My Migraines – an average week of “Migraine Insanity”
I was 14 years old when I started getting my migraines, back then it was daily headaches and anemia. It was in high school when I started having what my mom and I like to call the “adrenalin” migraine every Sunday afternoon: It was the weekend and the day we usually attended church and relaxed for the day – the one day a week we weren’t working or active. Then I started to have full head on attacks and it took me awhile to get a handle on my aura and triggers. It was a lucky thing for me that my mother had also suffered migraines, she recognized them before I did and she tried to teach me to take my medication ASAP before it was too late, that only took a few years of learning the hard way to do as she suggested. I saw medications my mother took and how she could pop a handful of pills in one swallow. Yikes! I didn’t want to be like that, so I fought taking pain killers. But soon the pain was too much to bear and a few nausea and vomitting episodes – I gave in.
My first medical clinic for headaches I remember getting checked out, tests and trying preventatives and told to keep a journal over the summer (this was in May/June) and to return in September with my findings – only to be informed that the doctor who headed up this clinic had passed away and the clinic closed its doors. It wasn’t until my mid twenties would I find a chronic pain clinic – still not a “headache or migraine” specific clinic.
As for my migraines, they started out as mild, daily headaches of pain and about once a week or every few weeks I’d get a really bad throbbing one with all the sensitivities (noise, light, smell) and this began my crazy three month cycle I called it, where I’d be okay for a few days, a week, then attacks started one after the other, fear of one happening, I got depressed, mood swings of all sorts (which I found out later about) food cravings and no appetite – one time I actually got seasick in my own waterbed – LOL – funny, huh? Well as it turns out the doc that gave me morphine injection forgot to also give me gravol and my world went spinning for 4 hours until it wore off. Longest 4 hours I still remember.
From my late teens to mid twenties my migraines got worse. I tried different medications and found a few that worked for me; meanwhile I welcomed any new treatment and preventative that came my way. When I was 25 I started treatments like chiropractor, massage, acupuncture and more, I went to stress clinics and pain clinics, got nerve blocks, etc. I tried all the latest medications; yet by my late twenties it was apparent that I would no longer work full time, my career as admin ass’t done. I tried home business, but even my migraines messed that up, to the point where I just couldn’t work even part time.
Married at 26; had my son, at 31 – we thought since my mother had no migraines during her pregnancies that hopefully neither would I; we were wrong. I had the migraines as if I wasn’t even pregnant; at six months I felt good but it went down hill after that, as I was diagnosed with precrampsia and couldn’t even sit in a chair without my feet swelling up so bad they hurt. On bed rest and the weight gain from water retention, etc. it was awful those last few months of pregnancy, especially the last month – they let me go a week late, see the baby was doing just fine, if anything he was OVERactive, there were nights I couldn’t sleep because the baby was ALWAYS moving, only one day do I remember that he slowed long enough for me to notice. And the other hope that maybe after the pregnancy my migraines would let up – disappeared after 3 months of breast feeding and no migraine medication – I had to stop breastfeeding so I could go back on the medications. At some point along the way in the past 4 years of my son’s life I got really depressed. Two years ago I was diagnosed with moderate depression, along with my chronic migraines. So after trying anti-depressants along with my usual medications I realized I really need to find some other way to deal with these migraines; so I found this website among others; but this one I found to be the most informant and easy to relate to. Actually I first found Themigrainegirl to be a great help of encouragement. These sites helped me to feel not-so-alone with my “pain”. How do I tell my soon to be four year old that mommy is too sick to take care of him because mommy need heavy pain killers that knock her out and she had to send you to a sitter. The sadness and guilt alone cut into me like a knife. Even right now, typing this I have blurred vision because of tears rolling down my cheeks. It hurts me so much when I have to give in and tell my hubby to call a sitter. Fortunately, my hubby’s grandparents love sitting for us and can take him on a moment’s notice. And the family members around us that change their plans to accommodate him, so that he is taken care of, while mommy is “sick”. Daddy is at work all day. Daddy is usually the one to drop him off in the morning and pick him up after work. Some days I feel completely and utterly stupid, guilty for needing a few hours of time to rest/recover. My hubby works all week and usually ends up watching our son on the weekends because mommy is usually napping. Since I have been seeing someone about my depression, we’ve tried mindfulness which I am still trying to get a clue with. At the same time I realize that somewhere in the past few years I have lost myself, who I am, and who I used to be. I am sure lots of new moms out there go through the whole identity crisis thing, but for me this was different, it wasn’t just the mom part, as you may have guessed, it is also that I am no longer the person I was ten years ago – Cuda Girl, the chic who owns a classic car – bought it when I was 23 years old, fully restored ’69 Barracuda; mechanic’s daughter, fan of NASCAR and all sorts of racing. I have always dreamed of becoming a writer. Yet, I’ve lost all interest in all the things I used to like to do. I can say for sure if I can make it to RSVP for a social event, its always a “Maybe” because I usually have to cancel my plans due to a migraine, we don’t take family vacations because I’m always sick.
So now, lately, at this since the New Year 2012, I have been living the Migraine Insanity I call it, weeks at a time now that I get migraine after migraine weekly, daily, so bad that I can’t even have my four year old at home.
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I feel selfish, sending him to a family member to sit. Even though I know he loves them and he asks to see them when he doesn’t see them often enough. I still feel guilty. Sad. Tired of trying to deal with pain, medication, lack of focus, concentration, enthusiasm for anything. How my wonderful husband has put up with me until now he is a blessing; as is our son. We are a family of three. And though I’d love to have another child; with this pain and suffering it is just too much for all of us. So I put my story out here. I know I am not alone, there are people other suffering and trying to live life as normal as we can. It’s just very lonely when I am home alone, all day, all week and it starts to chew at me, then I usually kick myself and push myself to do something different, errands, or groceries or if not ready to go out, then just do household chores that I don’t get to do when I’m out for the count. I baked cupcakes for the first time in months. It felt good.
What keeps me going? My son, my hubby, my family and my friends who haven’t completely cut me out of their lives – ones who understand or ones who have been in my life for a very very long time. I hope one day that I find a balanced treatment that works for me to help with the pain and reduce attacks; eventually so I might go back to work again or find something I like to do. I am still hopeful even if I seem hopeless at my worst times. I hope that someday soon, I will find some rest, relief and can help others out there. This is my migraine insanity week, I’m hopeful that next week isn’t so crazy.