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.