Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mall of Migraine Triggers

I had to go to the mall. Despite my efforts to avoid it, I found myself in need of 3 items I just couldn't seem to find at my usual haunts. I knew one stop at the mall and I would have what I needed, but I HATE going to the mall.

The mall is full of migraine triggers. The shoppers and employees wearing way too much perfume. The stores selling candles, scented lotions and the like, wafting into the hallways. The constant assault on the eyes from exposure to florescent lights, spot lights and even sunlight coming in through skylights. The screaming toddlers either having a meltdown or just overexcited in the play area. Trying to avoid and politely decline the gauntlet of kiosk salespeople attempting to get you to try their lotion or straighten your hair. Then in the stores you have to be on guard as the clerks try to determine what brought you in, how they can help and how they can get your personal information in exchange for an occasional coupon or notice of sales.

I only go when absolutely necessary and I always leave feeling frustrated, exhausted and wishing I never had to go back. Then within a couple hours of returning home, a migraine settles in and I start cursing the mall and all the trouble it causes.

It's always the same story despite my efforts of minimize my exposure to triggers. I always go right when the stores open to guarantee a great parking spot and to minimize the crowds, I wear my shades, I wear comfortable shoes, I always know right where I'm going and go directly there and I bring water if I know it will take a while. I do all the right things and that helps but I always still get a migraine and I always have a bad time.

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