The Pain in my Brain

The last two weeks I have suffered from four (yes, as in not 1 or 2 or even 3 but 4!) migraine headaches. Including today, as in I am currently writing this with a migraine headache. The worst part is there is the migraine headache and then the subsequent "hangover" headaches I get for anywhere from one to three days after the actual migraine part of the headache is gone.

So if you are following along and doing the math, that means there are times I have horrible, life-altering, headaches for multiple days (even a week) at a time. And no, I am not being overly dramatic and exaggerating by saying life-altering. Clearly you have never had a migraine if this is what you were thinking.

I can recall my first migraine more vividly than I can recall my first kiss or losing my virginity. It was that horrible. I was in the 8th grade when the flashing spots appeared in my eyes leaving me practically blind. I had to be escorted to the nurses office since I couldn't see a thing in front of me. At this point, there was no headache. Just blindness and I was scared something was really wrong with my vision.

My Mom came to pick me up and assured me it was a migraine headache and when I told her my head didn't hurt she warned me it would. She wasn't kidding. I made it home without throwing up in her car and she put me in her bed, told me to put a pillow over my eyes and shut her curtains. I laid there in complete darkness for hours. Any light, movement or noise would cause me excruciating pain. I remember thinking I never wanted a migraine again.

I have suffered from these headaches ever since. I have ever been able to track a pattern with when I get them (some are hormonal and women get them right before their period every month, etc.) Not me. Mine would come whenever and leave me useless for days at a time. The worst was when I was pregnant and then the hormones obviously were part of the trigger. I had a horrible migraine the day I went into labor with Jack (yeah, a migraine and child birth in the same day, sounds awesome huh?) and then the last month or so of my pregnancy with Joey I had migraines several times a week because I was in preterm labor. The best part is the doctors gave me drugs to stop labor but I was left to suffer through the headaches without so much as an Advil. Bastards.

These headaches run in my family and I have been seeing my doctor for them for years. No typical migraine drugs work for me. They either make me sick to my stomach or don't alleviate the headache at all. All that is left is full-blown narcotic pain killers which are great at knocking me out so I can sleep (which usually helps my head) but I can't take them and function. By function I mean go to work, care for my kids and drive them to school and so forth. Which means unless my migraine hits at bedtime, I am screwed.

The pain is enough to make me go mad and after several days of it you start to believe your head just may never feel good again. The worst of it is the aura's I get in my vision and these blinding spots, flashing lights and zig-zagging lines make me nauseous and crazy.

This is how I have spent the better part of the last two weeks. Paralyzed by a headache and walking around wearing my sunglasses when it is gray and gloomy out because OH MY GOD IT IS BRIGHT OUT! Everything is too bright, too loud and nothing makes me feel better. Not the handfuls of Advil I am washing down with caffeine-filled Mt. Dew and not the sunglasses or dark rooms.

If this keeps up any longer I am going to be admitted to the psych ward and locked in a room with padded walls. Surely banging my head on them has got to feel better than this. In the meantime, I need to continue working and taking care of my small people hoping my head doesn't explode until after my husband gets home from work. This sucks....

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