Reset: How to Aggravate a Migraine

This weekend R.J and I had tickets to a local food festival. We love food festivals. But if we’re going to be completely honest–we love food festivals in winter. At night–when the Florida heat somewhat abates and you can actually walk through the streets without feeling like you are both melting and suffocating at the same time.

But whatever, this one was on Groupon so we were fully committed.


In the car, on the way to the event I realized that this heat was not going to be easy to handle for the next few hours. I didn’t bring sunscreen, but I had brought a giant bottle of ice-cold gatorade and I found a black umbrella in the backseat of R.J’s car. So we waited in line to get in, the umbrella slung behind me. This was okay. It provided some shade at least.

Once inside we started off under a shaded booth area and spun some wheels, looked at some crafts and then off we went into the blazing sunshine to eat.

The first thing we got was a shaved ice cone. I had pina colada and banana. R.J had watermelon which, in all food products, is disgusting.

The ice was a good idea, it kept me cool and hydrated, so A+ thinking there.

Regret Nothing

Next we set off around the food booths trying to decide what we were going to have for lunch. But after an hour of hunting we decided that nothing really looked good. Well, it all looked good–but it was mostly all hot food. Who wants to eat hot barbecue in 90 degree weather? I attempted some japanese donuts from a Hibachi booth–but the hot food did not hit the spot.

After another half an hour we decided to head home. At first assessment, everything seemed fine. When I got home I immediately hopped into the shower and checked myself over for sunburns–the umbrella seemed to have done the trick.

I fell asleep for an hour and when I woke up–I realized that I was heading towards a migraine. I quickly hooked myself up to a bag of saline and took 800mg of ibuprofen. By dinner I was feeling fine and R.J and I relaxed, watched some Netflix and that was the end of the night.


Fast forward to about 1 in the morning–I’m slapped awake by a hideous migraine. The kind where you wake up in one swift motion and you don’t know whether to scream, cry, puke, or decapitate yourself. This migraine seemed like a perfect candidate for Cambia. Cambia is a great migraine drug thats non-narcotic. It works really quickly and generally very well for me. My pain management doctor has told me time and again to always take a Percocet and Cambia together if I’m hit with a bad migraine–but sometimes, if I’m lucky, I can get away with just take one or the other.

By three in the morning I realized that I was not lucky. I was terribly unlucky. I took a percocet and prayed.


The next few days were a blur of headaches. And then yesterday afternoon I hit my breaking point. I was at my mom’s house, but she was stuck in meetings all afternoon so R.J came to pick me up and take me to the ER.

In a bizarre turn of events, the doctor came out to see me in the waiting room. He and a nurse called me back, put me in a room, did a quick exam, and within ten minutes were clearing my line to give me painkillers and nausea meds.

I was nervous about getting meds through my port–which was actually my first time doing so. I didn’t know if it would make the medication more potent…but holy crap did it.

How did I get on this boat?

How did I get on this boat?

I was so loopy, I was already in the car before I realized I’d been released. At home R.J got me upstairs and into bed–but by that time the pain was back–except the pain killers were still making me horribly dizzy and nauseated. R.J tried everything to help me–crackers, ginger ale, gatorade, bread, he even ran a bath for me and helped me into the bathroom, but before I could even get in I start dry-heaving and I couldn’t stop.

For several hours I either slept or was awake and gagging. Finally, sweating, shaking like a leaf we decided to call my doctor who told me to go back to the ER so they could sort me out. If I moved in any direction I was sick. I almost thought we were going to have to call paramedics just to get me out of bed, but R.J managed to corral me into the car with my head over my bathroom trash bin.


Back at the ER they got be back, took some blood, and hooked me up to an IV. The pain was agonizing and my back was in spasms. They decided to try some torridol (non-narcotic) and Zofran (nausea med) in my port–thankfully this was equally as potent as the painkillers had been going in, and seemed to clear up some of the pain and nausea really quickly. They also gave me a large dose of potassium because my blood test came back low.

Poor R.J had to get up at six AM and we didn’t get home till–well, not long before that. Cancelled all my plans and worked from home today. I also made a lasagna that turned out horrible. But hey–I still have a lot of painkillers in my system. Let’s not judge here.

So what have we learned from this experience?

  • Nip a migraine in the bud by taking all treatments at once (that are safe to take together)
  • Don’t forget to take your potassium supplements.
  • Port injections go straight into the heart, may want a peripheral line for narcotics.
  • Waiting rooms are less stressful when on percocet.
  • I really can’t throw up–no matter how much I may want to.
  • The botox treatment gets less effective over time.
  • Time to figure out how to get IV zofran at home.
  • If you’re going to hit the reset button–fucking SLAM it, don’t pussyfoot around with Cambia until your brains start crushing in on themselves.

And trying to make a low-fat lasagna will end up watery and tasteless.