This is not a normal blog post. I am not going to tell you how to create and altar or converse with the ancestors. I am not going to tell you how to enhance your intuition. Nope. I am going to tell you about migraines…….and what its like living with them.
I am a migraineur. And they have for the most part, interfered with my life, especially the last four years. I have missed work, been on FMLA, been to a bunch of doctors and given medication that works – sometimes—or well, not at all. I have missed family events, I have had my weekend plans tossed down the drain. I have had all these things I have wanted to do……
Why am I writing this? Two reasons. To let others, know—I feel your pain; and to let everyone know why sometimes the things I plan for—the things I hope to do—sometimes fall away at the wayside.
I have had headaches my whole life. In my 20’s I brushed them off as a stress headache. Then my thirties came, and the headaches started to become more frequent and more severe. About four years ago, they were the worse they had ever been. I would spend hours in my dark bedroom, shoved deep under the covers and attempting to block out all noise and all light.
Migraines are explosions. Literally. Its like the huge explosion in your head—and all light and sound—everything feels like someone is in your head and scraping a chalkboard with long finger nails. Its painful. Its disruptive. And the pain…well…imagine being stuck between two large boulders that are closing in on your noggin. The pain feels like an ice pick being shoved in your head. Its painful. It hurts.
There are days when I can work through the pain--- because failure to do so would mean I would have no life. Somedays, however, the pain is so bad I can’t even work-I can’t do anything. The hardest part of migraines is the disappointment. When I need to cancel events, classes or plans- I know people are disappointed in me. They don’t understand what its like.
And no, a migraine is not just headache. It’s a life changer. Literally. And it’s difficult to those who don’t understand.
The unpredictability is even worse. I don’t when they will come, how long they will they last or how painful they are going to be. I sort them into two categories: functional and non-functional. You can’t figure out which one is easier to work through! Just because you see me working doesn’t mean I am not in pain however. It’s the joy of having an invisible illness. Sometimes my days are spent in shadows, lying in a dark room under the covers. Most days are spent at work, with anti UV glasses on and dim lights to help me with the pain. After a bad migraine—like one that lasts 72 hours and I can’t leave my bed—those days--- afterwards- I deal with Postdrome. What is that? Its like a bad hangover without the fun from the night before. Dizziness, nausea, cloudy thinking, struggling with words---I call it migraine brain. I can’t focus, can’t think straight. So, after hours of painful migraines I must deal with postdrome. Yeah. Migraine brain exists.
This has been my life for 4 years. Thankfully, after 4 years of research – I am finally getting answers—and finding ways to at least make my symptoms more tolerable. Diet changes, supplements—ruling out whatever I can and homing in on a possible cause.
So, if I cancel a class or workshop, or cancel plans and meetings—or things don’t always go according to schedule-its not that I am not responsible…. or that I am blowing things off—it’s that I am in a dark room, dealing with the pain of having a migraine.