Alternative title: A migraine is not ‘just a headache’…A migraine is the equivalent of having sledgehammers smashed repeatedly against your head from all angles for multiple days while you try to figure out the most elegant way of vomiting your insides into a bin and you slowly start to give some serious consideration to ramming a spork into your eyeballs just to give them something to scream blue bloody murder about!
I fully understand that to some the notion of a migraine and what that rabbit hole entails is limited to the “not tonight darling, I have one of my bad heads coming on” jokes that did the rounds when someone wasn’t in the mood to bump uglies. I know that to others, a migraine is “just a headache, I had one of them once before I think”…Trust me, you would know about it if your brain was threatening to tear your skull apart. I also know that (to the Migraineur) when faced with the prospect of a migraine, rolling around naked in poison ivy is a preferable way to spend an evening.
With that said, if you slap me at the back of my head while I’m in the prodrome phase, be fully prepared for me to rip your arm off at the shoulder joint and for me to beat you across your own head with the wet end while shrieking “does this feel like just a headache to you?!” …(You listening S? Jolly good).
I have experienced migraines since the age of 15 (this was the age I was officially diagnosed by a specialist), I was that awkward kid at school that would have to shove two horse pill sized co-codamol tablets into a very small amount of water just to function long enough to crawl under a desk and weep quietly. I experienced relentless sickness and various other fun side-effects when faced with Triptans, Amitriptyline produced a detachment from all emotion (freaking weird experience!), Pizotifen worked for a little while and then abruptly stopped (I noticed this effect with recommended over the counter medications too)…I have also tried dietary restriction (as there was a lot of focus on dairy, coffee and chocolate being possible triggers), Magnesium supplements and Acupuncture…
Yet, nearly 15 years on from diagnosis, migraines and I are still as close as we ever were.
It shows up (usually on the only sunny day we get here in Lancashire) with a “oh hai, you’re enjoying your day huh? Is that ice-cream? Mint choc chip you say? Well I just thought I’d drop this bag of rabid hamsters into your noggin to run riot, tip shit over and scratch behind your eyes…You’re welcome!”
Or, while tapping away at the keyboard at work you hear the familiar “that lighting is a bit naff wouldn’t you say? Just long tubes of brightness beaming down on you…You know what would really kick it up a notch? Hell yeah baby, I brought you your own personal fireworks display. Do you know what is so awesome about that? I’m using your own sense of visual perception to cause it! Isn’t that fab? Once the migraine kicks in with it’s wicked unce-unce-unce noise it’ll be like being at a rave! Woop woop! Glow sticks for the win!”
And a favourite has to be being woken up at 2am to “ah man, you are so going to love sleeping on the bathroom floor covered in your own vomit…See, you can have the whole drunk as a skunk experience without having touched a drop of alcohol! Great huh? Easy on the wallet and liver, though your stomach won’t be too happy…Hope you didn’t have curry for tea!”
I would much rather have ‘just a headache’…
In conclusion, migraines are for life, not just for Christmas (or something like that)…This is just the type of shit that happens when you forget to pick up your receipt.
PS – Interestingly, I’ve read recently that there is a co-morbid relationship between migraine and hypothyroidism (lucky me huh? Both my brain and my thyroid are in cahoots to kick my ass!). Do any of my fellow Migraineurs have hypothyroidism too?