Friday, August 04, 2006


Years ago, I had a terrible problem with migraines. For eighteen excruciating months, I went to bed with a migraine and woke up with it. My work days were interrupted frequently by my having to go vomit from the pain. I had the engineering department remove the fluorescent lights over my cubicle and replaced it with a small desk lamp. There's something about the pulse of a fluorescent light that makes migraines worse. I really thought I was going crazy. Then my department got eliminated, and once out of that environment, my migraines (a common affliction among the women in that office) seemed to disappear. They would pop up a few times a year, but that seemed a breeze compared to daily pain.

It's been a long time since I had a migraine, but Wednesday night, one started, and my trusty, highly recommended Excedrin Migraine just wouldn't put this monster to bed. It grew Thursday, and today, I ended up begging the husband to take me to the ER so I could get some relief. After a relatively brief intake, I was given a shot and a Vicodin and sent on my way. The last time I got a shot for a migraine, the first response was massive hunger, because the nausea ended quickly, and more than a day without food called for immediate relief. My next response was falling asleep before I could eat.

Not so today, I just got stoned. It took hours before the pain went away, but you know I just didn't care. It no longer mattered that my blood pressure had shot up from its normal 110/70 to 170/103. Neither did I care that I was left in the company of my mother-in-law. The family had their responsibilities and didn't want me alone. I also didn't care that I had to miss a mandatory meeting at work, and if I don't have a job on Monday, so be it. Now, my head just doesn't hurt, and that's enough. I see auras most of the time anyway, but when I have a migraine, they're not just around people. They're around everything. When the world is strange to you anyway, this is just bizarre. Sometimes it's beautiful, and sometimes it's a nightmare. I'm convinced Van Gogh had migraines because that's what the world looks like when my head is going to explode, beginning with pushing with my right eye out of its socket. The world looks normal again, and I just have that feeling that's right on the borderline of pleasant and gross that comes from being drugged.

I think that I'll spend my evening just staring. That sounds just about right, and I know that sleep will come sooner than I expect. That's a good thing.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Ewwww! What a nightmare. I've never had a migraine, but I've had some pretty acute headaches. I can't even imagine a headache that lasts for days.

Get some rest, my dear friend. And eat something. And don't go near any flourescent lights. And...stare.

August 05, 2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger silverlight said...

there are serveral new medictions for Migraines. talk to a doctor. I had migraines for thirty years, before something came on the market. I received help around 1992. But, I still had them, however the medication relieved them. I no longer have them. don't suffer, there is help.

August 05, 2006 12:46 AM  
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

I had migraines about ten years ago, so I know what they're like. I've taught classes under the influence of them and that was really tough. I'm sorry you're going through this, I really am. I never thought that Van Gogh's problems might have been migraines. I have read that he was probably bipolar, that sometimes people with biploar disorder experience hallucinations or psychotic breaks. But that's not to say he didn't have migraines too. Get well, okay?

August 05, 2006 12:48 AM  
Blogger redsneakz said...

That stoned feeling is so awful, isn't it. I only occasionally get migraines, thankfully.

Please get some doctor time, hon.

August 05, 2006 7:15 AM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

I just had a conversaion with someone who suffers mirgraines and was told they are hereditary. Know that does not help, but I have also heard they are caused by food allergies blah blah blah....hope you feel better soon.

August 05, 2006 7:17 AM  
Blogger Shelina said...

Oh my, I'm so sorry for your pain. I've had migraines like that once in a while, and I know how awful and dehabilitating they are. Mine usually go away after I vomit though, so I look forward to vomiting. Eating I can do with a migraine and after. I've had headaches recently - I think it has to do with the air quality alerts due to the heat. I thought they would go away with the rain, but they continued on. But luckily they weren't migraines. I hope that whatever is causing your pain goes away pronto!

August 05, 2006 11:23 AM  
Blogger Globetrotter said...

Poor thing! I've only had migraines when I was pregnant and they were enough to wish for instant death.

A Vicodin high is quite pleasant, I discovered by accident, after slipping a disc in ballet class a few years ago.

Sometimes total oblivion is required. Other times, just getting high is enough. Even if the administering friends are just medics in the emergency ward, lol!

Afternoon with the mother-in-law? Quick! Crawl under the covers and helllllllucinate your heart out till she leaves!

I truly hope you feel better soon, lady!

August 06, 2006 3:36 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

I was a migraine sufferer from around age 15 to age 42 or so. My mother and her mom both suffered from them. So guess what their legacy to me was?

I used to average one killer a month, more depending on eating and sleep patterns. It took me a year or so to narrow down my list of truiggers. Luckily, stress was not one of them. I tried every medication in the book, and had problems with almost all of them, too. Most recently, when I get an aura (a sort of warning where everything kind of tilts and my neck stiffens up, about a half hour before the pain starts), I take three or four Advil and drink as much strong (like, chewy) coffee as I can stand. Then, I lie down - if I can - for about an hour in a dark, quiet room. That usually makes it pass. If I'm at work, I turn down the lights and put on my sunglasses (I am VERY light sensitive during a migraine). That's the cue to the kids that "Mr. A." is having a bad day, and it might behoove y'all to be nice to me.

A drastic change in our family's eating habits seems to have helped: we eliminated a lot of the bread from our diet, and one side-effect, besides losing weight, was a decrease in the severity and frequency of my migraines. There's evidence that one migraine trigger that many folks may have is a sensitivity to wheat, esp. the white processed kind.

Certain kinds of lighting are frequent triggers. I have had two students in the past year who had problems with the lighting in our school.

If you haven't had a migraine for a long time, and suddenly had one come on, and you can't figure out what may have set it off, you might want to see a doctor. My rule is never mess with something involving your coconut.

Feel better!

August 07, 2006 9:30 PM  

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