Another week of migraines

The third week in August kicked my a**, HARD.  If migraine really were the villain I sometimes paint it to be (in my most immature times), it would have been cackling for a solid week.  I imagine the migraine beast in a dark cloak, hunched over a cauldron, invoking frenzied spells: “Cue the twice-a-day thunderstorms with torrential rain! Cue the PMS and then the menstrual period! Cue the intense stress at work! Cue the four separate two-hour drives over just three days! Cue the traffic! Cue the grief and sadness and stress at a loved one’s death! Cue the inevitable triggers found at a funeral! Muahahahaha!”

Of course that’s not how migraine works.  Despite my continued attempts to personify this illness, there’s no villain in the wings of my life waiting to wreak havoc.  But it sure does help to add some levity and humor to what was a pretty crappy week.

If social media posts and text messages are accurate, I would say my week of migraine hell was shared with many, many others—particularly women, but men as well. My husband had a migraine for at least three days, and lordy knows it’s tough when both of us are feeling sick.  Some family members were also under the weather (even if they refuse to call their textbook migraines anything but bad headaches—subtle wink to You-Know-Who-You-Are), and my acquaintances and friends were taking to social media to see if anyone knew how to help.

Here are just a handful of posts I saw from different people online (Twitter and Facebook):

“I’ve had a headache for four days! Ugh! Is this normal?”

“Another #migraine after two months without one. Three days in a row. WTH?”

“Ladies, my head has been exploding every afternoon as soon as the rain rolls in. Is this normal? Do I need to go to the ER?”

Being the migraine health advocate I am, I jumped in where I could to reassure folks but also remind them that I’m not a healthcare provider and can’t give medical advice.  That said, I tried to do my best to be supportive and share with them relevant articles or forum posts that would help them sort through their issues.  Of course I told all of them to seek the help of a doctor or specialist if they continued to have migraines and/or bad headaches that impeded their quality of life.

Of course I couldn’t dedicate myself to the cause online too much, as I was in turmoil myself.  During the hours when I was functional (during mid-day mostly), I foggily tried to delegate work tasks and take care of the oft-referenced never-ending to-do list.  By the evenings, I was feeling rough again and down for the count.

True there were times I got teary-eyed and beyond frustrated, wallowing in the “Why meeeee?” self-pity that can feel so tremendously wonderful in small doses (self-pity turns sour for me if I overindulge). But mostly I was able to function with the help of my meds, and usually I could tell when I was too out of it to make adult decisions and to attempt to complete important work tasks. I somehow managed to get in lots of laughs, get a modicum of work done, enjoy a mini-vacation with my sister and dad, and feel okay much of the time.  I’ve had far worse weeks, weeks where I could barely lift my head from the pillow, so it’s nice to know I can perhaps sometimes function during a week of daily migraines. It’s still not how I want my life to go, however.

Did anyone else suffer through a crappy migraine week recently? What factors contributed to your discomfort? How’d you cope, and how long until the migraine veil lifted (if it did at all)?

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