It’s Not That Sort of Hangover…

Usually, when I talk about having a “hangover,” everyone immediately assumes I am referring to the aftereffects of a hard night of partying.

Yeah…no.

For one, I am not much of a drinker outside of special occasions or social gatherings of close, trusted friends. Aside from that, I live by a set of fairly rigid morals. By that, I mean that I don’t go partying if I have plans of any sort the following day. Honestly, I don’t go partying period. In my whole adult life (I turned 21 in the spring of 2006), I have had one hangover ever, and it was nothing like they show on TV. I had a headache and my mouth felt like it was made of cotton. Two aspirin, a couple dozen ounces of water, and some toast took care of it in a trice.

No, when I say I have a hangover, I mean that I have a migraine hangover. That is the usual way that a migraineur will express the feelings that come with the postdrome phase of a migraine. The postdrome is the final stage of a migraine attack, the four phases being predrome, aura (although this phase is not present in those who do not get aura with their migraines), migraine, postdrome.

The predrome phase usually happens in the days leading up to the actual migraine. It can manifest in so many ways that if I were to list them all, I would be sure to miss a lot! For me, I usually will either have a sudden burst of energy and be restless, or I will be so tired that I don’t want to do anything aside from sit and crochet or sleep. I also yawn all the time.

For me, aura can be present, but not always, and will usually occurs a few hours before the attack itself. When I do get it, I get either dancing lights or shadows in my peripheral vision, which is frustrating because I usually think something is going on just beyond my blind spot. I spend a great deal of time looking over my shoulder to the point that I probably look paranoid. I will also get bouts of vertigo (where the room will spin for a moment) or disequilibrium (the world will dip like a boat in rough seas). If my balance is effected, I will also suffer from something called parasthesias, which is a fancy word for a pins-and-needles sensation in my hands, feet, and face (mainly around my mouth area…imagine a feeling that your lips or tongue has fallen asleep! It’s weird!).

Next comes the attack. This is the migraine people know about. Throbbing pain, excessive yawning, pain in the sinuses… the list continues. Even with medication and treatment, this phase can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Finally, comes the postdrome or hangover. This can be as “mild” (term used loosely) as fatigue to as serious as the preceding migraine, but usually without the head pain. During this phase, I am very susceptible to a relapse, going back to the third phase and starting over. Sometimes, during my hangover, I struggle with speech. Somewhere between my brain and my mouth, words stop working right. I am irritable, since it is so easy for me to get another migraine. I am also exhausted. This phase usually (for me, anyway) lasts from one to three days.

Migraine hangover sucks. There is no other way to say it. Sure, it is not as bad as the attack, but good grief, stop assuming I have some sort of party girl alter-ego! ๐Ÿ˜…

๐Ÿ’–Hearts and Sparkles!๐Ÿ’–
~Bunny~