June 14, 2018
Life of a Migraineur: Whole Lotta L
Roger the Squirrel scrambles up to the roof. A neighbor opens their doorwall letting in the summer breeze. The air conditioning kicks in letting me know the temperature is warmer than 72º in here. In reality, these sounds are faint. The normal person would not be disturbed. But to a migraineur, the sounds are magnified. I reach for my pillow and throw it over my head. I adjust my therapeutic eucalyptus-scented eye patch; it's lukewarm but I have no strength to swap it out for one of the colder ones stacked in my freezer.
I am not sure how many hours passed but I roll over. A wave of nausea and dizziness hit me. With urgency, I throw the pillow and comforter off. Stumble to the bathroom and drop to my knees at the toilet bowl. Time for a good 'ole hug with my porcelain friend. The dry heaving starts and finally, the vomit comes. And comes. And comes a bit more. Surely there is nothing left on my stomach when I see bile. Spent and exhausted, I lean against the bathroom wall for who knows how long.
This is usually when I play the medication gamble game. Should I take another dose of migraine meds and risk throwing it all up? Literally dollars down the drain. This medication is too expensive to take on a whim. Any migraineur will tell you it's levels to this shit. Either take the medication at onset or preserve it for another attack and tough this one out.
I close my eyes and pray the pain goes away sooner rather than later. But God only helps those that help themselves, right? So I muster enough strength to stand, open the medicine cabinet, grab my medicine and walk to the kitchen. I reach into the back of fridge for the mason jar filled with icy water. It is prepped and ready for occasions such as this. Why? Because even the sound of pouring water will hurt. This way, I only have to hear my own swallowing of the pill.
Might as well grab a few cold compresses while I'm here at the freezer. I make my way back to the bathroom, toss the bath rugs out, kick the door closed and lay on the floor. Ah, it's so cold and hard. Quite comforting! I curl up in a fetal position using my arm as a makeshift pillow. The other arm is holding one of the cold compresses around my neck while the other is tied across my forehead. And I just lay there. In the cold. In the quiet. In the dark. Again I lose track of time but it doesn't seem long before I doze off into a heavy sleep.
When I finally wake up and leave the bathroom, I am relieved the pain is damn near gone. Then I look at the clock on my iHome. Wayment—what time is it? I peek through the blackout window curtains. Damn. The whole day is gone. Wasted. I call my Neurologist and leave a voicemail with details of my latest migraine attack. Either he or the resident will respond during normal business hours. I already know what the conversation will be. It is time to consider new treatment options, more aggressive than the current aggressive prescription cocktail. And of course it comes with side effects. Don't they all?
So I have a choice to make: whole lotta weight gain or chronic pain? I should just fake being well.