Migraines run in my family. I guess they are genetic. My dad gets them, my grandmother did, my children get them…and I do. And they are absolutely debilitating. Especially when you are business travel.
- “Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other
- Sensitivity to light, noise or odors
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Sensations of being very warm or cold
- Fever (rare)
- Bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines (aura)”
And I can tell you that I’ve personally experienced all of these (except fever).
When you travel for work as much as I do you are bound to get a headache on a trip. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed in that I don’t get them all that often and I know my triggers. For me the combination of dehydration, lack of caffeine and mistiming food can trigger a nasty one.
Usually if I catch it in time I can make it out ok.
But a few years back, I didn’t. It was a flight to Florida (maybe the sheer terror of a Florida airport in the summer triggered it…haha). It was an early flight so I was tired. As I usually do I tend to dehydrate myself before I fly (I hate having to go to the bathroom multiple times when I am on an airplane so I drink water the night before…then not much on the plane or in the morning before the flight).
I woke up late and as a result didn’t get my coffee. Strike two.
I did scarf a small meal down before I jumped on the plane and a swig of coffee, but things were already in motion. Because my ATL layover was tight I did not have enough time to get a proper lunch or refuel on coffee. So on my flight to Tampa it hit me. Blinding pain, blurry vision and a wave of nausea.
The flight was bumpy so I couldn’t get up to get my magic elixir: Aleve. But I did wash down a quick coffee from the service.
I was in agony. By the time I got off the plane I was ready to die. But I had a customer meeting that night which I had to bail on. By this time the window to catch the migraine was gone. I was going to ride this one out.
The pain was so intense I couldn’t sleep, but I knew I needed food. I ordered room service and ate what I could (promptly vomiting it back up). An unhealthy cocktail of water, Aleve and Tylenol PM finally did the trick. And by trick I mean knocked me out (not get rid of the headache).
I must have got 3 hours of sleep max.
But the headache was gone in the AM and like a trooper I made my event, gave my speech (although not my best one) and got back on the plane.
What’s your travel horror story? Join the conversation by leaving a comment or join us on social media @CBoardingGroup.com.
And please check out our all of our travel hacks, travel tips and other great advice for the corporate traveler.