Surviving the Migraine Shitstorm

I can’t move, or the meds I just took will make me sick. I have to try and keep them down for an hour minimum and sometimes that isn’t enough for them to take effect.

I can’t eat, just the thought of it makes me nauseous. But I need to eat or the migraine medication will really upset my stomach and double my chances or vomiting them back up. I live on small bits of toast, water, and juice (to keep my blood sugars up, type 1 diabetic also!)

Once I start vomiting, I usually don’t stop until there is nothing left of me and need re hydration at the hospital. Anti-nauseate sometimes help but if I’ve already been sick once its likely to keep going no matter what

Every sound, or thought is too much too handle. So I don’t, I can’t. I hide in my bedroom. I hide from the world.

Its like someone is holding a screwdriver at the back of my skull, connected to a rubber band pulling my entire left side of my brain. Pushing and pulling, changing the tension and pain. But its almost always on the left side.

Sometimes the pain goes down my neck, into my shoulder. Sometimes the pain starts from my shoulder triggering the nerves up my neck, triggering a migraine.

Who came first? The chicken or the egg?

Most of my migraines are associated with my cycle each month, and is clearly hormonal. But there are other triggers like thunderstorms, chronic stress, tension in my neck, don’t drink enough water, certain smells, too much caffeine…I could write this just about triggers I think!

My system is very sensitive, and it always has been in many ways.

If you read this and feel compelled to write me to say, you get headaches too, please just fucking don’t. I will resist the urge to rip your face off, and ignore you completely.

I’ve heard this WAY to many times (Can ya tell lol) when I tell someone I suffer from migraines, and if I have a migraine in the actual moment this is said to me you are taking your life into your own hands. 

Dramatic you might think, but then again you are probably one of those “headache” sufferers if you do. 

Migraines are a special kind of hell that brings you to your knees, and there is nothing you can do about it but ride out the shittiness. 

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve had 2 migraines. First one lasted 3 full days, then 4 days later had one for almost 5 days….5 fucking days that my life stopped because all I could do was lay in bed and want to die so it would stop.

It takes me days to recover from them. Usually have “after shocks” for a couple of days where you swear it’s coming back, but goes away in a few minutes. My stomach is usually a mess if I’ve relied heavily on medications over a few days that destroy my sensitive system. 

I am hungover emotionally, with not much to give to anyone or anything.

Now I know everyone knows someone or something that has used whatever and it worked wonders for them…and that is great! But the thing about migraines is that they are different for everyone, what helps them is different for everyone as well.

Not much stops them completely though, everything is to manage, and quite frankly I just want them to stop. Even my prescribed medications only go so far, giving temporary relief and destroy my stomach for days

A woman I know gets migraines, they make her sick to her stomach but once she pukes its gone! Now if I start puking from a migraine, I will not stop puking till I’m dehydrated in the hospital again, wanting to die.

Another woman I know stopped getting them once she went through menopause, and if this is my future cure bring the hot flashes on I’m done with this shit!

The thing is, I have other chronic health issues, pain issues, emotional issues, ptsd issues and the list goes on. When a migraine hits, it brings me to my knees begging to…well no one…I’m begging to no one, or the universe to just make it stop. Stop making my life so unbelievably hard that I don’t enjoy living it most days.

Some will say I have the wrong perspective, maybe I do, but I tell ya when you are constantly missing out on life, family events, outings with friends, even just being stuck in bed while the rest of your family sits in the living room watching a movie, getting judged for these things that are out of your control…its pretty hard to have a positive perspective every day.

I do have good days, I have good weeks even where I am feeling good. I am productive in my work and life, and I can manage. I am happy.

Some things that I have learned over the years about migraines that have helped me cope with the shittiness of migraines:

  1. Try and figure out your triggers, then AVOID them! Trust me, if it turns out to be something you love like coffee or sugar I’m crying with you. BUT it might just be a case of reducing whatever it is and then upping your water intake to balance out that little bit you do have.
  2. Find something to listen or watch, that is light and doesn’t require a lot of your attention. I have a personal favourite show that I have watched all the seasons probably 20 times. 15 of those time was when I was in bed with a migraine. I turn the volume down to a whisper, and creates the perfect distraction for my brain. Otherwise I just lay there dwelling on how shitty I feel and that is NOT GOOD! 
  3. Get some comfy pillows, blankets and make your nest! I am usually in the fetal position laying on top of a couple pillows with my head buried into them covered by my favourite blanket. Creating as much comfort for myself as possible.
  4. Something cold on my head is always soothing. My significant other just bought me the “Icekap” and it’s been a game changer. Just like sticking your head in a deep freezer with just the right amount of pressure, giving your head so much relief. Its amazing! If you don’t have access to this, which I didn’t till recently. I just used ice packs at the back of my skull/neck area, or wherever it was hurting most at that moment.
  5. Trying to relax in this state is really hard, REALLY hard! And if you are like me the need to escape things like this  are big and necessary, but you just can’t escape it. Deep body breathing really helps me get out of my head, and focus on my breathing and relaxing my body. Focused body breathing is really good at releasing tensions as well.
  6. This is a big one for me, but be gentle with yourself. When I lose multiple days to a migraine I really start to feel badly about myself and feel like a waste of space. Oh the things my brain says! Kicking me while I’m already down. Be gentle with your thoughts about yourself, in a few days it will clear and so will your mind. It will get better. 
  7. Ask for what you need, instead of feeling like a burden. Your loved ones want to help, they just don’t usually know how, or what we need.
  8. One more thing I would also add is talk to your doctor if things change or worsen. If you can see a naturopath that is the route I would take. They look at your entire being, and maybe find the root cause of the migraines.

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