Monday, September 17, 2007

Hating my head

I hate migraines. They incapacitate me. I've tried I don't know how many medications to manage them by now. I've got medicine to prevent them, to stop them, to alleviate them, but nothing is working to my satisfaction. Well, to be honest, the only way I'm satisfied is if I'm not having a migraine. I just hate losing hours to pain that makes it feel like my head is going to explode, starting with pushing my right eye out of my skull. I don't like lying in a dark room because any trace of light stabs, and the sound of my cats and dogs running through the house is like thunder from a lightning strike inches from my ear.

I'm never more conscious of time being the inescapable measurement of life when I look at chunks of my life lost to migraines. I knew this one was coming Saturday. The auras started, ironically, while I was waiting in the Emergency Room while the womanchild was getting treated for her own migraine. Freaking genes! At least she knows to blame for handing her this problem. I don't get that way to vent. Not knowing my family medical history is my only real peeve about being adopted. These aren't like the auras I see around people sometimes. For me, it's as if the vision of Van Gogh collided with the melting clocks of Dali. The borders of everything extend beyond their actual limits and then get warped. My sense of smell becomes more acute, and certain aromas become intolerable. What that aroma might be is not truly consistent, but they tend to fall in the acidic range. Any sort of liquor, perfume, vinegar, cleaning solution, ammonia, or the litter box will start to unsettle my stomach.

I can feel the pain building, first a pressure low in my neck that's not related to muscle tension. This is deeper. If I'm lucky, I can stop it right there with medicine and conscious relaxation techniques. Oh, I'd love to learn true biofeedback and develop a greater mental mastery of my body. If I'm not lucky, the feeling moves into my head and I feel like my brain is being compressed. Sometimes, I can still stop it at this point, because the real pain is waiting to be unleashed. When that happens, the first signal is a moment of relief. The pressure is gone for only a moment, and then the right side of my head goes wild. I feel like a spike has been driven through my eye and the hemisphere of my brain that normally brings such a sense of peace and joy wants to escape my head any way possible. It throbs, it pounds, it pushes against my skull as if beating against it walls. Most throbbing pain is dull, even if intense. My migraine's throbbing is sharp, and each pulse stabs. My stomach joins in, and I regret having eaten anything ever in my life as I rush to make it to bathroom so I won't throw up on anything that's harder to clean than porcelain.

By this point, I've gone to the serious meds, and my time is lost to the fog and stupidity that painkillers bring. Staring blearily through miles of fuzz and feeling no control, I surrender to a void sleep that doesn't refresh but does render me unconscious while my body does what it must to find its livable balance again.

I feel like the last few days were stolen from me. I'm awake now, and my migraine has been beaten down to a small dissipating ache, but I'm as tired as if I haven't slept at all. My skin and my eyes seem to be almost the same shade of gray, and my hair is hanging limply in tangled strings.


Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Yuck! I loathe headaches, and I've never had a migraine. I can't even imagine (though this is a darn good description...)

Hope you're feeling better soon...and maybe some biofeedback or accupuncture/accupressure would be a good thing to investigate...?

September 18, 2007 12:51 AM  
Blogger more cows than people said...


well written- clearly horrible to experience.

i have constant headaches- some bad ones- but... nothing this bad.

September 18, 2007 7:19 AM  

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