Migraines – An Invisible Illness

Since, I’m still recovering from my last migraine, it is still on my brain; both literally and figuratively.  The necessary aggressive treatment has caused a minor rebound migraine.  However, I managed to get Mutilated Dreams mostly sorted out, meaning I got all the stuff from the betas that had contacted me into the story, or not, depending on the case.

I’m kind of amazed by my productivity and I realize, it is part of the problem.  I can do things with a migraine.  Years ago I became tolerant to the pain.  I no longer require dark rooms without noise to keep myself from vomiting until I pass out.

Most migraines are defined as intense, throbbing pain, located in a portion of your brain, that disrupts your daily life for four or more hours.  Technically, they no longer disrupt my daily life, not in the way most people think they do.  Primarily because I am no longer throwing up until I pass out.

Here’s what it does do to disrupt my life:

  • My brain slows down.  I can actually feel myself thinking slower.  I can feel myself reacting slower.  I don’t dare drive a car in this condition.  Driving with this foggy sense of self could be deadly.
  • My vision is impacted.  I see spots; both bursts of light or dark patches.  I get tunnel vision, where the sides of my vision disappear in a blackened haze.  My newest migraine experience has made it so that I was almost completely blind in my right eye while it was happening!  And it lasted for a week.
  • I hear things.  Some of my migraines actually come with auditory hallucinations.  I hear fake conversations between people that probably don’t exist.  What’s really trippy is when this happens and I’m home alone.  One day, I came into the living room convinced my mother was talking to my grandmother.  A feat, since my grandmother died in the 1990s.
  • I do have nausea, I just don’t vomit anymore.  So, I don’t eat much when I have a migraine.  I also tend to crave things that I know are migraine triggers.
  • My personality changes.  I’m basically Dr. Jekyll and migraines turn me into Mr. Hyde.  Migraine Me swears more, is irritated easier, gets angry over little things to the point of rage, and stews over shit that normally wouldn’t bother me until I want to go boil that person’s head in oil… Like changing the channel.

I’ve had other migraine sufferers tell me that my migraines must not be that bad, since I don’t vomit and pass out.  I want to strangle them.  One spot of head feels like it is on fire.  It is throbbing in time to my heart beat.  I want to strangle someone anyway while eating a bacon sandwich and sucking down a bottle of red wine.  I’m hearing people that don’t exist and my language skills have gone to 10-year-old pirate.  God forbid I have to do anything that requires concentration or coordination.  But yes, I must not have them that bad.

I’ve also heard this: So-and-So has them and she can’t get out of bed with hers.  Are you sure you don’t just have a headache?  I would love to have a headache.  Seriously, that would be an improvement.  I made it out of bed, happy happy joy joy.  We should go celebrate, I’ll bring the knives.

Migraines aren’t imaginary.  They certainly aren’t headaches.  And everyone experiences them differently.  I can do things other migraine sufferers can’t, but I’ve met people with more tolerance than me and all I could think was “wow!”  I worked with a woman who had chronic migraines.  When I met her, she’d been in a pain cycle for just over 5 years (and we worked together for a further 3 years in which it was never broken).  Every day at lunch, she closed her office door, put on a mask and napped.  She didn’t eat lunch, it would make her sick.  Yet, she still made it to work every day.  She still managed to do her work every day.  She also ate migraine meds like candy and suffered liver and heart damage, but she did it.  I don’t know that I could have.  Aside from my Jekyll/Hyde personality, I have problems focusing on words, letters, numbers, sentences, language doesn’t always make sense to me and I definitely cannot pay attention to small details.

Just something to think about when someone says they have a migraine.

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