BEING 40+…chronicle of a migraine headache

ANATOMY OF MY MIGRAINE HEADACHE

It can’t be, please God, this is not how it always begins… No flashing lights, no going blind in one eye

Next thing I knew I was pressing my head between my hand and my pillow, like you press play doh on a table, with all your might… The pain could not be worse, in fact, I did not feel my hand hurting me, it was a bit of relief to feel the direct pressure…

It was Sunday, April 28,2013…

The pain started in the back of my left eye, extended over my left ear, behind it and all the way down my neck… 12+ hours of unrelentless pain…

In the midst of it I trembled and sobbed and heard my inner voice beg my brain to keep still and to be quiet, to stop thinking because thinking made it hurt more…I remember having this vision of pushing a wall and saying silence, silence, over and over again…the wall was my incessant thoughts.

I tried to figure out what triggered it…I tried to organize the next couple of hours when I’d be alone with my children: what would they eat? Would they go to school? Would I be able to get up the next day? Will this pain go away? Why isn’t the pill working? Why can’t I stop thinking? I need SILENCE…

My husband was going back to Mexico City for the week so he decided to call my mom… she’s got first hand experience with this, so as soon as she saw me lying in bed she got to work… And then my brain started up again: see what you are doing, why does your mom have to put up with this? Why can’t you control it? You need to find out what you did to get into this mess and avoid it like the plague, this can’t happen again at least not any time soon…life can’t come to a complete stand still for you…mom can’t come and nurse your migraine, she’s got a life you know!

And then COLD… I felt as if my head had shriveled up a bit under the cold towel that my mom had placed on my head… COLD RELIEF…”I’ll be back in a few minutes to change the towel”, she said and left…dark, cold, less pain, I drifted off…

Another shot of COLD brought me back from a coma-like state, my mom had changed the towel and was explaining to my daughter how to do it…”why is the towel so hot? She doesn’t have a fever” said my daughter… And I drifted off again

I have no idea how many times they changed my cold compresses

My husband left for the airport, my mom stayed till 9pm, bathed my son… my daughter contacted her teacher on facebook to explain the situation at home and the possibility of not being able to come in to school the next day… “No worries” said the teacher (I thanked God, those are the perks of being honor roll students, an absence will have little repercussion on their grades)…

So I surrendered to the pain, I stopped fighting, took another pill, pressed my head firmly against my pillow and gave up…I had been in bed all day, I had slept for more than 12 hours and still I felt incredibly tired…I drifted off

At about 1:30 am I woke up pain-free, well, migraine free, because now came the effects of the last 12+hours… My head pounded…the pain, a different kind of pain had taken over my whole head, it felt like the pain of an overworked muscle…and I felt dizzy…I waited for the 8 hours to take another pill…at 6am I got up, took the pill and got to business as usual, just at a much slower pace…

My children ate breakfast and got to school on time…I went to work but took it real slow… Today is the first day I check my email/reader, I promised myself I would not force my eyesight until I felt a bit closer to normal…

When my mom started getting migraine headaches she began making notes on the calendar in hopes of finding a pattern that would help her prevent or at least be prepared for the next one…

this post is my first migraine note, although this is not my first migraine headache, I’ve been getting them since I was in university, however I think my last one was about a year ago. We were still living in Mexico City and our lives came to an abrupt halt: no school, no homemade lunch… My children ate pizza that day and they took care of themselves while mom lay in the bed trying to get back to normal…

This is supposedly hereditary, my daughter already had her first migraine when she was 8 …she was coming down the stairs when she shouted “I can’t see, I can’t see”, she sat down on the steps and started crying, my husband took her to bed where she grabbed her head and cried in pain…she started to vomit uncontrollably and much to our surprise that brought her complete relief..she fell asleep for a few hours and woke up feeling like her normal self again…

As for me, I am still trying to identify the causestress comes to mind…how to avoid it is the next question…

Any migraine sufferers out there? 

Hugs people

links to images…

featured/my brainmy brain during a migrainemy brain after a migraine

 

9 responses to “BEING 40+…chronicle of a migraine headache

  1. Pingback: BEING 40+…and a “CRY BABY” | ACT. REACT. or just THINK about it!·

  2. The compresses are with ice water so it’s even better than the freezer, the thing is I can’t stand up when I’m in the claws of the migraine monster, though my mom did bring the air conditioning down to 23Degrees, everyone was freezing and I was sweating the demon out of me… Thank you Stu🙂

  3. Clicking on over asap… Thanks Karen… Have not tried gatorade, though in that moment I can’t even raise my head but I now know that it’s an option worth trying out🙂 oh yes, it has happened to me while driving, very scary but that’s the alarm signal telling me to hurry home because it’s going to be a good one… I just finished listening to The Hormone Cure by Dr.Sara Gottfried it had some great info on hormonal imbalance that is very much worth looking into… Take care my dear friend, read you soon

  4. This sounds miserable. I have had a few migraine headaches in my life, but nothing like what you’re describing. I mostly had the lightning bolts and a small amount of discomfort. Losing your vision is scary, and I feel for your daughter, because I remember how frightened I was by the first migraine. I did notice that Gatorade seemed to help balance my electrolytes and helped me relax.
    Yesterday, I did a free exercise from the Silva Method healing site and it definitely helped my mind to relax. It might help with migraines. You can download this for free http://www.silvamindbodyhealing.com. I don’t know if I could help, but it might be worth a try.

  5. You poor thing. I’ve never experienced migraine but one of my colleagues years ago did – and he used to look awful – your pictures are spot on from what I remember. Have you tried sticking your head in the freezer??😉

  6. You are so right sister! Yoga, exercise and a realistic daily to-do list… No more excesses: I need to realize and accept I can only do so much and the rest is just my over-achieving self showing off… Health is first, thank God there are other ways of feeling fulfilled… Besos y abrazos para ti también sweetheart, te leo pronto btw,yay for the great blog posts, several and one after the other, jajajaaa y tu que ya nos dejabas… No way my friend blogger extraordinaire

  7. As I read this I could somehow feel your pain too. I’m sorry you had another one of these episodes but Thank God for Mom and for your family who could help. Maybe it’s time for yoga, meditation or tai chi…we’re at the age where we need to try to find what fixes us moving forward. Take care comadre, love you and hope you’re feeling better. Besos y abrazos.

  8. Thank you Teecee🙂 I am feeling better and have taken this as a sign that I must take better care of myself… A cheery disposition (jajajaaa) isn’t the only ingredient to a healthy life, though it is a fantastic starting point🙂 … Your heartfelt words are such a nice addition to a post, be well my friend

  9. No wonder you were missing in action, my dear friend!
    Your first migraine note could really be your last of you ease your mind of stress and expect the best.
    If your daughter got relief after vomitting then her’s could have been linked to an allergy from something she consumed. Who knows? You can just run a check on your meals about the day of the migraines.
    Stress like you mentioned is the prime suspect, so keep your mind stress free and your body too.
    It’s good your mum came to the rescue. I pray there won’t be another occurence. Go migraines and never come back.
    Be fine, my dear friend. I’m glad you are better and back!
    Cheer up!

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