Biting the bullet

I've suffered from migraine disease for the past 12 years or so. I always knew there was something odd about my need to sleep for two hours every day after school; no one else got irritable and half-blind with pain when she drank a Diet Coke or skipped a meal. Halfway into my battle, I read a description of what a migraine entailed and though to myself, "This is it! This is me! At last my condition has a name. I'm not crazy!"

My mother made an appointment with an Atlanta area general physician the summer of 1999 when I was living at home and working at one of the 4,000 local Starbucks between freshman and sophomore years of college. The doctor asked me questions about my head pain and nausea patterns, and I was reassured by even the simplest nod, sure that she would have The Answer. I explained that I feared I was addicted to caffeine, that the days I worked I felt okay and the days I didn't my head pain made a comeback. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about a caffeine addiction. Caffeine often helps people get rid of headaches, so you're fine."


I explained to her that I took Excedrin Migraine after my headaches were swimming in that crucial point between dizzy achiness and must-stay-in-a-pitch-black-room-with-no-sound-or-movement stage. "Does the Excedrin work?" "Well, yes, most of the time." I can't remember now if I said what I felt, that I was sick of popping over-the-counter pills almost every day and living in constant fear that whatever my plans were, they'd get ruined by my debilitating agony. Living was only possible if I fully depended on the Excedrin; unfortunately, its effects were unpredictable and were rapidly becoming less and less helpful. Did I tell the doctor that? I'm not sure.

At this point, six and a half years after this ill-fated doctor's visit, I find myself angry that she didn't diagnose me with migraine disease right then. I now know that the sooner you can start treating migraines, the less severe they tend to become as you get older.

My original entry continued for several more paragraphs, paragraphs I don't have the energy to reinvent right now. Keep waiting with your baited breath, audience, and more will follow when I'm in the mood.

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