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Monday, February 13, 2012

Postdrome

POSTDROME (aka. migraine hangover) is the last stage of a Migraine attack that some Migraineurs experience, once the headache pain has subsided. The postdrome symptoms may continue for several hours or even days. Symptoms of this postdrome may include:
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes (e.g., anxious, depressed)
  • Scalp tenderness
  • Cognitive and concentration difficulties
  • Feeling "hungover"
  • Head pain
My postdrome experience really is feeling "hungover" from everything that having a Migraine attack entails, but I also have a medication hangover from the meds I take for my worst migraines. Having both of these at the same time is rough. It's taxing on my body, and my mind starts to wonder when the next attack will be. I think I experience all of the above symptoms, though I believe my irritability is worse during the prodrome phase. Even my hair hurts. It's incredibly exhausting.

I'd like to add that it's just as annoying to tell a Migraineur experiencing postdrome symptoms that you've also had hangovers... as it is to tell a Migraineneur that you get headaches, too. They're NOT the same! NOT even close to the same! Now, I've never actually had a hangover from drinking too much alcohol... but when you get a hangover from drinking too much, that's YOUR choice and YOUR mistake - if you don't want a hangover, don't drink so much... simple! Getting a hangover from a Migraine attack is out of a Migraineur's hands... we know it's coming, but there's nothing we can do to prevent it.
  • Headache does NOT equal Migraine attack.
  • Migraine hangover does NOT equal hangover from drinking too much alcohol.

Prodrome

I'm starting to recognize some signs that I might get a migraine (usually the following day or so)...

PRODROME (aka. premonitory phase, pre-headache) is the first stage of a Migraine attack (I've written about this further in Premonitory Symptoms, and more information can be found here and here). However, not all Migraineurs will experience this phase, and the Migraineurs that do may not experience it with each attack and/or may not recognize the often subtly symptoms / warning signs. Some symptoms of prodrome may include:
  • Appetite changes and/or cravings
  • Cognition and concentration difficulties (such as, having difficulty finding words and/or speaking)
  • Cold extremities
  • Bowel changes (e.g., constipation, diarrhea)
  • Excitement / hyperactivity
  • Mood changes (e.g., irritable, depressed, impatient)
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Memory changes
  • Weakness
  • Excessive yawning
My prodrome experience includes most of the above: cravings (specifically for breakfast foods), frequent yawning, irritability, and / or being more talkative (maybe like an energy rush - not sure, since I've only just recently recognized this one). Closer to the head pain onset, I sometimes get mumbly in my communication, and my ears feel full and/or hot. I have a constant sinus congestion / post-nasal drip problem going on - could be a combination of allergies and something with my migraines... not sure.

I think that it's important to try NOT to jump to conclusions, when interacting with other people (I'm not good at this, in practice... but, I'm working on it). For example, relating to Migraineurs:
  • Frequent yawning does NOT necessarily mean that someone is tired and/or bored.
  • Cravings do NOT necessarily mean that someone is pregnant.
  • Talkativeness does NOT necessarily mean that someone is cured or otherwise over the chronic illness.