Friday, 8 May 2015

Welcome to migraine central

Waking up this morning had me feeling weak like a newborn kitten, with my lower abdomen pulsating and cramping with exquisite pain. That was before the headache started, a headache which would soon develop into a mild migraine. After calling in sick at work, I then entertained myself the rest of the day with forcing myself to eat something so that I could take painkillers, and distract myself sufficiently with reading a book in a room with dimmed light (light-sensitive migraines are so much fun) so that I could sleep. As I'm typing this I had another three-hour nap earlier. Total caloric intake today consists out of some bread, a pizza and a few bits of chocolate. Also lots of water and paracetamol tablets. Yum.

When I say 'mild migraine', I'm putting it next to what I consider to be a full-blown migraine, such as those I suffered a lot going through puberty. Those had the full package deal, with the white-greyish specks in one's peripheral vision which keep multiplying over the next half hour or so into a proper aura, to then vanish and be replaced by the hammering of a rusty, blunt icepick in the part of one's brain just behind the eyes until it felt like your skull is falling apart into small fragments. At that point everything hurts: from light to touch to temperature to the mere awareness of being alive. In that regard merely feeling like something is trying to claw its way out of your skull via your eyes is pretty darn mild.

For me migraines appear to be mostly stress-induced, though thanks to the incompetence of Dutch physicians who overdosed me on hormones on occasion, I also discovered how easily getting too much oestrogen into one's system can trigger full migraines, as well as motion sickness and everything. During my High School period I didn't have a fun time, between getting bullied by virtually everyone for being 'weird' and trying to somehow squeeze my cursed-with-giftedness self into the unyielding shape of the education system. I'd often get the tell-tale signs of an impending migraine attack as I was standing there, surrounded by classmates between classes while they were making insensitive comments and being all suggestive. I remember reporting to the principal's office frequently to get permission to go home, whether by bicycle or by having my mother pick me up with the car.

I thank the heavens that I haven't had one of those aura-based migraine attacks in a while, with the last one being about two years ago. More recently, as in the last two weekends and today at least I have had these mild migraine attacks, however. Today's attack seemed to be related to the increased abdominal pain, as well as a sudden spike in stress at work. The attacks of the last weekends are probably similar, though those two also had some more neurological implications, including blurry vision with the right side being most affected.

The past weeks I have been noticing a lot of cognitive issues, with me suddenly having trouble remembering words, typing, and stumbling over words I have pronounced many times before without issues. Also general issues with motor functions, with both fine and general motor functions negatively affected. This all seems typical of an excess of stress, which is something I have plenty of, thanks to my current medical problems and their pains, apprehension about upcoming doctor appointments, working 10-hour days at work, and the book I'm still writing with my editor getting very antsy because it's taking so long.

Stress-reduction seems to be the obvious solution here. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any conceivable way to make that happen within the next month or two. Seems like I'll be enjoying a few more mild or even full migraines the coming time. Can't bloody wait.


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