Posts Tagged ‘Migraine Headaches’

Me, now.

I can even write awesome titles when my brain is on fire.

See, I’ve been getting migraines for years. I have one now. My head hurts so badly that everything outside of a small clear circle where I focus my eyes is a blur, like heat you see coming off a highway in the summer. I can’t sleep because I can’t hold my head still long enough. For the first time, I thought I’d just write. Maybe it’ll help, who knows.

But I doubt it.

As I said, I’ve been getting migraines for as long as I can remember. They come in clusters usually, maybe 3 or 4 in a week or two. God, I hope this isn’t the first of a cluster.

When people find out I get headaches, they offer remedies. They mean well but believe me when I tell you I’ve tried everything. All the meds, chiropractors, ice, injections, massages, homemade potions, prayer, the works. The only thing I haven’t tried is accupuncture, which I’m seriously considering.

And no, dark rooms, avoiding smoke, avoiding certain foods, none of that has worked either.

Oh, and I know what you’re thinking. I eliminated Grey Goose as a cause years ago. It’s a good thing, too, for that would have been tragic.

A few years ago I went to a Migraine Clinic in Cleveland. I was probed, prodded, had CAT Scans, bloodwork, had dye shot into my veins, ran a treadmill (?) and had a gazillion other tests run. The good news is I was told that, as far as being physically fit, I was in the top 1% of my age group (humblebrag alert!). The bad news is they couldn’t figure out what was causing my migraines.

At the clinic I was told to keep a journal. For a year I recorded everything that might even be remotely migraine related. What I’d eaten, the weather, personal issues, where I’d been. Other than finding out I ate a hell of a lot of Cheeze-Its, all my notes added up to nothing. The headache docs read the journal and could make zero connection between anything I recorded and my migraines.

If I feel a headache coming on during the day I can usually nip it in the bud with some meds. Some of you may recognize this, but when certain migraines start you get what’s called an aura around your head. An aura feels like a bulbous presence surrounding your head, gently pressing in from all sides. Weird, I know, but I bet some of you know what I’m talking about. And sometimes I’ll feel a gentle “click” in the back of my head, like someone flipped a light switch. I swear it feels like somebody’s turning on my migraine.

The doctors are obviously familiar with the aura, hence it having a name. The click? When I mentioned it the experts looked at me like I had a marmocet sitting on my head. They thought it may have something to do with an upper spine problem, but quickly ruled that out after an x-ray.

The click remains a mystery.

Like I say, if I feel one coming on I can usually (but not always) stop it in its tracks. My worst migraines come when I wake up with one. If I wake up and the headache has taken root I’m in trouble. Big trouble.

I guess I get a certain look when I’m getting or already have a migraine. We have a secretary at school who has been there since I started in the Paint Valley District, and all I have to do is walk in the office and she knows.

On a related note, my dog Sparky tries his best to help when I’m hurting. He gets on my lap, whimpers, and licks my head. I let him because it really feels good.

Sparky knows.

People always want a description of my migraines, and it’s odd but they’re almost all different. Sometimes the pain is in the base of my skull, sometimes the forehead, often the temples, and once in awhile right on the top of my head. I know, weird. Sometimes the pain originates in the front and goes slowly to the back, like creeping death.

With a really vicious migraine, the pain even seeps down into my neck and shoulders. Believe me, that’s no fun.

The women who have known me will tell you that I’m not a real good person to be around when I’m sick, migraine or otherwise. And not because I don’t want to be bothered, but because I want attention. What can I say, I like to be taken care of when I don’t feel good. If that makes me a baby, well, so be it. The problem with me is, if you’re not giving me the attention I feel I need I’ll seek you out in an attempt to get it. Yeah, that’s pretty annoying.

So sorry, every woman I’ve ever known.

Can’t I get points for honesty? Geez . . .

Anyway, in this case I’m not looking for sympathy or anything, I just thought it might help to write a little, get my mind off my current headache.

Alas, nothing.

My head still hurts, damn it.

But hey, it was worth a try.