I remained in this room all of Wednesday afternoon and night, feverishly rubbing peppermint oil (which really does help) on my forehead and temples, and stressing (which really does make it worse) over the fact that my inability to function would lead to falling majorly behind on work. Late yesterday (Thursday) morning, after a night of sporadic sleep and a morning spent attempting to avoid the piercing sunlight pouring in from the windows, I was finally able to stand without feeling like I was going to vomit or pass out. Yay! As the day progressed, the pain changed from constant to intermittent, and I went back and forth between attempting to work and lying back down. By last night, I had just a mild headache and only occasional vertigo, as well as the typical exhaustion and brain fog that accompany the glorious postdrome phase. I was even able to type for a few minutes at a time (which led to starting this post). And today, I only feel the lingering dizziness and fatigue, with minimal head pressure. Hallelujah. The hellacious 2-3 day period that takes over my life approximately once every month is coming to an end.
For me, the pain from the headache is really the least of my problems when a migraine strikes. It's the feeling of being drugged and/or run over by a large vehicle, combined with knowing that I'm about to surrender 36-72 hours of my life to this bastard, that is the challenge. It's all encompassing. Sounds and smells and lights are intensified to the point of bordering on hallucinations. My energy is completely zapped (but I can't sleep). Sometimes part of my face or body will tingle or feel numb. And I feel like I have to barf. It's like living inside a fractal, combined with the worst hangover ever, except when you're lying there in agony, you don't have the luxury of thinking, "I did to this myself - but it was like, so totally worth it because last night was ridiculously fun." Nope. Then, when the pain and nausea and weird pseudo-hallucinations ("Is this real life?") finally subside, the postdrome begins. This is the after-migraine period where you get to feel like crap for another day or so while your body recovers from the bizarre marathon of symptoms it just experienced. Lingering brain fog and physical exhaustion certainly aren't fun, but at least they're signs that this thing is on its way out of town.
So that's where I am now - riding the tail end of the postdrome. Working (and completing sentences) are taking longer than usual. I'm doing by best not to fall asleep on my laptop. The chances of carrying out the plans I made earlier this week to take the day off so I could spend the afternoon at Lollapalooza are looking pretty slim. I still don't quite feel like a functioning member of society. Oh, and my skin reeks of peppermint oil. But at least I'm not hiding under a blanket, fighting tears and cursing my life like I was 24 hours ago. After the last couple of days, I'll gladly take the other stuff. In comparison, it actually feels pretty freaking awesome.
My little sister used to suffer from horrendous migraines as a child, and I remember peering into her bedroom where she'd lay motionless and tortured, wondering how a headache could possibly hurt that bad. Thankfully, she eventually grew out of them. And I grew into them. They started when I was a teenager, and the older I get, the more frequent they seem to become. They're semi predictable (usually along with my monthly cycle), but not always. Sometimes they even come without the headache. Regardless of when, where, or how severe, they suck. I'm grateful, however, that they only come about once a month, and I feel intense sympathy for those who deal with them more frequently. I know people who get them once a week (or even daily if they don't take their medication), and it seriously affects their lives to the point where they can't hold jobs or take care of their kids without help. I feel for children who get migraines most of all. My sister told me that migraines as a little girl were probably the scariest things she's ever had to endure. I believe it.
This whole migraine thing is something I've only brought up one time here on Bubby and Bean, and it was just a brief and fleeting mention. I try not to let them control my life, I figured they don't have anything to do with the blog, and they're simply not a fun topic to talk about. But this one was so bad that I felt compelled to post about it. There is a difference between complaining and sharing, and I know some of you likely deal with these evil monsters too. So fellow migraine club members, let's hear your experiences. Aside from avoiding trigger foods and stress, getting enough sleep, and drinking plenty of water, do you have any prevention tricks? Once you know one is coming, other than taking pain killers during the prodrome phase beforehand and confining yourself to the quietest/darkest space you can find, how do you treat them? Have you taken medication? What natural remedies have been successful for you? And how do you deal with missing work/school/life during the days that they take over? Tell me, tell me!
P.S. On a completely unrelated note, the winner of the July Giveaway is Kristin Skaggs! Congrats! Please contact me so we can discuss getting you your prizes. (And I apologize for the lack of the usual fancy giveaway winner announcement post this time. I'm just grateful to be semi upright today, and am definitely not on top of my game!)