Always follow your nose, even when it’s playing tricks on you…

before and after better

It was late July, one afternoon, when while putting away laundry a foul odor seeped up my nostrils. The smell was the unmistakable stench of my cat’s poop. I followed it hoping to recover the source and my cat’s betrayal, but after turning the entire room nearly upside down I found nothing. Yet, the smell remained strong as ever. I called in reinforcements. My mom stepped into the room and after a few seconds of surveying the scene turned to me and said, “I don’t smell anything.” That was odd, but what could I do? I moved on with my afternoon and to my relief the smell eventually went away. While joining my mom in watching a movie that same afternoon I started smelling the foul odor again. “You don’t smell that?” I asked. She shook her head, with a slight look of concern. What, was I going crazy? Nearly seconds after that the very familiar cloudy starry-eyed sensation took over and soon after that I was suffering from the searing pain of a migraine.

We are all well aware of the fact that our eyes can play tricks on us. Some of us can even attest to the fact that sometimes we hear things, letting our imagination get the best of us. But do we ever think to distrust our noses? I know I sure didn’t. It wasn’t until I was googling symptoms associated with migraines that I came across phantosmia or, an olfactory hallucination. Those that frequently experience migraines may notice they start to experience clear warning signs up to an hour before, for some maybe even a day or two before. Symptoms such as seeing spots, stars, or blurred vision, yawning an unusual amount, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, the sensation of pins and needles in your hands, and even phantosmia, are all likely to occur.

After adding all that up, I went to my doctor and was properly diagnosed with experiencing migraines. My doctor sent me home with a prescription for sumatriptan succinate. I waited for the warning signs to occur again and quickly popped one of those fat pills in my mouth and sat back hoping to feel its relief. I honestly felt worse, sure my migraine went away within an hour, but I was left with the worst trip (there’s no real other word for it than that) of my life. Vowing to never take that pill again I found numerous natural remedies. Now aided with the right information about migraines and how to pay attention to the warning signs (and keeping the house fully stoked with lemons and lemon and mint tea) I can say I haven’t had a migraine in six months…knock on wood!

*Thanks for reading! Sincerely,


*Image is based on Andy Warhol’s “Before and After” taken from a generic google search*


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