It is a blessing to have all five senses; but it feels like a curse during migraine aura.
- Sight ~ I've said this before but let me repeat: light hurts. The sun is an enemy. Sunglasses are a best friend. There is so much pressure behind my eyes that I feel like a living version of cartoon eyes popping out the socket. Shapes turn into little dots and jagged lines. Words on a page or computer are beyond blurry. Street signs are floating green blobs. Then the little dots multiply and take over my vision.
- Sound ~ I am not being funny when I keep repeating, "I'm sorry, I can barely hear you." Because I really cannot hear. It's like my ears selectively turn the volume down. Every sound is distant. Yet every sound is heard. It's weird. I can't hear someone talking to me but can hear a cotton ball land on carpet.
- Smell ~ That Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume I put on this morning? It now stinks. The bacon I may have cooked earlier now smells burnt. The 3-wick candle and nag champa incense burning is usually relaxing and pleasant. But it instantly makes me nauseous now. I only have a few minutes left to take a whiff of lavender-scented Vicks VapoRub before that sickens me too. Oddly enough, I can only stand the smell of Murphy Oil Soap when experiencing migraine aura. Inhaling it settles my stomach too.
- Taste ~ A strong cup of tea tastes as bland as room temperature water. I could be in the middle of eating then whatever I am chewing might as well be air. Imagine my panic when loss of taste was found to be a proven sign of The RONA. Oh, the many times I panicked wondering whether a migraine was starting or if I was positive for COVID-19.
- Touch ~ Can't touch much with numb fingers. *insert black girl shrug here* Even worse, the thread count of sheets really do matter during migraine aura. I can feel every single thread prickling my sensitive skin. It makes the extremely cold bathroom floor and forehead compress feel super soothing though.
This is all before the pain of the migraine itself! Not everyone who suffers from migraines experience aura; not every migraine comes with aura. Over the years, I have learned to appreciate the aura phase because it at least preps me for the attack. I usually have 30-45 minutes to stop whatever I am doing, take medicine, make my way to the nearest dark quiet room and prepare for battle.
Please know that migraineurs are not being difficult or rude. We are simply trying to manage the pain when asking you to turn the lights off, stop talking, be silent or go away. So the next time you're around someone with a migraine, be considerate and help them deal with it. ♠️💜