Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Migraine

Until recently, I thought that the difference between a headache and migraine was a difference of severity: headaches were bad, but migraines were grim reaper bad. So I thought I never had migraines, because if you could walk around your house than you were in headache territory, and not until you lay wholly incapacitated in your bed did you have a migraine. 

But it seems that I have probably been having migraines every once in a while for years. Not as badly as some do, but definitely migraines: the pulsing, the sensitivity to light and noise, the nausea. 

Tonight was the worst I've had in a long time, but that was in part my fault. I wasn't feeling great last night, and I slept until noon today while Michael and our toddler were at church (though I shouldn't beat myself up too much; sleeping in felt more like passing out that indulging in a snooze.) But I woke up with an unmistakable migraine.

It was tolerable enough at that I could eat lunch with my son when they got back, but I quickly determined that I needed a fast pass back to our mattress, and we asked the babysitter to come pick him up, where he stayed for the rest of the day until bedtime playing with her kids. And most of the day was actually pretty tolerable. As long as I was lying in bed, I could alternate between hybernating against the migraine with my eyes shut and doing a little bit of drawing or listening to a podcast or soft music. 

Until I decided it was time for me to stick it to the man and show my migraine who was boss. I mean, I had literally been in bed for the vast majority of my day. So I got out of bed and put on real clothes and texted the babysitter, saying Michael and I were going to come over, and I started to eat a bit of toast and milk.

That was a mistake. All of it.

My migraine escalated from a throb that ebbed and flowed in severity to a tortured, nauseas drag race of all the blood cells in my braine at once skidding and screeching through my brain and then crashing in a burning, twisted heap of sharp metal and broken glass.

Pretty much, I thought I was dying. I was crying despite myself and despite that crying didn't offer me any relief whatsoever, and I fully believed that I couldn't keep tolerating what was happening to me even though I somehow continued to survive second by second.

This lasted for several minutes--I don't really know how many--after I went to bed, no longer comfortable lying down or with my head on my pillow, finally settling on the floor with torso and head over the mattress (which was on the floor itself). Mercifully, eventually the pain and the nausea subsided, though I know that many people find no such comparable relief lying down, and I have remained lying down (now with my sleeping child next to me), feeling better enough that I can think out coherent sentences and type on a screen in darkroom mode (the screen all black and red) with my eyes mostly shut.

You win, migraine. You're the boss.

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