My Hemiplegic "Roommate"
Migraines, from my experience, are like roommates. They’re all dumpy. Sorry, let me explain.
I haven't had the greatest of luck with roommates
I haven’t had the best luck in roommates. Some would play video games in the dead of night, setting up chairs in the hallway, making it impossible to hide how often I need to use the bathroom. Next, I had one who would hide under my bed and record Star-Trek-esque captains logs until I came home from classes. THEN I had a roommate who would scream obscenities and threats to his Canadian partner over FaceTime. Let’s just say, I haven’t had the greatest of luck.
Each person brought forth a different set of challenges and often and new ways of anxiety-induced pain management. Migraine has felt, to me, very similar. Each kind has had a similar set of symptoms and stimuli. There are things I know that I shouldn’t do in hoping that I won’t receive one. That was... until...
I researched my new migraine symptoms
I decided it was about to research exactly why my body had decided to fail me. So, naturally, I googled up a storm to find that…
According to the American Migraine Foundation, “a Hemiplegic Migraine is a rare form of migraine where people experience weakness on one side of their body (hemiplegia) in addition to the migraine headache attack. The weakness is a form of migraine aura and occurs with other forms of typical migraine aura like changes in vision, speech or sensation.”1
So, one evening, I had gotten home from classes, it was a Friday I believe. The day wasn’t remarkable. One filled with both parts acting classes and gossip proving that I really did get a degree in drama. At the end of the day, I was just relaxing, watching some videos on my phone as one does. Having some quality me-time, when I realized something.
My right arm was going numb.
Sometimes if I sit weird, or lay funny, my butt would get numb, but never something like this. Not my entire arm, unprovoked. I guess you could say that I was pretty freaked out. See, I had never experienced a migraine like this! I mean was I having a stroke, could this change my life forever?
I just laid there, panicking and telling my mother to come down and check to see what was happening.
It was a hemiplegic migraine.
This was something that I had never experienced before. It’s like finding out your new roommate is a hundred feet tall and eats live sharks.
Was this going to be reoccurring? What can I do to prevent it? The biggest thing I learned, was to remain calm. Sure, it’s something easier said than done, but going forward, when my body decides to freak out, the least I can do is not feed the fire with any more craziness. Yet, I can’t push it aside like I have.
This is something serious that could have long-lasting effects. I was fortunate that nothing serious resulted, but that’s not the case with everyone. It goes to show how important migraine self-awareness is and migraine, while plentiful, can still provide new experiences. I’ve always gotta be on my toes, but be prepared. Cautious but positive. Never know which roommate is next....
Can you tell when a migraine attack is coming?