Ah Migraine, my oldest dearest friend...
Last updated: October 2012
After reading alot of the Migraine stories, I found I share so many similarities with many of them. I had the classic abdominal migraines as a child - throwing up after eating many foods - chocolate (my mom would would have to buy the expensive "real" chocolate for holidays - didn't make me as sick), citrus and bananas, raisins, peanut butter, tomato sauces and dressings, certain oils - there is just SO much that would trigger a Migraine to this day.
Cooking on Mesquite wood, "smoke" flavored spices and anything preserved. I can sometimes smell a food and know NOT to eat it. Another huge trigger is the weather, like many of you, I know when the weather is changing. Lights and loud noises, smells, all the classics. I started my full-blown migraines when I was 12. Throwing up in my backpack on the bus on the way home. They always showed up about 2pm in the afternoon. As I've got older, they have no preference. I wake up with them, I go to sleep with them, they hang out with me at work, on vacations, my days off especially. I joined the Navy when I was 19. They increased and made my job hell. I was medically discharged and thank-god receive treatment and medications through the VA. It wasn't until I got out of Navy and went to a "real" civilian doctor in 1993 that he said "Hey, have you ever tried Imitrex?" and that has been my lifesaver, literally a Life Saver, enabling me to not worry about if/when/how I get a Migraine. Because I know I can (usually) kick it's ass before I throw-up and have the empty, hollow feeling I get after I get sick from a migraine. If the attack decides to kick my Imitrex's ass, then we have a problem. I have to lie down with an ice pack (I usually freeze plastic coke bottles - they are the right shape for my neck), then take another Imitrex or a shot of Imitrex and wait til the nausea and empty headed heaviness goes away. They used to start as a pain on one side of my head, still do, but I also start them in the back of my neck - right where there's a soft spot - and goes to the side of my head from there. They (the migraines) have become such an integral part of who I am, and what I do, that without them, I would probably lose a little of myself. I would prefer NOT to have them, of course, but as it is now, I've come to accept them, and even welcome them because I know I have the control now.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?