At least in This World of Pain, We can Find Each Other.
Last updated: February 2023
Fancy title, eh?
Really it's my way of saying, thank whatever deity is possibly up there or down there or over there that Migraine.com exists. It's helped me and I know it's helped so many other people through discovering facts and learning how to deal with the migraines and pain and pressure and just annoying people we have to put up with every single day of our lives!
But this story is also about finding people who will help support you through the pain phase of migraines and afterwards and beyond.
I've posted a story before, which I have just re-read and realized I really should work on my grammar and story-telling abilities, about how I came to know about my migraines.
I realized that I first "officially" had migraines about my 3rdish year of college I would say. I'm in junior college so at this point my brain is so fried I don't remember how long I've been stuck there, but I digress.
My first migraine that I can actually remember all the symptoms was in my senior year of high school which was 2008 when I had been 18. I am currently now 24, turning 25 this year. So I'm quite young compared to many people that I meet on this site and in real life who have migraines.
I have realized that I have episodic migraines that are, according to my very nice new doctor, on their way to becoming chronic migraines which I really don't want to happen and those who have chronic migraines know why.
I've had a CT scan (and then found out it was stupid to have one), an MRI, a blood test, a repeat blood test by a very mean nurse who apparently likes to not use a tourniquet and wanted to wiggle the needle in the wrong part of my arm, and I've been on a tyramine free diet (though I admit... I cheated, I like pickles too much), and I've had a trigger free diet (gross!)
I also now keep a migraine journal on me at all times
I have no prodromal phase or aura phase and I don't see auras at all, I go straight to pain phase and it lasts, if left without treatment, from 3-4 days with me being stuck on the couch in my living room, a puke bowl next to my head for the nausea that always accompanies my migraines, an ice pack on my head wherever the pain is at the time and being covered up by a blanket and supported by a pillow with the TV on to a movie that I've probably seen a million times just for white noise. My sister jokes that while I am a very picky eater, I watched Chopped almost religiously. She has no idea how well that show can blend into the background and just gives you the most amazing Zen like feeling lol.
Also the shades have to be pulled down and kept that way because the light makes everything so much worse, it's almost like I've become a vampire for those days because that bright light feels like it's literally burning my face because that's where the pain is. And the sounds after that, I hear the lawn-mower and I want to go outside and murder my father because it's like someone is taking a sledge hammer to my head. and then the SMELLS! It always seems when I get sick, suddenly everyone wants to make a home cooked meal of brownies or even TV dinners in the microwave will hit me like a ton of bricks!
But anyways. If left with no medication whatsoever, and I mean no OTC's either, it will last for about 4 days or more with me sleeping most of the day, staying up most of the night vomiting, barely keeping down water or Sprite which is my drink of choice for an upset stomach, and completely afraid to move because I'll be so nauseous that I'll feel like the minute I twitch my foot I'll have to worship the porcelain god for the next couple of hours.
Then of course comes the next phase that most people who aren't suffers don't seem to realize is there. The after effects. I know there is an official term, but I just call it the Hangover.
It's basically what it feels like. I may be 24 but I've never been drunk so I don't know what a hangover feels like but I bet I'm right on the money with the slow moving feeling like you can't go any faster because you don't want to be sick again. Everything seems WAY too bright or too loud because your sensitivity hasn't died down yet. You still feel that lingering pain in your head like someone stuffed it full of cotton balls and sealed it shut so you're partially deaf too. Maybe a little dizzy and you can't concentrate much and squinting kind of hurts and makes you even more dizzy and yet people are looking at you like, "What I thought you were over this?"
And All this seems like it would drive a sane person away screaming, taking everything they own away and slamming the door, just to make the pain rattle some more so it's even more final.
But it doesn't.
Even in this world of pain and suffering and feeling lost and broken and like you're the only one. We can still find people to love us and help us. We can still find each other.
In my last entry, I was seeing a....not quit so nice neurologist. He didn't seem to want to listen to me and I only saw him 3 times before I changed doctors. I went to him once with my mother because I hate going to doctor's appointments by myself. I still have that childish fear of needles and if you ever tell me that needles don't hurt, you're a liar.
Anyways, she explained to him that I had been experiencing headaches for most of my life, so he put me on Pamerol for a nighttime prevention trial and Imitrex for an abortive prescription. The Pamerol did nothing and frankly I was a little freaked out that he gave my anti-depressants because I've been depressed off and on for years... but the Imitrex worked wonderfully. I praise it's wonders a lot actually. He then tried me on Propranolol or Cipal as it's known by it's brand name.
But I didn't take the Cipal because I had had a very terrifying nightmare on the Pamerol and the Cipal had a side-effect of nightmares so I didn't want to risk it.
During the meeting about the Cipal I took my grandmother, she has also experienced migraines in her life. She has migraines with Vertigo, while I only have nausea, she has dizziness and refers to them as her "drunk headaches" She has been having them for years and I never knew until I started to have migraines. My doctor almost completely ignored her. Pretty much ignored me and the migraine journal I had brought for him to look through and then ended our session in like 30 minutes. He barely looked at me. My grandmother did NOT like him. If my grandmother doesn't like you, then you are NOT a good person.
Then for the last appointment I went on my own. I had been skipping because I didn't want to see him. I didn't like him. But I went and he looked at me and saw me for 15 minutes and said. "You're going on Topamax." And left. I heard him less than a minute outside the door say. "Okay I'm going home now, bye everyone."
I was offended! I am your patient! I am PAYING YOU TO HELP ME! What kind of doctor only talks to you for 15 minutes then leaves? He didn't care! So I was done with him. I wasn't going to talk to someone and let him handle my life and my HEALTH if he didn't care.
So my mom's friend who she works with happens to have migraines like me. She gets Botox injections by a doctor in town. He's a general physician who did his training with migraines. I see him now.
My first visit with him I went by myself and I liked him immediately. He was kind and considerate and funny! He made me laugh and he even talked to me about normal stuff! We joked about the old Willy Wonka movie and he was surprised that I knew about Oompa Loompa's cause of my age.
He did put me on Topamax which I am on a trial on. I actually have to go see him tomorrow about it. But he was so kind and he's a genuinely nice person! My grandmother approves! He even prescribed me the nausea medication I need to control the vomiting I have when I do get a migraine that goes out of control. He's a saint.
Just like what I meant in my title. He's one of those people who could have run for the hills screaming about us crazy people with the rocks in our heads, but instead he stayed, with countless others, he stayed and he and my family and my wonderful boyfriend (whom I decided to leave out of this though he's awesome for dealing with my migraines as well) and my friends are amazing people who stay and help me and I know most of you have people just like that. People who stay by your side in your darkest hours when you're conked out on the couch in pain, puking your guts out or are so out of it, you may forget they're there. Even in this world of pain, we can find each other and they stay with us.
Thanks for reading guys!
In the past year, has insurance made it difficult to get your migraine treatment?