Browse Category: Migraines

Day 2

decaf is poopy
Oy! My head!

The Morning

I started my day with a big cup of… NOTHING.

That’s right. I had to be at physical therapy at 7 AM. I figured, since I’m not drinking coffee right now, there’s no point to getting up early. I got up at 6:18, showered, and drove to my appointment – almost getting killed on the way be some numbnuts who pulled out of the high school while I was passing someone on the right. No, it’s not my fault. I have no, well minimal, caffeine in my system.

BONK! Right in the Head!

At 10:30 AM, I noticed a little spot in my vision.

I was afraid this might happen if I inflicted this cruel and unusual punishment of no caffeine upon my body. A doctor once told me, “Migraines are finicky when it comes to caffeine. If your body is used to a certain level and you have too much more or too much less, it could trigger a migraine.” You have to keep your caffeine level steady, more or less. Rather, not more or less.

At the time of this writing, 2:51 PM, my condition is not too bad overall. My head hurts and I feel a bit wiped out. But I’m getting work done. (Actually, I’m not getting work done exactly right now because I’m writing this blog post.) I think I’ll live. AND the Mrs. Snyder and I are going out on a date tonight. So that makes me feel better too!

Defeating My Own Purpose

Here’s the kicker of this medical interruption today. I’m avoiding caffeine to see if it helps my body be less tense. My body reacts with a migraine. Then I take my pills so I can cope with the way my body feels. And guess what is in my pills… A TON OF CAFFEINE! I have defeated my own purpose today.

To be objective, there could be several different reasons why this migraine came today. Typically, when I get a migraine, the weather is nice and clear with a high pressure system. It’s like that today. Often I get migraines due to highly stressful circumstances. MY CURRENT LIFE = HIGHLY STRESSFUL CIRCUMSTANCES. Avoiding caffeine is one attempt at helping how I react to those circumstances.

I did have a cup of caffeinated green tea while writing this. What the heck now, right? But I’m not going to have coffee. That would not merely defeat my purpose. It would DESTROY it.

UPDATE @ 6:01 PM

Migraine Season

“3 AM” – 18″ x 24″, oil pastels, watercolor on paper (2016)

It must be migraine season. After three months without one, I’ve now had two in this first week of May. When it rains, it pours. This one got me at 2:30 AM.

The weather may actually be the culprit. We’ve had some rainy days lately. If there’s any consistent pattern of a migraine trigger for me, it’s changes in weather. Specifically, it’s the change from low pressure rainy periods to high pressure clear weather periods. After the rain clears and the sky is clear or has clouds that are thin and miles high, that seems to be a prime time for my head to cave in. A high pressure system did move in sometime during the night.

Before waking up at 2:30 AM, I had a dream that there was a light shining in my left eye. The odd thing was that I could only see that light when I closed my eye. When I opened it, the light wasn’t there. I puzzled over this in the dream. Then I woke up to “see” that I had an aura going on. I say “see” in quotes because the aura is there whether I open or close my eyes. Is that really “seeing?” The mildly unnerving aspect of waking up at night with an aura is that it makes me question whether my eyes are really open or not. Am I even awake or am I still dreaming?

When I notice an aura in my “vision,” I take migraine medicine as soon as possible. But at 2:30 in the morning, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of swallowing those big capsules. They aren’t as bad as the big chalky pills I used to take. (You can read about how I nearly choked to death on one of those while at work: “Super Bowl Sunday/Death by Migraine.”) I just didn’t have the energy to get out of bed to get the capsules. The baby woke up at that time too. My wife changed him and got him back to sleep. I had difficulty getting back to sleep and contemplated getting up to make coffee. But what would I do downstairs alone in the middle of the night? So I just stayed in bed slowly morphing into a zombie and eventually falling asleep.

At this point in the day, I’m doing okay. I’ve had two cups of coffee (so far). I’ve had eggs and toast for breakfast. I feel a bit worn out. My head doesn’t hurt all that bad. I’ve been able to get some work done and write this blog post. Looks like I’ll live.

As for the artwork above, it was created after having a middle-of-the-night migraine a few years ago. That piece was accepted into an exhibit at Atlantic Healthcare Systems last year. I was honored that the piece was used on the exhibit flyers. You can view the exhibit catalog here.

More of my migraine art can be found at Here are a few pieces that I drew after nighttime migraines.

“5 AM” – drawing in private journal (2008)
“Clock Strikes Migraine” – drawing in private journal (2010)
“Axed” – drawing in private journal (2011)

Some Mornings

Some mornings are just like that…

Some mornings, I get up and the sun is shining and the birds are singing, and the William Tell Overture is floating softly through the hills.

Like in this video:

But some mornings things go awry right from the get-go.

Like this morning when I heard the baby waking up and I promptly went to the kitchen to prepare a delicious wholesome bottle for the child. I would let the bottle warm while I went to his room to greet him, William Tell emanating from the very earth around us. I would change his diaper and freshen his bottom before he had a chance to fret. He would smile at his daddy. I would smile back. He would smile again.

I pulled the bottle out of the fridge and in one swift motion the damn thing slipped from my grasp and propelled itself toward the floor like a Grade-A-Vitamin-D-Added-Homogenized Kamikaze!

“Oh, fffffffffffudge!!!!!!”

“Only I didn’t say fudge. I said THE word. The big one. The queen mother of dirty words. The F-dash-dash-dash word.”

Like this:

I threw up my hands in defeat. Then I threw in the towel. Literally. Hell, I threw in multiple towels.

The baby? Oh, he went back to sleep for another hour.

I don’t blame him.

This situation reminds me of “Super Moist Fat Tuesday.” Incidentally, I have a migraine as I did that day too. Spilling copious amounts of liquids must be a migraine symptom. I’m good at it, apparently.

Super Moist Fat Tuesday

Let’s Make a Cake

I was going to post this picture and leave it at that. Fat Tuesday. Let’s eat cake. Ha ha. Super moist. Ha ha.

Then the universe tilted and things truly did become super moist. I spilled a nice, fresh, steaming hot mug of coffee all over half the kitchen.


As if that wasn’t bad enough, the coffee leaked through the chair and my baby beat me to the puddle.

#PARENTINGFAIL (Yes, that’s food on his sleeve. He sneezed out sweet potatoes shortly before the coffee fiasco.)

I chalked it up to FEELING LIKE THIS FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME. My head was no longer in the game by 3 PM. The gray matter had left the building.

But I managed to regroup. I made another cup of coffee and washed it down with this…

Cake Makes Everything Better

I’ll take a disasterous Fat Tuesday to be the harbinger of a meaningful Lenten season.