Saturday, October 24, 2009


Since finishing graduate school in 2000, I have had 3 migraines in my non-pregnant state. (If you've never had a migraine, consider yourself lucky.) I had a few of them in grad school which I attribute to the stress I was under and then didn't have them again until I was pregnant with Bryce. I had several when pregnant with Bryce and they were terrible. Then between Bryce and Piper I had one that I remember thinking was triggered by a glass of red wine at my mom's house. (The aura started within a few minutes of drinking the wine.) My mom has had sensitivity issues with red wine her whole life and since I'm a headachey person to begin with, like my mom, I guess I wasn't too surprised. I stayed away from the red stuff from then. I had one really terrible migraine early in my pregnancy with Piper. The aura was really disturbing - almost stroke like - in that for a few minutes, I couldn't figure out how to say a few words that I was looking at on some paperwork in my office. Frightening. Thankfully, I didn't have any more after that until this past June. Most of the migraines I've had have struck mid-morning which the one I had most recently did in June. No warning and boom, visual disturbances. The only one that wasn't a mid-morning start was the red wine induced one. However, a few months ago, I tried a little red wine and was fine so I had a little more a few weeks ago and again, was fine. So maybe it wasn't the red wine.

So last night, we went to my mom's to make pizzas and then the kids were going to spend the night. My mom opened a bottle of Rieseling white wine to share and even though I'm really not a fan of sweeter wines, I decided to have a glass. (I generally prefer Pinot Grigio or Sav. Blanc.) Within about 10 minutes of me drinking a small glass of the intensely sweet wine, the visual disturbances started. I tried to ignore it at first and then realized I couldn't. I finally admitted to Jason and my parents that a migraine was coming and I went to take a dose of Excedrin Migraine. After about 45 minutes, the visual disturbance stopped and the pain started.

Migraines affect everyone who suffers from them differently. My MIL who has had them chronically over the years, generally doesn't have much of an aura but her pain is intense. While my pain, is manageable, the aura completely wipes me out. I was glad the kids were staying at my mom's because there was no way I was going to be able to handle them. Jason and I came home and I laid down on the couch with a warm compress on my eyes. Somehow, I managed to doze off and woke up around 9:30 feeling rotten. My head ached but I just felt pretty gross all over. That's the thing about a migraine, it's not just about your head, your whole body is affected by it. I waited until 11pm and took a dose of ibuprofen in hopes of making the pain stop. I was no longer tired and restless so I sat and tried to watch TV while Jason snoozed next to me. Finally at midnight, Jason went to bed and I sat and played around online waiting to get sleepy. The ibuprofen helped some and I finally went to sleep around 2:30am.

Thanks to the kids not being here, I slept till 9:15 and woke up feeling like I had a hangover - a migraine hangover. The pain wasn't horrible, but it still wasn't great. I went and picked the kids up and took more ibuprofen. I still don't feel great but I'm tired of feeling like this, so I've got to get moving and accomplish something. Thankfully, the kids all took naps so I had a little more peace and quiet.

I think we'll be painting pumpkins a little later so hopefully that will help to keep the kids focused and not fighting.

I hate that a migraine has basically ruined half my weekend. And now I'm afraid to have any wine again. I'm thinking maybe it was the type but I'm not sure. I don't drink more than 1 or 2 glasses a month but it is nice to have a glass sometimes so now I'm just really gun shy about it.


Anonymous said...

Sorry E! That is awful! And really a bummer that it happens randomly with some wines.

I get them occasionally. Almost always hormone triggered for me and I only started getting them after being preggers with Emily. Never had them before that, although, I too am headache prone. I get regular headaches frequently...lack of sleep, too tired, hungry, you name it!

I don't have serious migraine symptoms like you. I can't imagine! I have RES (restless eye syndrome ;-) where your eyes hurt and I can't focus on anything and I get extreme sensitivity to light. I need a DARK room with NO noise. Sometimes there is nausea. Usually the only thing that helps is a warm bath in a DARK bathroom.

I hope that you are feeling better now and that we figure out a wine that doesn't EVER trigger them. Wouldn't that be awesome?!?


P.S. Is this why you wanted to host a wine and cheese party?

Erika said...

K - Actually I have been wanting to do a wine/cheese party for a while but in last month's Real Simple they gave a lot of good ideas for one. Just happens to coincide with my wine induced migraine. No more Riesling ever for me. I'll stick with my usual whites for now.

I finally feel normal again this morning.

Heather said...

Eww, that sucks. I have had them and BAD. I have heard it can be the perservatives/sulfites in wine that can trigger migraines for some people. Try organic wine. I got a killer migraine 2 days before my wedding from drinking strong red wine.

Jammie J. said...

Migraines are debilitating and I hate them. I remember the first visual migraine I had, I locked myself in the broom closet where I was working at the time because it was the only dark place I could find. Man. Memories.

Don't know if you read this lady's blog, but you might find this post of hers to be interesting... Link