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Since moving from NYC to southern California, life has been easier in lots of ways. I wear jeans and a t-shirt daily, no longer get shoved in the subway, and finally have access to quality burritos. But the driving, pollen, and weather changes have proven to be taxing on my body, and I get some pretty bad migraines as a result.

Yesterday I woke up with severe pain on the top left portion of my head. As I told my boyfriend Ian, it felt like a rock was shaking around in there, but I figured eating some toast would help me feel better. As soon as I got back to my own house, I was vomiting in the bathroom, and I didn’t stop until 6: 30 p.m., when I dragged myself to Vons to buy some Gatorade and saltines. You see, I was so ill from the migraine that I dehydrated myself, and I couldn’t even drink water without spitting it right back up and shaking uncontrollably. In the checkout line, I asked for two bags. One for my purchases and another for, well, you know. As soon as I hopped into the car, I got sick once again, but after drinking the Gatorade, all was well. Sometimes water simply isn’t enough to nurse you back to health.

My mom was visiting from northern California, so I met her at the hotel at 7:15. An hour later, she said I looked 100 percent better and that the color had returned to my face, perhaps because I’d eaten almost an entire sleeve of saltines and downed one of my Gatorades. When Ian met us for dinner, he mentioned that I didn’t look like myself, which made me laugh because my mother had just said I looked way healthier. I skipped my entree but had some coffee and ice cream, which totally hit the spot. My energy returned and I was functional again. But I also knew to be more careful for the next migraine.

If your migraines are so awful that you throw up, remember to drink water no matter what. If you can’t keep that down, have some Gatorade on hand to fill you with electrolytes. Whatever you do, don’t sit around thinking it will all be over with some sleep. I made that mistake and ended up foaming at the mouth on my bathroom floor. Having lived in southern Arizona, I’ve had some terrible cases of dehydration before, but nothing like this. I promise not to put myself through it ever again, and the ways to avoid migraines for me are:

1. drinking enough water

2. getting enough sleep

3. not skipping meals

4. having 1-2 cups of coffee per day

Happy to say this perked me up in the evening, but coupled with the excess rest I had in the evening, I had trouble falling asleep last night:

Keurig coffee maker

Keurig coffee maker

Coffee and Gatorade will never let you down.

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