I’ll Never Ditch My Microwave. Why? Migraines

published Mar 13, 2017
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(Image credit: Sophie Timothy)

I can never have a kitchen that doesn’t have a microwave. It’s just not an option. And that’s not because I spend my evenings heating up frozen dinners or containers of leftovers (although the latter is sometimes true!). In fact, it has nothing to do with food at all.

The reason I’ll never have a kitchen that doesn’t have a microwave is because I suffer from frequent and intense migraines. What do my headaches have to do with a microwave? The only combination of things that get me relief happen to be drugs (of the prescription variety, which I’m very safe with, of course!) and my little heat bag.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

It’s a little bag (not unlike this one) filled with rice, seeds, and presumably magic. I microwave it for two minutes and it comes out piping hot. After a few seconds, I can put it on my head and the pain temporarily goes away. Take it off, and the pain is back.

Sure, the directions technically say it can go in the oven — and almost all apartments (except for one we just looked at!) have ovens — but I just don’t have the time to wait for an oven to heat up. One two-minute stint in the microwave is usually enough to get me two hours of relief while I wait for the medicine to kick in.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

In my house it’s affectionately known as “my bag” and my husband always knows exactly where to find it and how to nuke it while I writhe around in bed. I use it — and in turn, my microwave — so much that I probably cuddle with it more than my deserving husband.

I’ve used these bags since I was a teenager; my mom found them at a hallway kiosk at our local mall. My first few (they eventually get holes in them and leak their guts all over your bed) had a weird celestial pattern on them and smelled like weird medicine. Luckily the smell eventually wears off, as I’m very sensitive to scents — especially when I have a migraine. My current bag? Well it’s much prettier and smelled more like way-less-offensive lavender when I first got it.

Note: I’m also always cold and like to microwave the bag and crawl into bed with it even on nights I don’t have a headache. It heats my sheets like those old-timey bed warmers. And it’s safer than, say, an electric blanket.

Buy: Heat Pillows, $36 at Tonic Australia

Are you as attached to your microwave as I am? What do you use it for?