Since I have a migraine I generously thought I’d share it with you all

Welcome to my migraine. Thought I would share an image of it with you. Even if I don’t live in an English village (though I did once in my life) that other part is pretty much what it all looks like.

I (fortunately, I guess) get the sort of migraine that bestows auras but no severe headaches. But, they’re irritating as hell and leave me feeling crappy for the rest of the day. The auras last approximately a half hour and they impede the vision fairly significantly.

I go through spates of them. I’ll be minus migraines for months and then they’ll recur for no apparent reason. When that happens I can anticipate a few weeks of the bastards sneaking up unexpectedly. And unexpected they will be. I have awakened to the visual auras and they look very strange behind my eyelids in a darkened room. Like taking acid but with no propensities to jump out of windows assuming I can fly. I have them when making love, which adds a new, if not necessarily intriguing dimension to the act.

I had my first one in my early 20s; right at the time I’d just written my final exam in my university graduation year. I had no idea what was happening and it scared the bejesus out of me. ‘Great,’ I thought, in my panic, ‘I’m just about to get my degree and now I’ve either got a fucking brain tumor or schizophrenic hallucinations.’

In a panic I decided to phone my mother to tell her what was happening. Her words (one of the few times that happened with the mater person) were reassuring in a way. “It’s a migraine,” she said. “You’ve been overstressed with exams and all. I get them all the time.”

So, there you have it. The hereditary connection. For indeed they are hereditary.

Sometimes I feel less of a man with my visual migraines in the sense they are three times more common in females, but I can live with that.

I’ve looked to possible allergic connections. Chocolate is a big villain. Lately I’ve been indulging in my liking for Hershey’s almond/caramel bars because they are decadently good. I cut those out a couple of days ago and ended that particular binge.

There is also supposed to be a correlation with fluctuating weather conditions and low-pressure systems. We’ve had a lot of that lately.

Whatever it is, there’s nothing particularly ominous about them – though they always feel ominous – and I’ve learned to live with them.

Doesn’t mean I have to like them, though, and it’s not the most pleasing way to begin a sunny Saturday.

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15 responses to “Since I have a migraine I generously thought I’d share it with you all

  1. So sorry to hear of your migraines, Ian. Is there anything that helps other than avoiding chocolate?

  2. Have had them very rarely thank goodness. First one was at a training course for my first job in UK. Very stressful. Thought I was dying during that night. Awful. Remember it like it was yesterday.
    Had a problem with red wine bringing them on in my 30’s – persevered through those and am still drinking and enjoying red wine!
    Fortunately never experienced the chocolate connection. My downfall is the giant dark chocolate bars from Walmart- restraint is such a tough art to master!
    I seem to have graduated to full body panic attacks, definitely stress induced. Thus my decision in india to work to avoid stress. Tougher than it seems. Realizing that I don’t have to join every discussion, argument or debate to which I am invite really helps!

    • Panic attacks are horrible. I used to get them years ago and, for whatever reason (I think leaving a bad marriage was part of the cure) they went away. There is supposed to be a correlation between red wine and migraine, or even headaches in general. Red wine use to always give me headaches.

  3. I get them too, though not too often, fortunately. They usually sneak up on me, but I do eventually identify them as migraine because a) the three
    Tylenol that I took half an hour ago aren’t doing anything for the pain, b) the light seems to be bothering me tremendously, and c) I think I need to throw up. It’s kind of a ritual that I go through.

    • I’m with you on two of them, dear sister. OTC remedies like Tylenol do little, and the light bothers me. Fortunately, they don’t make me have to puke, though I know that’s common with a lot of people.

  4. I had them as a child and teenager…no aura, but plenty of pain.
    I think they were brought on by oranges or orange juice, but the underlying problem was stress.

  5. My daughter complained of having flashing eyes when she was four. Dark rooms and a long nap usually took care of it. Nothing since then, but I wonder if this is what she was talking about.

  6. Sorry to hear about your migraines. My neighbor has them all the time but hers are very different. Her biggest culprit is caffeine. Don’t you drink coffee? I loved your last post. I miss “bombastic, ” which when used in Meet Me in St. Louis meant “smartassy sarcastic.” As for French phrases, I remember years ago people saying something stupid like, “Eskimos don’t have a word for quiche.” I thought that was ridiculous. Hell, we don’t have even have a word for quiche, that’s why we use the French one. And since you are a wordsmith and do not like potty words, what would you suggest people replace feeling really bad with? Instead of “I feel like ass.” or “I feel like crap” what would you suggest? Dad used to say, “I feel like I’ve been yanked through a keyhole.” It’s a lot more words, but I like it.

    • There is believed to be a caffeine connection and yes I love me my coffee. Easier for me to give up chocolate and at least I don’t have to go through chocolate withdrawal like coffee demands of you if you cut it out. I love Meet Me in St. Louis, esp. Margaret O’Brien. Oh, I don’t mind potty words as long as not overused. Sometimes they’re all that work. One expression that comes to mind, which is supposedly an old southern one is “I feel like I been stomped dry.”

  7. Ian, my favorite character is Katie the maid (Cabbage has a cabbage smell!) I am addicted to that movie and know it word for word. My family groans when I want to watch it, because I have played it so much. I should take it to the beach.

  8. Hi Ian, I’m a fellow migraine sufferer but I just get the pain but not the auras. I know one is coming on because my thought processes go a bit haywire; things like trying to walk through closed doors but not being able to work out why I can’t get through them and I also tend to talk rubbish, although I don’t realise that’s what I’m doing. I also yawn a lot. The only thing that helps is to be sick and then sleep for a few hours. Horrible things!

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