The Tequila Spin

I want to tell my migraine story. My head hurts even now, as I crave to share this crackling migraine tale. Here I sit, my head leaning against the tall chair for support, to stabilize the never ending rolling of vertigo that has become a normal state of being. I wonder each day…. How long can I live like this? What will become of me? Will I slowly lose my wits?

Many others my age are running marathons, riding bikes across the country, traveling to exotic places, and doing mission work in third-world countries. Going for a 10 minute walk would be the height of my ability, on a good day. I just smile at those (including doctors) that say, “If you got up and moved more then it wouldn’t be so difficult for you.” They clearly do not understand what it is like for the world to spin constantly as if having consumed tequila constantly throughout the day.

The dentist says that I have a cavity, ‘you want me to come sit in your chair with my head tilted back while you prop open my jaw to drill a tooth?’ How insanely impossible that sounds. Which will last longer, the decaying tooth or my ability to survive this migraine life?

My migraine story began 23 years ago, when I had my first fast onset episodic migraine. The first 10 years I had a migraine perhaps 3 times a year. The second 10 years they became chronic. And, in the last 3 years, I have developed many symptoms in addition to the classic head pain and vomiting. Even when head pain is nearly absent, the vertigo rarely stops. I have visual disturbances; auras, flashes, obscured sense of dimensions, and on occasion complete loss of vision down to a pin point in one eye. As well as phantom pain that hits hard in various places in my body. Like lightening striking it attacks a finger, wrist, leg, foot, or perhaps a toe. Bam! Just like that it is excruciating, break into a sweat, horrific pain. It may last 5 minutes, 15, or an hour. But when it goes, it is gone just as fast as it came on and may, or may not, return to that spot ever again. And, the yawning! The obsessive compulsive yawning. I do not feel tired, not specifically in need of sleep, yet I yawn fiercely at times.

My husband just returned home. He came upstairs to check on me “Do you need a shot?” He is of course referring to the prized DHE injection. Thank you, Lord, for DHE! But how often can I use it? I fear the consequences of this drug. It has only been two days since my last shot. Will it stop working someday if I over use it? I savor it, saving it for when my endurance has run out.

Despite my inability to travel, be active, or even properly care for a cavity; I live a full life. Migraines have not stopped me from being productive, even if it is from my couch. I have found ways to cope with my limitations. It is even possible, that because of migraines, that I have found success. I would have worked a traditional job had I been “healthy”. Instead, I have spent endless hours with my laptop, developing an online business. I love life, I am glad to be alive, I will take what I have been given and make the most of it. I enjoy rocking my grandbaby, looking out the front window at my husband on our dock fishing, and the spa days with my daughter to get a massage.

The cons to a migraine life may be limited physical and social ability; but the pros are a successful business, I am always at home, I don’t have to do housework, and massage is a necessity instead of a guilty pleasure.

I only hope that my ability to think and process does not escape me…. I do fear that.

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