COVID-19 Has Been One Long, Terrible Migraine
Last updated: June 2023
I started getting headaches last month that would immediately come and go. Somedays it would only last for a few hours but would come again by night time.
I explained it to my partner that my head hurt so badly, but it hurt my eyes and head more to actually close them. The pain didn't go away or be any lessened by darkness.
How did COVID start for me?
In the beginning, my COVID-19 infection appeared to be only a head cold. I truly thought it was one big sinus infection. The “cold”, I thought, that turned into an infection from the post-nasal drip, and the way my eyebrows and cheekbones hurt, is nothing I can put into words. And I live with hemiplegic migraine, which is unpredictable and full of awful pain, to begin with.
I went for about a week before I came to the conclusion that I was actually going through COVID-19 and not “just a cold.” Boy was I wrong about that.
What symptoms did I experience?
With migraines, I typically don’t sweat. There was also an immeasurable amount of pain that doesn’t come with even the most debilitating hemiplegic migraines I get. Some days (day 5-7) in the beginning, all I could do was shut my blinds, open all my windows, and lay in my own sweat until it was time to change into another set of clothes that I would soak through again in just 1-2 hours. I was miserable, and I felt like I had all of the migraines in the world stuck in my brain and skull.
How has my experience with migraine been?
Even though the migraines weren’t the worst symptom, they’ve definitely been the symptom that has lasted the longest. It’s been over a month filled with excruciating, pounding skull pain, and facial pain that continues to lower and then spike very high at certain points in my day. They are finally starting to lessen, now day 35-ish.
Have I had any help?
No one has been there to help me, because we’re all in the same figurative boat, secluded from one another, unable to be of help in the moments where so many of us need it. I think the worst part was having to turn on the lights when I’ve had to work and go into video meetings to make everything seem “normal” in our work lives, as so many of us are doing right now.
I don’t wish this pain upon anyone, and I know that so many of us have been experiencing different types of pain, complications, types of headaches, and migraines during this time. But COVID-19 sure did me in. I’ve never had this type of brain fog I have now and the aphasia has been awful. I haven’t been able to articulate the words I need to, very simple words. I sound drunk sometimes and I’m confused very often. I can’t be hard on myself because just like my lungs and everything else affiliated with this disease, I have no control when they come or how hard they will hit.
Why am I sharing my experience?
My experience will not be your experience, but I want to share with others so that if they become infected, they have enough time to prepare and get the abortive they need and medications to help them through this awful time.
How are you taking care of yourself right now? We know stress doesn’t help and as much as we try to remain calm, many of us experience anxiety throughout different parts of our days. How have you gotten through this time? How has your access to your medications been changed and what are some things you’d like other community members to know?
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?