Cold bathroom tiles :)

When I was a 6 I started going to day camp in the summer. Everyday at the end of the day I went home feeling overheated, sick and absolutely exhausted. I felt like I was going to throw up and my head was throbbing incredibly hard.

I would go into the bathroom and lay on the floor. The toilet was close enough that if I needed to throw up I didn’t have to go far and as an added bonus to tile floor was always cold and southed my pounding head. Eventually I felt good enough to get up and lay in my bed (which luckily was right across the hall from the bathroom) I fell asleep, usually with a cold washcloth on my head and would wake up hours later feeling better. Of course feeling better was coupled with the fear of getting out of bed. I knew from experience that most of the time my headache and stomach ache would come rushing back the second I stood up, but eventually I could hear my mom calling me down for dinner so I stood up and all the feelings came back, even worse than before.

This went on for years.

Now that I’m 21 its still going on however after years of experience I’ve learned how to deal with it much better. I never go anywhere without a water bottle and sunglasses, not enough water or too much sun in my eyes and I’m guaranteed to get a headache. Not enough sleep and I know I’m going to get sick. But sometimes even with my precautions I still get a headache. In which case I know I need medicine as soon as possible, a lot of water or gatorade (blue is the best! but in an emergency reds good too), and I need to go to sleep ASAP.

I never really thought about this until recently. For me it was always second nature, my mom gets migraines too. Normally shes supermom, running around taking care of four kids and helping my dad run his business but I’ve seen her when she gets a migraine and she goes from my amazing supermom to a sad deflated version of my mother, laying in her bed completely still waiting for her headache to pass.

Everytime I mentioned it to my mom she said I was ok, the school nurse thought with all those headaches maybe there was something seriously wrong with me. She said she gets headaches too and so did her aunt and not to worry about it. So I didn’t and I still don’t. But I didn’t realize how out of the ordinary it was until I got older.

However, even when I was in high school and got headaches almost every day and got a migraine at least once a week I made a decision not to revolve my life around it. When I got a headache I tried to deal with it but if it meant laying in bed instead of going out with my friends, I went with my friends. I was strong enough to pretend I didn’t have a migraine, I had been dealing with them my entire life so the pain was nothing new. There were times when I had to make the decision to go home, like when I threw up in public places or when my head got so bad I couldn’t see but for the most part I drank water and pretended my head was ok.

I laughed and enjoyed being with friends even though I was in a lot of pain. I went to all my swim meets and all my classes and never missed a school dance or team pasta party. If I had given in to the pain I would spend half my life in bed, luckily I don’t get them once a week anymore.

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Comments

View Comments (4)
  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Diane,
    Thanks for sharing your story with us. You are right, laughter and a positive outlook can improve our mindset tremendously.

  • dianefonner
    6 years ago

    We have a long family history also. When my twins were young, I used to write to the “old folks” monthly letters rambling about their adventures. As my migraines/chronic daily headaches progressed and I just couldn’t manage work, life and my health for the past 3-4 years, the letters stopped.

    On a whim, a couple months ago, I sent out a letter to a few of the remaining living sisters of my grandmother who had died several years ago. Imagine my surprise when my aunt wrote back and said her entire life was almost picture perfect to mine – chronic migraines, fainting spells, and heart problems – LOL, only her cataracts came at a reasonably old age instead of in her 40’s like mine.

    I too remember that we’d come home from school and if my dad was there it meant my mom was REALLY bad with her migraines b/c he’d had to take her to the doctor for shots (before imitrex and such came out). And we couldn’t make a sound – hard for a bunch of noisy hyperactive kids! I’m fortunate that 90% of the time sound doesn’t bother me. Like you I can push thru it, even if I’m not my best at work or as my son has said, I’m sleeping thru his baseball game (hey, it gets hot out there in our midAtlantic summers).

    They often say laughter is the best medicine. I only work PT which is a blessing when I feel cruddy so I can sleep off a migraine. But I’ve also noticed that if I’m not too bad, I’ll go to work and since I love the people I work with and have fun at work, I usually feel better for the most part. I hope that as your life progresses, you’ll keep a good team of friends and support people around you that will make you happy and help you thru the tough times. That is always very important!

  • Nancy Harris Bonk moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Jessica,

    It’s no surprise you have migraine seeing as your mom does because migraine is a genetic neurological disease thought to be caused by overactive neurons in our brains and genetics. It sounds like what you may need is an accurate diagnosis of what type of migraine you have; yes there are many, many different types; http://migraine.com/migraine-types/. To read more about diagnosis, here is another link for you; http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-diagnosis-and-doctors/. How about trigger identification and management? Do you know what any of your triggers are? Let me give you some information on this topic; http://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-trigger-management/ You don’t have to suffer like this, there are treatments, and there is hope!

  • afinkel
    6 years ago

    I definitely understand what you mean by pretending not to have a migraine and that if you had given in you would have spent half your life in bed. I haven’t had daily headaches or migraines but certainly often enough (a few times a week) that if I were to have given in to them, I also would have missed out on so much. And I’ve had these for 48 years! I hope that you will be able to find some effective treatment for your migraines so that you will be able to enjoy more of your
    life.

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