Why I Hate Migraines

Nobody likes a headache and migraines are no exception. The worst offenders relegate you to your quiet bedroom with the curtains closed, an ice pack on your aching head, and a glass of water and migraine-relieving drug of choice. From there, sleep and time are the only things that will cure the pain.

I can't say for sure how many parties, events, appointments, workdays, and simple meet-ups with friends I've missed over the years because of migraines (and lupus in general). It's a lot - far more than it should be. I get at least three headaches a week; at least one of them is usually a migraine. This number triples around a certain time of the month.

Last weekend was no exception. After pilates class I planned on meeting my mother for lunch. I needed to give her some things and we were going to talk about some wedding details. Later, I was supposed to go to my nephew's birthday party. That changed because I knew the second I woke up that morning it was going to be a bad day. My neck was tight and sore. My forehead, particularly the right side, had the tell-tale pressure of an oncoming headache.

My wonderful fiance massaged my neck and head to relieve some of the pressure and I drank plenty of water. There was only a small amount of relief, so a prescription migraine pill was needed to prevent suffering later. Sometimes I try an over-the-counter med first to see if that'll relieve the tension, but that obviously wasn't going to work.

I headed off to pilates, not wanting to forfeit the pre-payment for the session. The intense workout took my mind off the pain for awhile as most activities do. As soon as I left class and stopped moving I felt like I had hit a brick wall. The pain in my neck and head were intense and I was incredibly weak - and nauseous. I called my mom to cancel lunch. My fiance stepped in again, picking up something so I could huddle in bed with my favorite gel ice pack.

The pill and ice slowly continued to work their magic and although exhausted, I was able to resume a few quiet activities later in the day. More often than not though, once I get a migraine, I'm down for the count that day and usually the following day.

Migraines, like so many other lupus-caused problems, are so disruptive to everyday life. This causes a ripple effect into the lives of our friends and family. If we're lucky they understand; sometimes they don't and this can cause problems in our relationships.

I do my best to be extra-understanding when someone else is late or needs to cancel with me. I've done it plenty of times myself. But if a person is impatient because I'm unable to participate or am simply "quiet" because I don't feel well, I don't let it bother me anymore. I'm not doing it on purpose, am doing the best I can, and that's all I can do. If that's not good enough for that individual - so be it! Let the frustration exasperate and tire him or her out instead of me.

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