Bang the Drum Slowly. And not at all when a migraine strikes.

Any day that’s free of a migraine is a good day.

Knock wood. Truly. Don’t want to jinx it. Seems that the moment when it occurs to me that I’ve not had a migraine for three days or a week — boom! BTW, that’s not an uncommon phenomenon among migraineurs.

Why, who knows.

Why migraines happen, who knows. Migraines are so individual. Lucky are those who, after searching the haystack for the needle, can identify triggers.

For the majority of migraineurs, identifying triggers is as elusive as the hunt for Bigfoot with a camera. Had I the power to remove a few health issues from the human race, they’d be: (a) Alzheimer’s; (b) dementia; (c) migraines. Their debilitating element is extraordinary. I’d wish none of those diseases on anyone.

Anyways, any day without a migraine is a good day. (Not to overlook or downplay various health issues that I contend with daily. Issues that slow me down, bring discomfort, pain and worry.

A migraine is in its own category. A migraine is like Command Central. It has the unique ability to shut the entire system down, from the most basic level of who we as humans are: our neurological systems.

I consider myself fortunate in that my migraines began in midlife. Some people start getting them as early as their pubescent or teenage years! Their entire lives are spent suffering with, battling and enduring migraines. I’d included “coping with” and then deleted it. Coping with migraines never really happens.

Coping implies some sort of positive action or intent to get through a tough situation. A life force sustaining you and getting you through. However, migraines shut everything down and to such a pervasive extent that even the basic life force peters out or becomes inaccessible. That’s why so many migraineurs are required to retreat into a room with zero stimulation. No sounds. No light. No thing at all.

I often have auras before a migraine. Auras are clues that the inner system’s changing and a migraine’s on its way. Auras have nothing to do with the energetic auras around our bodies that psychics see!

The type of auras vary for migraineurs. For me, sound is a biggie. Even the most innocuous or mundane everyday sound that normally doesn’t catch my attention — say, a song, a stranger’s voice in a cafe — will blast and produce immediate discomfort, anxiety or pain inside my head.

A common example: someone’s voice on the radio. In my aura state, the voice alone will make me nauseous (nausea is a very common symptom of migraines). It’ll also be a piercing stake being driven into my head.

I must immediately switch the channel to another voice or sound that doesn’t poke the hornet’s nest. Or simply turn off the radio.

Don’t misunderstand. Changing the station, in this example, doesn’t eradicate the aura! It merely removes a pronounced aggravator, some element that ramps up the pain and distress already unfolding.

Now, to be clear, that same voice on any normal (non-migraine) day may be just fine! It’s just that when one strikes — or is about to — for me, sensitivities to sound fly off the charts!

I experience other aura symptoms too; other times, I experience none at alL! I can go to bed feeling just fine and awaken with a severe migraine. Or what I call a “walking migraine.” That’s one in which I can pretend-function at the barest minimum through the day. Like walking pneumonia.

My mental/neurological shutdown and pain and inability to think even the most banal of thoughts is visible to no one but myself. Even recollecting my name or address is a challenge with a migraine. It hurts. The brain actually hurts. Everything’s at once fuzzy and fucked-up and fiercely painful.

I have more migraine than not-migraine days. Sometimes I go as much as a week or two without one! Heaven!! Bliss! Paradise!

Other times, one migraine lasts for most if not all of a week, when including preliminary (aura) days and post (recovery) days

Those are particularly bad because I get nothing done. I CAN get nothing done. Just surviving the week is a significant challenge. And all I can do — all that most migraineurs can do — is wait for it to pass. Or get serious about pain relief.

That OTC migraine aspirin helps some but not most. (They have zero effect on me.) Some have to go as far as the emergency room for morphine. Yes, it’s not only the triggers that vary so from individual to individual but the intensity. I’m “lucky” that I can pretend semi-function in a pained state of auto-pilot.

But the truth remains. I wish migraines were not a part of my life at all. They have been for about 7 years now and they don’t look to be going away anytime soon. Probably never. They’re genetic. I just dunno know which side of my family is to blame! 😉

Anyways, it’s worth noting that any day without a migraine is a good day. Even if “bad things” happen, to be free of the debilitation, pain and time and productivity lost — and *self* lost — to a migraine is a great, great feeling!

Again, knock wood! I’ll bang the wood if I must if it keeps migraines at bay! Just none of that before or during a migraine. Even moreso than light, sounds are the killer!

knockwood

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