migraineToday, class, we’re going to talk about migraines. Because I have one. Actually, I’ve been having one, or maybe it’s a series of them, for the past few days. I’ve lost track. I think it started Sunday. I knock one down and then another comes along.

I blame ragweed.

It’s ragweed season, as many of you know who reside in North America. Did you know there are two basic forms of ragweed? There’s the lesser:

lesser-ragweedAnd, there’s the greater:


What isn’t ragweed, is goldenrod:

goldenrodWhich confuses people.

You’ll note that the “blooms” of ragweed are insignificant to look at. Their effects, however, are anything but insignificant. I’m not allergic to much, but ragweed would be tied for first.

Also, I’m not the only one in this house with seasonal allergies…Fergus is now getting 12.5 mg of Benadryl twice a day to help allay the itching that was causing him to lick his paws and his eyes and nose to run. Poor little mite.



Back to migraines. Did you know that about two-thirds of migraine cases run in families? (I can’t really say that’s where mine come from, however.) They affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty, but then – and this won’t surprise most of the women reading this – women suffer migraines two to three times more often than men.

They are often caused by triggers – diet, stress, fatigue, hormones, food and environmental (including smells, like perfume) are the broad categories. Mine are pretty much all environmental causes, although they did improve a great deal after I learned I have celiac disease and eliminated all gluten from my life. If there is a major barometric change due to weather, I’m likely to get a migraine. If there’s a lot of wind (often associated with aforesaid barometric change), I’ll almost always get one. And then there’re my allergies to ragweed and fungus – headaches aren’t always a given, but I’ve learned to brace myself.

Yesterday, Fergus and I took a long ramble through the big meadow. Ragweed was all around, both varieties, in abundance. I just knew the nagging pain would come back. This time it did with a vengeance. I hate that we’re having such a perfect day and I can’t spend it outdoors.


Migraines are funny things. Sometimes they are preceded by, or come with, an aura. Auras can be little glittery things in your vision, often on the periphery – I’ve had those and they’re kind of cool, but are associated with a feeling of dread, “here it comes”. Auras can also be smudgy and blur your vision in spots, or can blank out entire parts of your field of vision. I’m presently looking at the world through what looks like a fat thumbprint on my glasses:

Just looking at images of migraine aura hurts, but this is close to how I see things right now...

Just looking at images of migraine aura hurts, but this is close to my current view of things

…which is making the writing of this blog difficult to say the least.

I won’t bore you with more arcana about migraines. If you suffer from them, you already know all there is to know. If you don’t – lucky you – you don’t want or need the details. Plus, there is a vast ocean of information on the internet for the curious.

I tried to find a clever music video on YouTube about migraines, but they hurt too much to watch, so you don’t get a video today.

Fergus and I are going to go lie down in a cool, dark place for awhile. Bye.