Year Of The Migraine - My Covid Experience

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has been a pretty memorable year for all of us. I know for me, personally, it’s absolutely been Year of the Migraine.

Starting 2020 with comorbidities

I live with plenty of comorbidities, and my 2020 didn’t exactly start off as planned, seeing as I left the hospital after a week-long stay in the hospital for my Crohn’s disease. I was already struggling in and out of an IBD flare, then my endometriosis started acting up.

Coronavirus and migraine don't mix

Then came COVID-19, the beginning of a 2-month migraine due to the infection. After weeks of coughing and complications, my migraines were only getting worse because every time I coughed, I used more energy I didn’t have. And with every breath let out so forcefully, my head was throbbing with each cough. It felt like my head was blowing up slowly like a helium balloon with the force of a ton of pressure.

Visiting the emergency room

I had a visit to the emergency room twice, to make sure I wasn’t getting any worse, and because clearly, I wasn’t getting any better. The fact was, my cough pulled a major group of muscles in my back and it hurt so bad I thought I actually might have had a blood clot. The migraine was still so bad, that with all the symptoms I was still experiencing 20 days later, I knew I needed to get checked out.

Migraine as a symptom of COVID-19

My scans all turned out “okay” but I was told that I definitely had costochondritis, pleurisy, and pneumonia. The ER doctor couldn’t confirm from the x-ray but said that it was likely that my lung had partially collapsed and that I was having such a hard time breathing because my muscles were trying so hard to keep things in order in my back AND in the front. Since the migraine is one of the main symptoms of the virus, I was basically told that my room needed to be used for more serious patients, so I was given orders and then I was out the door.

Trying to keep my head straight

I struggled for weeks to almost months more. Since we had no tests available to our hospitals in the beginning when I felt terrible, I was told to assume I had it and given an anti-malaria drug and muscle relaxers. COVID hit my body like a Mack truck and because of my migraines, I couldn’t even keep my thoughts straight, much less focus on my breathing. My migraine just made me more aware of the aches and pains that took control of my body. I was thankful that for years, I always filled my abortive medication prescription like clockwork, just in case, I was to lose my insurance for some reason or just be rationed because that’s how insurance companies work.

Comorbidities coming back

Lucky for me, I had just enough supplies to last for the few months I was affected. You see, because I live with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, my other comorbidities decided to kick it up an extra notch because that’s what they do. Inflammatory illnesses show up to a party they’re not invited to.

An increase in migraine attacks

Looking back on this year, I’ve definitely experienced more migraines than I ever have had before. It’s making me go back to see a new neurologist, which won’t be until the new year due to this year’s events. It will be months until I’m able to get back on nerve blocks.

Hoping 2021 is better

I still fear going into doctor’s offices or anywhere medical. It’s had a lasting, awful effect on my body and I’m ready for a new beginning to a new year, that’s for sure! I'm still experiencing a massive influx of intractable migraines and am almost officially out of abortive medications that work for me. Hopefully 2021 will see a lot more answers than questions and a lot less loss and pain as well.

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