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?

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Comments

View Comments (11)
  • Nene
    4 years ago

    Mine I call “the big, bad wolf”. I spend way too much time thinking (worrying) about my migraines. All day long I’m evaluating if that yawn or eye twitch is trying to tell me something. I feel constantly “on guard”. I know it’s not healthy, but what else can you do? I work extra hard to try my best to enjoy every migraine free day – because they seem like special gifts – but in the back of my head (no pun intended), I’m still thinking of and preparing for the next one.

  • JanML
    4 years ago

    Not being terribly creative, I’ve simply named my migraine “The Monster.” Most of the time The Monster hides under my bed, ready to attack in the middle of the night when I’m sleeping. Occasionally, however, when I’m feeling particularly well, I’m able to lure The Monster out from under my bed and lock it in the closet. I can always feel it, however, behind the closet door . . . waiting, waiting, until just the right moment when it bursts out of my closet and into my head again. Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, The Monster has aged with me, and its attacks aren’t quite as painful – but it’s still always lurking somewhere, waiting until I let my guard down.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    4 years ago

    I totally hear you on that, Jan-M-Lipeles! Sounds like your Monster is pretty similar to what I call “The Creeper!” http://migraine.com/blog/completely-unofficial-made-migraine-types-creeper/

    Take care, and thank you for taking the time to write today. -Janet G., “The Migraine Girl”

  • tucker
    5 years ago

    I like a Coal Miner. He’s usually blasting away at the nape of my neck and on the bad days comes around to my right eye or the cave in happens between my eyes. On the really bad days- well, the whole cave explodes and that sir is a major emergency. He likes to blast out my stomach too- don’t forget that. Gently though, mostly just rattling around down there at work EVERY day, bleah…… Until he hits the “move contents out” button :):) Well, now, that was a successful day for the coal company! Hey, this was kinda fun.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    4 years ago

    Tucker,

    This is a very delayed response to your message. I have never heard of anyone choosing that metaphor/personification. That’s just perfect. Let’s hope the coal miner is working on tiny little projects that won’t bother you much right now–I’ll ask him to hold off on doing any major explosions for as long as he can.

    -Janet G., “The Migraine Girl”

  • marti
    5 years ago

    Mine is a baseball player who is always following behind me slightly to my left. Why a baseball player? Because my migraines usually feel like somebody has whacked me hard several times in the back left side of my head.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    4 years ago

    Ouch! That’s a really good description, martiedgar, though I do get a quick sympathy ache in the back left side of my head thinking about the wallops the baseball player delivers to you. I hope you’re feeling okay today.

    -Janet G., “The Migraine Girl”

  • Lisa J
    5 years ago

    Mine is called Harry :-)and he lurks round every corner!

  • Gypsynurse
    5 years ago

    Ax men. I named them that when I was 7 because they would do their dance in my left eye and was I imagined how an ax felt. (OK so I was a huge horror buff from young:). This past week have been front and center in the fight with the ax men and today am trying to not be terrified it will come back. I am glad daily that although I wouldn’t wish these on anyone, I am not alone.

  • The Migraine Girl moderator author
    4 years ago

    Ax men! That’s a frightening term for these predators for sure. Thank you for your feedback–sorry it took me a few months to reply. 😉

    Take care,
    Janet G., “The Migraine Girl”

  • tucker
    5 years ago

    oh gypsynurse, my migraines have since changed but in the past, I felt like I had an ax splitting my head down the middle from nose to neck. It was the best I could tell any doctor. Just split that big old wooden head….. sigh….

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