Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shades, Visors and Migraines: Week I Experiment

Sometimes I think I am tougher in terms of Migraines than I really am. I find it hard to do some of the things I should be doing to keep myself healthy in terms of Migraines. Usually at these times it's because it could be a little embarrassing.

I've decided to do a little experiment which will take me a couple of weeks to complete. I started off this week very small which I believe I will be the most inconspicuous. We'll see what happens as I change or add to this week after week during my testing.

I chose to do the experiment right after I had started shopping today and I could feel that familiar ball forming on the inside of my left forehead along with the numbness and tingling creeping down from my eye, over my cheek and toward my mouth. I know what I need to do while shopping. At the very least, I need to wear my sunglasses and/or a hat. I can't avoid going to the supermarket.

I go food shopping every week. If you know me, you know how I feel about lights and the supermarket lights are definitely no exception to my light rule. Lights are no good to the point where I have been called many 'dark' names because of my light aversion. I know what I need to do, but let's face it, it can be embarrassing to walk up and down the aisles with hats and/or shades on.

Bottom line is - it is stupid to abuse yourself by not doing what is right for you; by not doing something within your control to help your health.

I have also just come off of 12 days of Migraines and know I need to keep my head chilled down. The first eight days were straight Migraine and then the next four were day by day Migraines. Yesterday was my first Migraine free day and I wanted to try to keep it that way today.

This first week, I only put on the clip on shades onto my regular glasses while I went food shopping.

I admit, this is a baby step, but it is a step in the right direction. Since the shades clip onto my regular glasses, they aren't as noticeable and I can be viewed as being absentminded; at least that's how I like to look at it. As soon as I put the shades on, it started cooling down that usual process a little - the knot inside my forehead and the numbness spreading on my face. I know I need more than these little clip ons, but this is step one and the experiment for week one.

I wanted to observe the people around me in the store and how they reacted as I shopped. I figured I had nothing to lose except maybe an oncoming Migraine which I could definitely afford to lose! I have worn full blown sunglasses for short periods of times in stores in the past, but usually got self conscious about them very quickly especially after some reactions I had gotten. I decided to start fresh today and may even add regular sunglasses into my experiment at the end. I'll see how brave I grow and how much better I feel after food shopping.

After I donned the shades, it was interesting to see the different reactions. Some people glared where they would take a long lingering look at me and then look away. Most had an instant glance where they quickly looked and then went about their shopping while others kept glancing back like they were trying not to be rude, but trying to figure out what was going on.

The most interesting reaction I got was from a neighbor. I have seen him a few times before at the store where he has always been friendly, but he's not a chit chat friendly type of a person. Today, he acted like he didn't even notice me. Believe me, you would still be able to recognize me with these little clip ons on and we walked right by each other. Of course I didn't say anything either. Maybe next week if I see him again as I continue my experiments and feel braver, I'll initiate some conversation. To be honest, this was a spur of the moment experiment and I am usually a planner so I am cutting myself some slack here.

I always like to turn things around too. I have seen others in the supermarket with their sunglasses on. I try to think of my reaction or how I could have been perceived. All I know is that when I have seen someone in the past, I have thought, "Wow, there is a brave person. I hope they're feeling ok today." I'm sure in the distant past my thoughts would have been a little different though.

This first week wasn't too bad and something I could or should definitely keep doing week after week at the store. I have to admit though, that I felt a little out of place in the beginning with these on and may not have been as observant as I would have liked. I may try just the clip ons again and with a little more confidence next week or maybe move onto just the hat or visor.

I was going to post this after I was totally finished my experiment, but changed my mind for a couple of reasons. The biggest reason is that it will force me to continue on with my personally embarrassing research. I can't really back out now because I've let my out intentions and will write about it as soon as I can.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Pretend you are somebody famous. They seem to think they are unrecognizable if they wear sunglasses, so maybe that's why your neighbor didn't say hi!!

MigrainePuppet said...

I think you're right! I don't think he recognized me... :-)