We were snug in the harbor of Puerto Chiappas, Mexico that warmish morning in a beautiful spot and were looking forward to making our pre-arranged tour of the mangrove swamps a few miles distant.
And then it struck. Little wavering twists of visual lightning in the corner of my left eye. I knew what is was. It was a migraine. I have had lots of them in my adult life but each manifestation is always displeasing and a body never really gets ho-hum about them.
Wendy compassionately asked me if I wanted to forgo the mangrove expedition. I declined. I had been looking forward to seeing it. We don’t get a lot of mangrove swamps in coastal British Columbia. So, I resolved to tough it out, knowing that the migraine would leave me feeling depleted a bit. But it was a good jaunt and utterly fascinating in its ‘differentness’ from the familiar.
My point in mentioning that event some two years ago was that the migraine was, until about three weeks ago, the absolutely last migraine that I’d had. But now I have had three in as many weeks. Fuck! I thought I was past them.
There is nothing terrifying about my migraines, they’re mainly irksome and disruptive. I don’t, blessedly, get the vicious headaches that can make sufferers puke of get incontinent, I merely get ‘visuals’, or auras as they are called. Disquieting but not dangerous. The next day I am generally OK – like today, for example, since I had one yesterday — I mainly feel tired and slightly depressed.
Aura migraines begin with those aforementioned bolts of lightning in my vision. For me they last ‘exactly’ half an hour – I have timed them, and they they are gone and I am left a whimpering blob of jelly. No, not really, just a bit wiped out.
There are lots of theories about migraine but the theories seem to vary. I do know that they manifest when I am overtired or stressed. I had my first back when I had finished final exams at the end of my senior university year. I was horrified. I thought maybe I was dying or had an inoperable brain tumor. In panic I phoned my mother. “Aha,” she said. “I know what that is. I get them too.” Seems they are familial, too. Thanks, Mom.