Migraines and me

If you haven’t had a migraine before you’ll probably think it’s a bad headache. If you’ve had one, you’ll know it’s so much worse. I started getting them in my teens and I’ve carried on having them with varying frequency throughout my life. I’ve tried pills, acupuncture, osteopathy, chiropractors, hypnotherapy, diet, exercise… basically everything to try and combat them with fairly limited success.

Thankfully, I’m going through a stage at the moment where I only get one a month…unfortunately this week was when I got that one. I knew it was coming on the Sunday because even though I was feeling fine, I started to get really thirsty but despite drinking, I couldn’t seem to clench my thirst. Feeling anxious that a migraine could be looming I tried to make myself calm and not think about migraines. However, saying “don’t think about migraines” is like saying “don’t think of a black cat” all you can do is think of the painful black migraine coming.

Trying to distract myself and “relax” with some Netflix I then got my second sign of lots of yawning. No, I wasn’t yawning because I was watching yet another one of Stu’s football documentaries. Instead, randomly, before I get a migraine I literally can’t stop yawning. This made me even more anxious which again ironically I know is bad because stress is a trigger for them.

Determined I wasn’t going to get one, I tried really hard to put the yawning and thirst to the back of my mind, I had an extra big dinner, early night and I kept everything crossed that I’d wake up in the morning feeling normal…well as normal as an Alana can be.

The next morning I woke up and the wooziness had started. I knew I was on the downward cycle to a full on migraine attack but I wasn’t ready to give in yet. Still in a bit of denial and really not wanting to ruin my bank holiday, I got up and dressed as normal met my sister for walk and put my sickness to the side. Chatting away I almost forgot I was ill and thought I’d beaten the migraine…until I got home.

Back with Stuart, the adrenaline that had got me through the walk had run out and the next stage of the migraine began…the vomiting. I then continued to vomit until there was nothing left and while I was still so thirsty, the thought of even sipping water made me retch.

Completely drained of energy I then spent the rest of the day on the sofa until Stuart took me to bed. On Tuesday when I woke up I not only felt nauseous but like I had a rusty blade lodged into the side of my head. Stuart sweetly helped me get out of bed and took me in the garden – I think this was to give me some fresh air but at the time I felt like a dog being let out to go to the toilet. He then got me set up with countless cold compress, water, lemonade and day time telly, regularly checking to see if I was still alive / see what was going on This Morning.

At lunchtime (Stuart said it was lunchtime but as I was drifting in and out of sleep every 30 minutes I literally didn’t have a clue of the time) Stu took me to Coop to get me a sandwich for lunch. I call it my migraine sandwich (it’s actually a roast chicken stuffing sandwich) but basically when I’m having a migraine, for some reason the only thing I can eat is a coop roast chicken stuffing sandwich (other roast chicken stuffing sandwiches are available)

The rest of Tuesday went by in a sleepy daytime TV blur and when I woke up on Wednesday I had decided it was time for the migraine to be over. So I dragged myself out of bed, had a shower, put some washing on and tried to make myself busy. Sadly, the migraine wasn’t done with me yet and just the effort of putting the washing on made me want to be sick again and by Wednesday afternoon I entered the crying “I want to die” stage. Poor Stuart has to endure this every time. I mean know stage is nice for him to see but basically around day three, due to a combination of cabin fever, crap TV and of course the excruciating pain, I always end up crying and tell Stuart I want to die. Thankfully, Stu is well versed in this and he gives me a big hug, gets me some buttery crumpets and soup (by this point I can normally eat those as well as the sandwich) and takes me for a walk and everything is okay. And like clockwork, everything was okay, we went for the walk, had the crumpets, soup and even managed to have ice cream without being sick, had a good night sleep and on Thursday I woke up back to me.

So, that’s what migraines are like for me. I know they can be very different and a lot worse for other people. And while they are pretty nasty, every time I have one I do appreciate my health so much afterwards and I know I’m so lucky to have my own little NHS (National Health Stuart to get me through)

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