31 days are not long, by most measures. I mean, compared to the average human lifespan? A small percentage. Something like 0.12%, if my math is correct (And I’m and engineer, so I’m always right when it comes to numbers. Yeah. Sure. 😜😜). Compared to the age of the Earth or the Universe, those 31 days are pretty insignificant, really. But when you’re in the midst of a 31 day migraine streak, that time matters, a lot. Each microsecond is hyper-amplified. Nerve endings spontaneously become angry, with the agitation rotating around the body in a super-sensitive, unpleasant variety. The passage of time seems decidedly slower, especially when it feels as if your head is being cleaved in half by a pulsating thunderbolt of electricity, while at the same time, feeling as if the skin of your face is being peeled off. Not the coolest experience ever.
(Interesting fact: the title of this blog used to be “22 days…and counting”. FU, Migraine, for extending my misery another nine days.🖕
I’m not one to whine. At least, I don’t think so. (But, perhaps the better person to answer that question would be my fiancé.🤷♂️🙄).
And I don’t really share much about my personal life on social media, which is odd, for someone starting a blog. Sure, I post vacation pics and the like, but I hold things back. Insecurities?
I guess I’ll have to get past my fears, insecurities, and general unwillingness to open-up on social media, won’t I? Otherwise, what the F is the point of this blog in the first place? (Oh, no! Does that mean I have to talk about being surrounded by a family of extreme racists, growing up with an eating disorder, and being disowned by your parents after being told they wished you were dead? Oh, no! I don’t want to talk about that!)
Anyway, these days are moving like molasses. I’m moving like molasses, just struggling to get to the next break, the next moment where I can rest my head, the next interlude where the the pain diminishes to a level where I can rise. Einstein should’ve incorporated the effects of migraine into his Special Theory of Relativity.
Before I forge ahead, a little warning: ⚠️ THE NEXT M’FER THAT OFFERS ME AN ASPIRIN FOR MY MIGRAINE WILL GET PUNCHED IN THE THROAT. Seriously, comparing a migraine to a headache is offensive and it minimizes the condition. I try to take a step back and recognize the person is simply trying to be helpful and that he/she is just uneducated about my condition, but when I’m in the throes of it…not something I want to hear.
Below are some snippets of notes I wrote, in the hopes that my doctor might better understand and therefore, come up with a more effective strategy. But alas, the notes were useless for that, since it appeared as if my doctors were disinterested and could give flying F about my condition.
Anyway, I share those notes with YOU, now. Don’t you feel special, Dear Reader? Read on, and enjoy!
Migraine came back at 1am or so. Pressure, visuals, a little pain. Took meds. Too much TV? Flashing lights? Getting scary.
Saw an electrical reverse 7 across my nose with associated pain. Then vertical computer rain. Then face felt like it was being stretched down.
Fiery kaleidoscope fingers pulling the top sides of my brain repeatedly.
Thin electrical lines around my eyes like a mask that progressed into a gaping pulsating mouth with thicker lines on my forehead.
Minor in severity and duration:trembling hands and legs.
Fuzzy electrical bat shooting lighting downward from its eye with a pulsating halo background.
Chaotic electrical flames engulfing me.
A pusalting sun inside my brain.
Fiery viselike pressure below temples followed by flushed and pulsating sensations radiating towards orbitals.
Nausea, disassociation, anxiety, feeling of being fractured in half with a wide electrical pulsating bolt.
Felt like someone waving a lighter around my skull, then scraping the skin off my nose, fiery neck, dizzy/balance thing from lying on side (vertigo?, inner ear thing?).
Going down a cloudy rainbow electrical throbbing tunnel.
Coughing = pressure pain.
Wave of pressure.
Pain more on left side? I was pressing my left eyeball back a bit to help with pain and noticed a minor tic on right eyelid.
Scary electrical owl face followed by eyeball fluttering and minor facial tic.
Visuals/pain more pronounced on left side.
Electrical cavern created by radiating up sides of face to top of head and then center of skull.
Pushing tacks inside the skin of my forehead.
Pain deep left side center, right surface, right forehead.
Major tingling and heat on sides of cheeks and head.
Fidgety fingers, mounting pressure and anxiety.
Sound sensitivity listening to sleep affirmations.
The other symptoms that I really dislike? I’m not myself. I’m not Markie. I’m not me.
I don’t smile. I stay in bed. A lot. To some, that might seem like like a treat. But for me, sacrificing walks with my honey suck. Skipping bike rides with the kids and our dog Charlie blow. And not being able to go to the gym because of your health sucks. The feelings of hopelessness and despair suck. Depression sucks.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with depression and insecurities. But migraine could care less about my past mental health battles: it was cold hearted, ruthlessly sending me into a dark hole of self pity, despair, and desolation. Because I’ve dealt with those issues for long, those around me don’t really know what’s going on inside my brain. I might be grumpy and a little off, but my loved ones are unaware of the raging storm between my ears. Maybe if I would let people in and stop wearing the facade🤷♂️. Easier said than done, when you’ve been taught since early childhood to conceal your feelings. My parents rarely hugged, even more rarely said “I love you,” and not rarely at all, were entirely apathetic towards my existence. And even if I was brave enough to share those feeling, the rejection and indifference taught me not to make that same mistake again. Plastering on a fake smile and wearing a mask just became easier.
Back to the migraine. Yes, it’s not fun. Excruciating and debilitating, at times. During these days, I decided to Google, “migraine pain compared to other pain.” If you do the same, you’ll find a study comparing migraines to childbirth.
Read it for yourself:
Obviously, I have zero clue what childbirth feels like. And I’m absolutely not trying to diminish the pain involved. But strictly for comparison purposes, the study indicated “the worst migraine pain ranked higher than that of childbirth among those surveyed who had experienced both (n=244, an average score of 8.6 compared to 7.3, on a scale of one to 10). Respondents diagnosed with migraine on average rated the worst migraine pain similarly to that of the “most painful thing I have ever experienced” (8.6 compared to 8.7), and higher than both the pain associated with kidney stones and broken bones (8.3 and 7.0, respectively).”
I guess the point is, regardless of whether it’s worse than childbirth or not, the report clearly shows migraines are less than ideal.
During my “research,” I also came across an article about Terrell Davis.
Dude is a Hall of Fame running back and won the MVP during Super Bowl XXVII. He also had to sit out the entire second quarter of that game due to migraine. During the SUPER BOWL, the one game that defines many careers, the pinnacle of success for an NFL player. That’s how crippling the pain can be. When a world class athlete can’t play the one game that many NFL’ers would play with a broken bone, it’s more than a ”headache.”
Last year, I donated my kidney. To my fiancé, in fact. The recovery pain could be sharp, at times, especially when there’s nerve damage, like I had. I’d rather go through that surgery every week than experience another migraine. It’s not just a headache.
The point of all this rambling is not to garner sympathy. Even in the midst of this BS, I tried to stay acutely aware of how lucky I am. Terminal cancer or some other ominous ailment? That’s horrific. I can deal with migraine. Can’t I?
I can, I will and I have. I’ve got to keep promising that to myself, every single day. Realize how lucky you are, Markie. Smile. Be happy.
I’m beginning to wonder what the point of this whole blog is. I ramble. That’s a given. (The title of this blog couldn’t be more fitting, could it?) But seriously, what is this specific post even about? Is it about migraine? Or depression? ‘Cause you’re all over the map, Markie.
Maybe it’s about neither. Not migraine. Not depression. It’s about me. If it gives some migraine-awareness, that’s freaking awesome. If it sheds a little insight into depression, also seriously awesome. But this one is just to give you, Dear Reader, a greater sense of who I am. Because if we’re to have a relationship here, we’ve got to open up and get to know each other a bit more, no?