The Scottish summertime hates me. And also: is trying to kill me. GOD.

Actually, it’s migraine that’s trying to kill me. And it’s not the Scottish summer per se, but all the thundery, humid weather that tends to be pretty much all we get in these here parts at this time of year. The thundery weather gives me migraines, you see. Migraines give me health anxiety. Health anxiety gives me stress. Stress gives me migraines. And the beat goes on…

Other things that give me migraines:

  • Cheese
  • Bright lights
  • Flashing lights
  • Hormones
  • Asda (the one near us has flickering strip lights and acres of reflective white floor. It’s migraine-tastic, baby!)
  • Meatloaf albums. (OK, not these, but they do give me pain, which is the same thing…)
  • but mostly thunder and stress, really

The first migraine of this summer arrived almost exactly a year to the day since the first migraine of last summer. I was cleaning the kitchen with bleach at the time (other things that can trigger migraines: strong smells), having just eaten a cheese salad, and was fretting about how the hell I was supposed to find time to cut the grass, finish my work for today, start my feature on weddings for The Scotsman, pick bits of fluff off the stair carpet with my bare hands, walk the dog and also: clean the kitchen with bleach. I turned around from the dark living room to the kitchen window, which was filled with sunlight (bright lights, you see) and WHAM! Migraine now arriving, please clear your schedule…

Of course, being the hypochondriac that I am, I was immediately convinced that, even although the flashing lights and blind spots in my vision were exactly the same as every other migraine I’ve ever had, this was not, in fact, a migraine at all, but was a brain tumour. “Terry,” I called, panic stricken, “come quickly, I’m having a brain tumour”.  The divorce comes through in a few months, apparently, and Doctor Amber is available for consultations any time you like.

Anyway, continuing brain-tumour fears aside (because I could totally have a brain tumour! I really could!) I have spent the last few days feeling delicate, like the heroine in a Jane Austen novel, and being brought ice cream, which has made me fat. (Note: ice cream doesn’t actually help with migraine, I just like it). This has mostly all just been me being a drama queen: I am fairly lucky in that my migraines aren’t too debilitating, and once the aura has gone, I’m left with a headache that’s not nearly as bad as the ones some people get. But hey, I like the drama and the ice cream, so I may as well milk it for all it’s worth.

On the upside, a gardener is coming to mow our lawn next week, because now that Migraine Season has officially started for me I have decided to embark on Project Calm The Hell Down, Woman. Less stress, less cheese and more relaxation is the order of the day, which means that someone else gets to do the gardening while I lie on my bed eating grapes, or something. Of course, I’m feeling absolutely fine now, but there’s no way I’m cutting that grass. Thanks, Migraine Season!

IMPORTANT NOTE: No one leave comments on this entry saying, “Oh, my mother’s auntie’s cousin’s dog’s sister used to get migraines, but it turned out she had a brain tumour and then she died!” Trust me, I don’t want to know…)

  1. I’ve been getting migraines for about 11 years, on and off… no brain tumour yet… I have had some DOOZIES though, really unbearable!

  2. I’ve come to the realization that I too suffer from migraines, and they also usually strike in the summer.

    I did wonder why sometimes I’d be in the bright daylight, and my focus would suddenly go off and bright lights would be flashing in front of my eyes.

    This whole distorted vision usually lasted about 45 mins, and there then preceded a really sharp headache-near my temple, behind my eye.

    I always thought migraines were totally debilitating, so didn’t attribute the above to a migraine.

    I know better now 🙁 Oh well, just another thing to add to the catalogue of health problems I suffer from 😉

    Glad you’re feeling better now sweetie xx

  3. I hear you regarding the ASDA lighting. I just get a really bad pain over my eye sockets and down my nose and then my sight goes all funny and I feel like I want to smash my head really hard against a brick wall to take the attention away from the pain that is going on inside my head so I go and have a lie down. Apparently this is just a normal headache though a a migraine sufferer once informed me. Its not a migraine unless you puke apparently *yawn*

  4. Jen – that SO sounds like a migraine. People tend to have this idea that migraine is just a really bad headache, but it isn’t. The headache is actually an after-effect of the migraine: mine aren’t normally any more painful than a “normal” headache (although I’ve had a few bad ones), and some people don’t get the headache at all, just the flashing lights etc. I tend to only get them in the summer, and it’s a combination of the weather and some of the other triggers. You should have a look at the Migraine Association Website ( – lots of fun bed-time reading there for you 🙂

    Polly – I hate that whole “competitive illness” thing some people do, where they’re all, “Oh no, I actually die for a few seconds when I get a migraine, so you have no idea what’s it like…” Gah. I have never thrown up because of my migraines – the flashing lights are the worst part for me – but they are most definitely migraines (or maybe brain tumours, in my case), and it sounds like yours are too. Damn Asda.

  5. I too am a hypochondriac, suffer from the same symptoms as you do. I work in a hair salon and if the lights hit just right I get a migraine. Three in the past three weeks so like you, I was at the Dr. knowing I had a brain tumor. I have lost 7 lbs in two weeks and am having total health anxiety!!!

  6. Hmmmm i get them too, havent quite worked out what triggers them though, i just get really pissed off becuase they always ruin my day/night as im sure they do many other peoples joy. I was at a birthday party of all places recently and got one…I told people my eyes were hazy, im sure they thought i was pissed or on drugs, because one moment i was laughing and talkitive and then the next i was dazed, quite and clutching my seat! Anyway it passed and witha few more drinks i reduced the after headache to a dull pain. One season i was getting really bad ones 3 times a week, not sure why. Hope that never happens again. biting nails* & Fingers crossed, good luck with ones guys&gals ~XxX~

  7. hiya! iv been haveing migraines for at least 9yrs.

    ITS BEEN HELL!!!! at first i started passing out in shops like ASDA. but then its progressed to (dizzyness,vomiting,passing out,cant stand light or sound!,i cant speak cos i go realy brain dead!!,numbness,pins & needleds,YA NO DA HOLE HOG!)

    so, your not alone,at first i thought id got epilepsy cos my daughters got it, but then i too thought brain tumor!! but then i thought ,CANT BE COS ID BE DEAD NOW?

    so, its gotta be MIGRAINE. we just av to put up n shut up! DONT WE?

    by the way, my daughters epilepsy, it turned out to be a benign brain tumor! she had it for 8yrs?!

    she had it removed at Oxford & is now fully recovered & is now working!

    well, life goes on & so do i.


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