And I Didn’t Even Get Ice Cream?

To me, there are several “types” of migraine. There are the sinus migraines, where it feels as though a clawed monster is trying to rip off your face and your eyeballs with its bare hands. Then, there is the run-of-the-mill migraines, which seem so generic that there is a part of you that sees them as routine, which is incredibly annoying. Tension-based migraines, the ones that usually come after a night when you wake up with a stiff neck, and it feels as though the muscles and skin in your head has all fused together into one big pain-ball. Menstrual migraines for the ladies out there, the ones that feel as though your brain and your uterus are getting scooped out with a grapefruit spoon (and for those of you who aren’t familiar with this piece of cutlery, it’s a spoon with a blade on the end). There are the ice-pick migraines that feel like you’re being stabbed through the eye socket…the list continues on and on. There is one that I hate the most out of all of them.

And that includes you, Mother Nature and your cursed grapefruit spoon.

The BRAIN-FREEZE MIGRAINE.

Yes, indeedy, and the best part about this bad-boy-of-death is that when I describe it, even the non-migraineur can understand it! It is the most relatable SOB out there.

And I hate it so.

It’s like this: Yesterday, I go to work, and I am feeling oddly…good. Which is weird for me. Usually, I feel passable, no complaints per se, but things could be better, you know? Things are going pretty well as far as days go, I am meeting the most adorable stinkin’ children in the universe, I found myself smiling without having to remind myself to do so (I’m usually so tired that I become a regular space cadet). Things are good. My first break rolls around, and I head to the break room with a bag of almonds with a couple of mint m&ms to snack on (it’s a bit early for lunch) and to put some ideas into a notebook for when I get going on my online crochet shop.

The breaks are always shorter when you are enjoying the use of your time.

Anyway, I begrudgingly shove my notebook, (erasable) colored pencils, and doodads into my pouch and head out to get back to work, when it happens: I walk through a cloud of cheap, heady body spray.

(Side note: WHY do all cheap drug store body sprays smell the exact same way?!?)

Instantly, I feel pain settle above my right eye like the way my cat decides that the dead center of my bed is a good place to sleep.

Neither are convenient.

I feel some vertigo hit, so when I get back to work, I duck into the back and take two aspirin from the first-aid kit and a meclizine (that’s what makes Dramamine work, just without the added anti-emetic) from my pocket pill box and continue with my day. During the course of the next handful of hours, I am writing down notes to put into Migraine Buddy later, and I take another two aspirin about 5 hours later. I am using my go-to work-friendly reliefs, like my peppermint oil, and I think I have a good handle of things. There were a couple of times that I thought I was going to have to throw in the proverbial towel, but I would look at the clock and remind myself that I (for example) only had two hours left.

I can do this,” I would say to myself.

On the way to my car, I can feel the afternoon storms coming in (Yay, Florida…), but I still think I am good. The pain is holding steady at a solid 5/10 (for a headache, maybe a 2.5/10 for a migraine). It sucks, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I’m not as dizzy, I am not nauseous, just a headache that is more “showing potential for migraine” than an actual migraine, if we are calling a spade a spade here.

I call my best friend (via Apple Car Play because hands-free for the WIN), and start my usual drive home. The pain grows worse.

The rains come.

The pain gets worse.

Bugger.

By the time I get home, I am queasy, dizzy, seeing spots, and downright miserable. I say my greetings to my mom, tell her I am just going to go to bed because I was in the midst of a bad migraine (the pain is now a pleasant 8/10). She asks me if I took anything, I told her about the aspirin and that it’s too soon to take more, so I was going to see if sleep would do it.

I get into my pjs and climb into bed, and Matilda (the cat who likes to sleep in the center of the bed) joins me. I rub some Biofreeze onto the right side of my head, slip on a sleep mask I had made a while back (it loops around my ears rather than use an elastic back around my head), and I’m out within minutes.

About two or so hours later (what is time, again?), I wake up to that brain-freeze migraine. It literally feels exactly like when you eat ice cream too fast, only it’s focused on one side of your head and it doesn’t go away, no matter how hard you push your tongue against your hard palate.

I debate asking my mom to take me to the ER for an IV and some O2.

I take two naproxen with my sumatriptan and slip the mask back on.

My mom comes into the room to check on me, and I am a panting, shuddering, mess. I let her know that I took “the good stuff” and I was going to see if someone would be able to take my shift the next day, because I could tell that this was going to stick around (that is actually rare for me). She offers to use my scalp massager on my head. I immediately agree, knowing that I was far gone enough for it to have little effect, but it will relax me. Maybe I would fall back asleep.

Once I resembled a poodle, I said I had had enough of it, and she asks if there was anything else I needed. I inwardly groaned, because I had a hunch and I HATE asking for this: I needed help with some pressure points on my feet. Since my mother is a freaking saint, she obliged, and worked on a few pressure points on my feet while I worked with the ones on my hands.

BLESSED SWEET RELIEF!

The pain dropped to a 7/10! It felt less sharp! Barely, but I’ll take it!!!!

She brought me grape juice (which apparently is supposed to help, according to Dr. Internet and Nurse Pinterest, so who am I to turn up my nose at a possible relief method?) before retiring herself, and I managed to give away my shift a few hours later. I disabled my alarms, texted Mom that I was off, and went back to sleep.

The migraine was not completely gone until after 1 today. So, from about 10:30 on Tuesday morning to after 1:00 on Wednesday afternoon. With brain-freeze style pain from 7:00 Tuesday night to some time really early Wednesday morning.

Next time, I think I will take the ice cream.

💖Hearts and Sparkles!💖
~Bunny~

Summer is He…Well, a Very Hot Place…

For migraineurs, that is. Migraines are frequently triggered by environmental stimuli, allergies, weather, whatever. In the summer, we are dealing with so many possible triggers including (but not limited to) heat, extremely humid or dry conditions, elevations of pollen levels, and summer storms that lead to fluctuating barometric pressure levels. It’s awful. I live in Central Florida, and we have notoriously aggressive summer weather. It starts before Memorial Day, and continues to almost Halloween.

It’s rough. This year, I am also traveling to Phoenix, Arizona for the first time just after Labor Day, and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried about how the dry conditions of the Southwest United States (Re: DESERT) will affect me. I grew up in New England, and the winters there can get pretty dry, and I know cold + dry = not necessarily a happy me, so when the variable of “cold” becomes “hot,” well…..

worriedjudy
At any rate, I got to thinking about migraine and summer conditions, and came to the realization that I should probably post something about how to prevent as many summer-related migraines as possible (at least, something more in-depth than my Fourth of July post, and I will be repeating information in this post). I won’t lie to any of you that it is impossible to prevent all of them if you have Chronic Migraine (because if you could, they would not be chronic, now would they?), but you can at least surrender to the dark room knowing that you did not go down without a fight.

Continue reading

The Dreaded Grumblings…

You all know the sound.

That sound.

The one everyone dreads, and the one that most migraineurs downright fear.

rumbly
That moment when we all become Winnie the Pooh. For one, it is not a fun situation to be in, since who likes to be hungry? For two…if a migraineur has grown hungry enough to have a “rumbly tumbly,” they are getting close to an attack.

I know I get really irritable when I am hungry, and when I can feel my stomach screaming at me and I have to wait for the rest of my party to finish doing whatever it is they have to do before we can acquire sustenance…well…

…Well, we will just say that I am not someone you want to be around, especially if you are the reason I have to wait to feed myself.

Yes, I have been known to just leave people behind and just get food on my own. But, I digress.

what_is_a_paragraph
For many people who suffer from migraine, waiting too long between meals (generally more than 6-8 between day meals and 14 hours overnight) can mean an attack. Sometimes, food will help, sometimes it won’t.

It is awful!

The moral of this random posting…eat on schedule! It is such an easy way to prevent an attack! Don’t skip meals!

pooh-important-something-to-eat
You can say that again, Pooh-bear!

💖Hearts and Sparkles!💖
~Bunny~