June 03, 2004

It's My migraine, And I'll Curse If I Want To

Today I suffered a migraine, and a potent migraine it was. It was if Mike Tyson greeted me at my doorstep, recited some Shakespeare, and then gave me a solid uppercut. That would undoubtedly leave my head reeling because, really, who would have guessed Mike Tyson reads Shakespeare?

I've suffered migraines on and off since high school, with my first recollected headache occurring while sitting in my computer class in front of a Mac. At that time, I didn't know what a migraine was, so it was kind of scary to suddenly see flickering lights in my peripheral vision. What was going on? Was I going blind? Was I about to be abducted by aliens? Would I be anal probed?!!

Gradually, the flickering peripheral vision encroached further along my line of sight, until I could only really see, clearly, a six inch circle in front of me. I explained my symptoms to the school nurse, who informed me I was expeiencing a migraine, and that I wouldn't be anal probed. She told me to go home and sleep off the sparkling vision. But, she warned, I'd have a pretty bad headache after the hazy vision passed.

I stepped outside, into a sunny spring day, and I realized that migraines don't react well to sunlight. It was as though God had put a giant magnifying glass between the earth and the sun, and focused the beam on my retinas. I felt like a vampire as I loped my way home, shielding my eyes from the cruel daytime orb, wishing for all the world that I had a dark cape.

Once home, I curled up on the couch and settled in for nap. In my mind, it seemed like a fair trade-off that, in exchange for some sparkling vision, I got half the day off from school and I got to take a nap. Pretty good deal.

A couple hours later, I awoke. And I awoke to the most cruel, piercing headache I'd ever experienced. It was is if every childhood bump, bruise, scrape, cut and illness had all gotten together for a reunion party right between my eyes, behind the bridge of my nose.

Oh, it was such exquisite pain! And I couldn't get away from it. I couldn't walk into the kitchen and leave the headache behind in the living room. I couldn't go back to sleep because, man, I had this really bad headache. It was one of those headaches that is so terribly bad, the only thing you can think of is how bad the headache is, which of course just makes it worse.

I attacked the medicine cabinet like a junkie needing a fix. I located the aspirin and tried that. Nothing. I located the Tylenol and tried that. Nothing. Surely there was a loaded pistol, or at least a sledgehammer somewhere in the cabinet! Anything to put an end to that unreal headache!

Nowadays, when I feel a migraine coming on, I hit the medicine cabinet right away, before I even settle in for a pre-emptive nap. I find that it helps alleviate some of the ensuing headaching nightmare, which is where I'm at right now.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I can't write any more. I have a headache, you see.

Posted by Ryan at June 3, 2004 02:57 PM

Its Steve Jobs' fault, you got your first one while working on a Mac!

Macs Cause Migraines!

Maybe not. Hope you don't have bad dreams about anal probes and jackhammers.

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at June 3, 2004 03:31 PM

Imitrex is the best drug for migraines EVER. However, it is the most expensive drug for migraines EVER. If you've got good insurance you should ask your dr. about it. Pain is gone in 15-20 minutes and you don't feel doped up afterward. You can go on with your day like it never happened. It's been a miracle drug for me.

Posted by: Mel at June 3, 2004 03:37 PM

I feel you. Turns out that I get exersion migraines.... either that or my carotid artery is becoming plugged. Either way the last week has been hell for me with many a migraine making me quite cranky. Did you experience nausea with your migraine? I will on ocassion and it's wonderful to feel like puking all the while your head is throbbing. Yay for pain!

Posted by: Rick at June 3, 2004 04:16 PM

I had migraines until I went off the pill, which is obviously not your problem, but I feel your pain. Migraines are the worst, it's like someone has a claw hammer on the inside of your head and they are using the claw part.
The only and I mean ONLY good thing about them is that when they finally do go away, the whole world seems brighter and sharper. Isn't that weird.
Also they say if you have sex sometimes it will make it go away because of the rush of blood to other areas, and if nothing else, it might take your mind off it for a second, which is better than nothing....never worked for me though.
Poor Ryan, cheese sammiches coming up. Would you like tomato soup with that?

Posted by: Donna at June 3, 2004 11:55 PM

Sorry, that was David that needed sammiches...

Posted by: Donna at June 3, 2004 11:58 PM

I've been tortured by migraines for almost 21 yrs now, since I was 7 yrs old. Sometimes they are so excruciating that I can't lay still. The only sure remedy is for me to take ibuprofen as soon as possible and to then climb into a sensory deprevation chamber or a reasonable facsimile thereof--usually my bed with an as-hot-as-I-can-stand wet washcloth sealed across my eyes followed by a pillow pressed down around the top of my head so as to block out all sound and light. If I do this early enough in the attack, I can usually go to sleep and wake up a few hours later without feeling as if my eyes are about to explode out of my skull. But if I wait to long, the nausea sets in big time. We were showing some visiting friends around downtown once when I began to feel the first twinges of pain. I didn't want to spoil the day so I hoped it would just be a regular, tolerable headache. Nope. A few hours later, we were waiting at the bus stop to head home. I tried to be all Zen and go to my happy place to keep from throwing up which was working ok...until my husband good naturedly offered me a doughnut. Luckily, there was a garbage can about ten feet away. I almost made it throught the 20 minute bus ride before I got sick again,this time in a thoughtfully provided plastic shopping bag. Finally, home and sweet, sweet oblivion.
Yep...migraines suck.

Posted by: A fellow migraine sufferer at June 4, 2004 01:26 PM
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