Fluorescent lights, new furniture smells, swarms of shoppers wandering without regard to others, groups enraptured by the store’s wonders and standing in the walkway, the inability to get through the store without walking the predefined path. The joys of Ikea. Despite these obstacles, I like the place.
It’s just that I have a meltdown nearly every time I shop at Ikea. The plethora of migraine triggers and my inability to regulate time or make decisions while I’m there add to the aforementioned obstacles.
I strategize before each Ikea excursion. I need:
- To eat enough ahead of time to sustain me
- Caffeine, but not too much
- A large, full water bottle
- To go when the store opens
- Hart, to keep me on track (although this often backfires as he is mesmerized by the possibilities)
I usually don’t follow my guidelines. This was no exception. I’d eaten, but was hungry by the time I parked. I ordered three shots in my latte instead of the usual two. My large water bottle was dirty, so I had to settle for the 14 ouncer. The sunglasses spent more time on top of my head than on my face. I arrived an hour after the store opened. Hart was at work.
I kind of stuck with the plan and it seems to have worked. No shaking, fuming or tears. No migraine. I did however, buy more curtains than I have windows to cover. The kicker is that I ran an hour of errands afterward, drove the 30 minutes home and rested for another 30; then I wrote for two hours before picking Hart up.
The day after wasn’t even too bad. My head was bad in the morning, but no other symptoms were present. I met Hart for lunch and ran some errands. I felt icky and headachy in the afternoon, so I rested for a bit between doing things around the house.
It was a big accomplishment. I feel like I can tackle the trip to return the extra curtains. If I adhere to my strategy even better, I might achieve a greater level of accomplishment.