how and where I get them.  It has suggested triggers and symptoms and lets you add more.  It tracks all your triggers, times, lengths and what appears to work for them. I have super dark sunglasses, and glasses that cut blue light from screens. A phone with a “Night Light” setting that reduces blue light.

Things we have found that trigger the migraines:
Random strong smells (perfume, baking, smog, etc…)
Those annoying super bright, blue tinted headlights
Still aspartame
Dehydration and/or not eating
Too much or too little caffeine (honestly, more often it’s too little)
Too much sugar
Asthma attack
Sleep – Not enough/too much

Things that help:
Caffeine, until it doesn’t.
Dark, quiet rooms
Ice pack/sleep masks
Marijuana edibles (it’s legal here)
Drugging myself into several hours of sleep

That last one is most effective.

So, yeah, that’s why I’ve been a little erratic lately.  I’ve been trying to make sure that I do hit two posts per week, and I’ve mostly managed it.

And while some researchers are super hyped about discovering what they think triggers migraines, even more are kind of blasé about it, because this is not their first rodeo.

The current attack plan is to wear my contacts all the time.  Wear sunglasses as much as possible, wear the blue light/UV cutting reading glasses for any and all screen time.  Lots of small snacks, less big meals, because dips in blood sugar can trigger them.  Keeping an eye on the weather, because rapid weather changes can cause them (WTF, body? Intelligent design my ass). Hydrating like a grown up, more exercise, regular sleep cycles (yay insomnia) and some vitamin supplements because they help some people.

This is part of why I am dubious of anyone stating they have found THE cause of migraines.  Because what works to stop them is so varied from person to person.

And seriously, the weather can be a trigger?  What the hell?  Yeah, I can avoid aspartame, drink water, sip coffee most of the day and make sure I don’t go too long without eating, but what the hell do I do about humidity and storm fronts?

So, yeah.  That’s my current research rabbit hole, because I would like to interact with the world like an adult instead of a photophobic mole person.

This weekend is ACNW.  I likely won’t have the recap for you on Monday, but I’ll shoot for Wednesday.

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