Migraine Disease and Traveling: How I Survived My Trip to Ireland

Nancy Harris Bonk Health Guide
  • My daughter Sarah's high school graduation was in June. My sister gave her a week's trip to Ireland. To say the least, Sarah is the apple of my sister's eye! She also said anyone else who wanted to go could - meaning me and my mother - but at our own expense. 


    My mom was "in" right away and of course I wanted to go. But with Sarah starting college in the fall, and finances being as tight as they are, I really didn't see it as an option.  This was going to be the trip of a lifetime my mom kept telling me, three generations. And she was right. So as mom's (and dad's too, I'm sure his hand was in this) tend to do, they found a way for me to go. I'm not sure how I'll be able to express my thanks enough. Ireland was amazing. Spending time with my mom, sister and 18-year old daughter for a week was wonderful.

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    I was a bit nervous about my head, I must admit. It hasn't been really cooperative lately.

    My bags were packed with all the necessary tools Migraineurs need when traveling. MAPP - Migraine Action Plan and Pack has wonderful tips for traveling that  I used.  Diana E. Lee's blog -Somebody Heal Me  "14 tips for chronically ill travelers" has a wealth of information for the traveler. 


    We left Friday July 18, driving four hours to my mom's house to spend the night. While I  was driving I got a Migraine, which hasn't happened before. At first I couldn't believe it, so I continued to drive. Then I realized this was not a smart move, and the pain was increasing, so we stopped at a rest stop, I took a Relpax, and Sarah continued the drive. My Migraine was aborted, leaving me a bit postdromal, (see Anatomy of a Migraine for the four phases of a Migraine attack) for the rest of the day.


    Saturday we got up, drove three hours to JFK airport and flew to Ireland. No Migraine. Ireland is just as green and beautiful as I imagined. We met my mom's cousin in a pub called Durty Nelly's, my daughter had her first Guinness, we survived driving on the wrong side of the road and I didn't get another Migraine.


    We were absolutely exhauted flying home. Sleeping on a seven-hour plane ride is not my idea of a good time. The flight was problem-free, but the three-hour car ride back to my mom's, not so much. I won't go into detail, but by the end of the ride my eyes looked like they were sunken into the back of my head. And dark circles, WOW, I've never looked like that before in my life. Then a twinge came, you know, the one that says, take your abortive NOW or you are going to be in big trouble. This time I actually listened to my inner self. I was able to abort a Migraine and carry on (somewhat) with the day.


    It was a fabulous trip, a once in a life time event, and I will cherish each memory. Thank you to my mom and dad for making it possible to go, and my sister and Sarah for being fun to travel with.

Published On: July 24, 2008