My First Migraine

Yesterday afternoon, I was at my desk working away, and then I observed a strange sensation I had never experienced before. A big bright spot appeared in front of my eyes, making it impossible for me to read my paperwork or see my computer screen. Then about a half hour later, the big bright spot disappeared, and a headache in the front of my forehead came on.

Now that I could see my computer screen again, I did a quick internet search, and the “aura” followed by a headache were telltale signs of a textbook migraine. I found that naproxen sodium was supposed to be helpful, so I took a couple of Aleve and called the doctor’s office to make an appointment for the next day (fortunately my off-Friday from work). Thankfully my headache wasn’t as strong as other migraine sufferers have reported, so I was able to finish off the work day.

My quiet bike commute home, partially in sunlight through the suburbia, with the latter half through the darkness in the canyon, provided some relief. But I was feeling worse again after I returned home. Clearly I was having some sensitivity to artificial light.

This morning I went to the doctor’s office. The doctor was fully booked, so my appointment was with the young nurse practitioner.  (Well, at least younger than me, and I am in my early 40s.) That concerned me at first, but I felt better when I found out she was a migraine sufferer herself.  She did a bunch of tests that resembled sobriety tests, such as following her finger with my eyes and touching my nose with my finger. It was comforting to know I didn’t have any other symptoms such as loss of peripheral vision.

The nurse practitioner suggested I start a log of my headaches and come back to the office if they kept recurring. I was surprised to find a list of iPhone apps for headache and other chronic pain logging. I installed Headache Relief Diary, we’ll see how that works out. I like how there’s an option to email the headache log. I also downloaded a few other recommended medical reference apps from that list.

I was also due for my annual eye exam and needed to order new glasses, so today I took advantage of a last minute cancellation and squeezed in an afternoon appointment with my ophthalmologist.  I told him about the migraine, and he suggested that eye strain could be a trigger, given that I have a lot of computer time at work and that I’m at the age where the eyes start to change. He may be on to something if I’m getting my first migraine in my early 40s.

I still feel blessed with excellent health, not taking any regular medications, good weight, good cholesterol, etc. But, oh, to have a medical annoyance to deal with! We’ll see if this is a one time fluke or a recurring problem to deal with.

10 thoughts on “My First Migraine

  1. bikinginla

    Ive suffered from killer migraines for over 20 years now, the kind that come on hard and sudden, and knock me on my ass — sometimes for days.

    Ive found that a couple of Excedrin work best for me; since mine are triggered by sinus problem, a Sudafed also helps. And it usually helps to take a nap and try to sleep it off.

    Hopefully this will be a one-time occurrence — migraines are a real pain to ride with.

  2. Tanisha Rule

    My migraines are extremely irregular. I skip years without having one, but my peripheral vision is affected whenever I do get a migraine. When my vision gets strange, I know thats my warning and immediately drink water which helps to clear up that aspect of the problem. However, the headache then moves in, and nothing stops it. Like you I can still continue my routine, and thats the good news.

  3. lauren

    Im happy to see so many people like yourself online sharing your experience. I had an almost identical experience yesterday at work, and last night – all night. I did get the intense pain, but not until after the second aura. And, also, in my 40s with an impending eye exam for Friday.

    Im cringing at the thought of having to deal with this again. Its nice to know your not alone, though I wouldnt wish this thing on anyone.

    Thank you for sharing.

  4. Gary

    Hey Brian,
    I came across your page while researching a TransAm cycling trip. I noticed that the title about migraines and thought I would check it out. I was surprised because for me, after suffering from an average of one migraine a month since I was about ten years old (I’m 41 now), they virtually vanished when I started riding in 2009. I have only had three since then. They are always very mild, and usually when I haven’t been riding regularly. I have been under the assumption that riding had something to do with it. Anyhow, I am wondering if you have had any recurrence since you first posted this.

  5. Gary Walker

    Hey Brian,
    I came across your page while researching a TransAm cycling trip. I noticed that the title about migraines and thought I would check it out. I was surprised because for me, after suffering from an average of one migraine a month since I was about ten years old (I’m 41 now), they virtually vanished when I started riding in 2009. I have only had three since then. They are always very mild, and usually when I haven’t been riding regularly. I have been under the assumption that riding had something to do with it. Anyhow, I am wondering if you have had any recurrence since you first posted this.

  6. BikingBrian Post author

    Hi Gary, lucky for me it was just a one time occurrence. Perhaps it might have been related to my workstation in the office and my old glasses? I now work from home (for other reasons, not because of this particular issue) and have new glasses.

  7. natalie

    Just curious to know if you have had any more of those migraine? I have just had the same thing yesterday (whilst sitting at my computer) and have never had thing before. (I’m 41 years old – soo weird)

  8. Lauren

    Natalie, I was in my mid-40’s when I got it, and though I’ve had killer migraine pain since, I’ve never experienced the auras and disconnection that I had that first time. You will think I am crazy, but I really felt it was somehow related to the computer screen or wifi. I often sat at that desk and could feel a buzz or vibration go through me. Since I’ve left the job I haven’t experienced that again.

    I’ve recently turned 50, so pain seems to be hormone related now.

    Good luck.

  9. Natalie

    Thank you so much for that feed back from Lauren and BikingBrian. It is a comfort to hear that others have had the same – although I would not wish it on anyone!! Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.