Anatomy of a Migraine

I’ve always been a headache sufferer. Most of my life, they have been treatable with OTC drugs – Exc.edrin, Ad.vil, etc… After the twins were born, my headaches quickly turned to migraines. Or my migraines quickly increased in intensity and frequency. I suspect that I’ve encountered migraines previously. But they’ve been controlled easily with the migraine versions of the above-mentioned brands.

So the past 2 1/2 years (almost), I’ve suffered much, much more. Finally, a doctor I had while on Kai.ser told me to stop treating it with OTC drugs and take something stronger, because I was having to use the OTC stuff too often, resulting in rebound headaches. So she prescribed Max.alt. And it worked. It was awesome. For awhile.

Recently, I’ve noticed it’s not enough. Sometimes it takes two to even touch it. A friend afflicted with migraines recommended a pain pill designed for tension headaches and migraines and I got my dr. to prescribe it for me. It works fabulously most of the time.

Over the past few years, I’ve discovered most of my triggers: fluorescent lights, especially when combined with directly lighting a computer monitor; lack of sleep; lack of food; PMS.

Today – well, I think today was a perfect storm for a migraine. Except for yesterday, I’ve been taking the early morning bus to work. This is the first week I’ve been doing this. It requires me to get up over an hour earlier than I’m used to. The last two months have been filled with incredible stress – with H out of work and the weeks going by wondering where the light at the end of the tunnel is. That light came yesterday in the form of a job offer. I had an early morning meeting that still required last minute preparations, and thus I neglected breakfast. My grandfather was 500 miles away having surgery for what is assumed to be lung cancer.

Enter migraine. It started as what felt like a slight tension headache, but I could see the writing on the wall. I took a Max.alt. This was halfway through the never-ending meeting. By the end of the meeting, I’d gotten notice about my grandfather’s surgery, but was starving. I walked, in the heat, to get lunch. I took pain pills with lunch, but the migraine was blaring by then. Finally, I took another Max.alt – but was overcome with the dizziness and nausea, and had to hitch a ride home with a friend.

Now, 12 hours later, the pain is gone but the nausea and dizziness are still out of control. I’m popping Pep.to bis.mol pills like candy. Laying down is the most comfortable, but not very conducive to getting anything done, much less taking care of the kids. Thankfully, H took the kids shopping with a friend for the evening so I could rest.

The worst part right now? I’m hungry, but the thought of eating makes me want to vomit. And the cycle begins again. Ugh.

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