When it feels like migraine is hunting you down
I doubt it’s very healthy for me to do this, but I do spend a good deal of time thinking of migraine as my nemesis. Over the years, I’ve taken great strides and now acknowledge that migraine will likely be a part of my life until I die, and I’m usually at peace with that. But that doesn’t mean I have to welcome migraine. Not thinking of it as the enemy intruder (which I once did) doesn’t mean I have to put out the welcome mat and encourage it to come inside. I’d rather have a relationship with migraine where we are at peace with one another but try to keep our distance whenever possible.
Unfortunately, I don’t think migraine always has that same approach to our relationship.
In fact, sometimes I imagine that migraine is actively and aggressively hunting me down. I mean, it’s the perfect way to explain The Creeper (one of my completely unofficial, made-up migraine types). Migraine is just hanging around each corner, seeming for a second to be settling in for a long winter’s episode only to dash away and give me hope that the rest of the day will be a healthy one.
I tend to see myself as migraine’s potential prey during times when I am particularly unwell. If I’ve been fortunate enough to be migraine-free for a couple of weeks, I of course don’t have migraine in the forefront of my mind. I think about migraine now and again, but, at least for the time being, it’s not something that is in the forefront of my mind. But if I have had a really crappy week of nearly-daily migraines (say, during my period), I get a little nervous when I suddenly feel better. I start to believe, however irrationally, that migraine is pursuing me, waiting for a chance to pounce on my as a lion would pounce on its prey.
My hunch is I’m not alone in personifying my migraine disease. As I mentioned earlier, sometimes Mr. Migraine (always a man, for some reason) is a nemesis who keeps his distance; other times he is plotting my demise as only a true villain would. I look over my shoulder and watch my step. When I enter a room, I’m extra cautious and make sure to scan the environment for any potential triggers. When someone offers me a piece of candy or snack, I automatically say “No, thanks,” just in case there’s migraine-inducing sugar substitute or MSG hiding, lying in wait to attack me.
If I could have a heart-to-heart with myself, Wise Janet would probably tell Prey Janet that thinking of migraine as a hunter isn’t the most meditative and productive way to operate with a chronic illness. But Prey Janet is in control right now, and she sleeps with one eye open until the migraine looks like he’s going to retreat.
Do you visualize your migraine(s)? If so, what do you imagine? What are his/her characteristics?
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?