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Going Through The Motions

In today’s episode of my head hurts and no an Advil won’t solve my problems…

I wanted to break down what is becoming the “cycle” of my migraines. No, I don’t intend to explain the pre and postdrome phases of “migraine” in all sorts of clinical terms, but rather the way the migraine evolves and responds to treatments and how the pain changes.

Day 1:

So we’re going to back track and just venture through my last four days as my stellar example for my life…

We’re jumping back to Thursday.

The scattered thunderstorms have rolled through and the last of them drifted off in the early hours of the morning. It was so refreshing waking up and hearing the quiet rain pouring down, knowing I could drift back to sleep to that.

I woke up, got ready for work, and symptoms of pain slowly went away. I still felt a bit foggy, but as the day went on, even while at work exposed to lots of bright sunlight, I wasn’t agitated by it.

Work was slow.

As I got off, I was able to come home and relax while watching TV.

And then it slowly crept in. A slight heaviness over my eyes. A twinge of pain lasting only a few moments behind one eye.

A few minutes later, I’d notice it again. So, I decided to head off to bed.

As my head hit the pillow, the impending pain became crystal clear. I fell asleep quickly, but the sleep wouldn’t be a “good night’s rest”.

Day 2:

I awake with a solid 7 pain level. The sun is already out and shining… curtains are staying closed today.

I ran my diffuser as got ready for work. I drove half an hour to my follow up doctor appointment, only to be told that we’d try another therapy type avenue and that I should consider anti-depressants…

By the time I left my doctors, I was close to an 8. It was increasingly clear that I should just lay in bed the rest of the day, but I had to go into work.

I took my medication in hopes of mellowing the pain for a few hours.

Some day twos medication is successful and my day two isn’t as dreadful. Some days, the medicine doesn’t do shit. 

To no one’s surprise, the medicine didn’t do shit. The pain is now a stabbing pain. Alternating between my eyes. I apply peppermint to my temples and neck. I work to avoid the bright windows. I try and press my cold fingers to the base of my skull.

The base of my skull is tender. I wouldn’t dare apply much pressure, as that will only make tomorrow worse.

By the time my long shift is over, I question my ability to get home safely.

Everyone at work was moody, making stress from work, follow me home. I crawl onto my couch after managing to shower. I scroll through my phone for a bit before heading off to bed.

I plug in my diffuser, fill it with frankincense and prepare for a long, restless night.

Day 3:

I’m awake. But I’m paralyzed by the pain.

I can feel the heat seeping through my windows. I only make one cup of coffee, knowing I most likely won’t touch it.

I know I shouldn’t go to work, but I know that not a damn thing will take the edge off the pain, so it really doesn’t matter if I’m at work or laying on the couch. The pain will be the same, might as well get paid.

I struggle to get my makeup on.

I have to sit down for an hour before even attempting to do my hair. Every ounce of my body aches. My face and my neck and my head feel like a bruise. The hair follicles on my head basically scream each time my hair is re-positioned.

My body is drained of all of it’s energy.

But after I successfully get ready for work, I’m met with the next battle. I have to manage to get food into my stomach without getting sick. The food in my fridge isn’t appetizing in the slightest, but I’m out of bread so I can’t just make toast.

I scarf down some chili and realize I don’t have anything I can take into work to eat, as I haven’t been able to prepare food.

I drag myself into work. It’s cloudy but for some reason its still so bright.

Customer traffic was fairly consistent, but I don’t want to talk to anyone.

All I can think about it the pain. Its hovering at a 9.

I keep getting bugged about how I “should” be doing things. I just want to scream that I’m in so much pain I really don’t give a damn. But that’s not something I can do.

I grabbed dinner from the grocery store and every part of what I ate made my head hurt worse and worse. Was it the sugar in my sweet tea? Was it the salt in my asian chicken? Was it the chocolate I probably shouldn’t have grabbed? Beats me.

I ask to leave early, knowing we had extra people on to close… but it would be busy so I was asked to stay if I could. I could. Because the pain will get worse regardless. Again, might as well be making money.

My jaw is tight. I tried to munch on some cranberries and macademia nuts, but it hurt to chew.

I got home late. I couldn’t even bring myself to shower knowing the water for feel like sharp pellets hitting my skin and my scalp. I brushed off my makeup and poured myself some sleepytime tea.

As I sipped the tea, I knew my migraine had peaked. By 10PM, the deep pain was lessening bit by bit.

Day 4:

Today. Another round of storms came through in the middle of the night. Another round will hit tonight and tomorrow.

I woke up and rolled back over. I enjoyed sleeping in a bit.

I got up and felt a bit heavy. I brewed my coffee and started my “uplifting” essential oil blend.

The pain is only there when I move my head in certain ways.

I’m tired, but I don’t completely lack energy.

The clouds are still pretty bright, but looking at my phone or my laptop is okay.  

I have a small list of things to do today, but I’ll do them slowly.

I may take a nap. I’ll probably need one, these last few days have been exhausting.

Tomorrow may be Day 1 again. I’ll wake up feeling a bit better and the cycle will restart.

Sometimes Day 2 lasts longer and sometimes Day 2 and 3 collide and become one day.

Sometimes I skip Day 2 all together.

But these four basic days, are the cycle that I continuously go through. I know that taking medicine on day one is useless because sometimes day 1 will be followed by another day 1. Day 2 is really the only day where taking medicine may provide some relief. Day 3 is hopeless. But Day 3 means that by the time I’m ready for bed, I’ll be feeling a bit better. Day 4 is like driving through thick fog. I’m not quite connected with myself and I still feel the symptoms and sensitivities that I feel during an attack.

There aren’t any days off. Maybe a few hours.

There’s some correlation to weather and storm systems, but I don’t know what it is. I know I can feel a storm coming, but sometimes I feel the effects of the storm after its gone.

But for now, I’m in between storms and I can get some much needed housework done.

A.

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