Waking Up With a Migraine


It’s 4 a.m., and my eyes snap open.

A sharp, pounding, pulsing pain has begun on the left side of my head, behind my eye.

If it’s less severe, I take a couple pain pills from the bottle on my bedside table and try to wait it out.

If it’s more severe, I take the pills and get up, even though it just about kills me to do so.

I go into the kitchen and grab an ice pack from the freezer.

I fill the bathtub with warm water.

The ice pack goes on the back of my neck at the base of my skull, while my hands and feet are plunged into the water.

Now it’s a waiting game.

My eyes water, and I find myself whining in pain.

Five minutes pass, and I think I’m going to die.

The lights are off, but opening my eyes still hurts.

Ten minutes pass, and I almost think the ice pack is working, but I don’t dare move except to readjust it.

The cold is almost soothing.

Fifteen minutes pass, and resting my face on my knees is maybe causing more pain but I’m not sure.

I try readjusting my head, but that causes the ice pack to slip so my nose continues to be crushed by my knees.

Twenty minutes pass, and the throbbing has become less severe.

It’s still too painful to move.

Twenty-five minutes pass, and I’m feeling a little better.

The pain is no longer as sharp as it was earlier.

Thirty minutes pass, and I think it’s safe to go lie down.

The pain is no longer debilitating.

I drain the tub and put the ice pack back in the freezer before I retreat to my bed.

Thirty-eight minutes have passed since I woke up, and I drift back to sleep.

I have two hours and seven minutes before my first alarm will go off.

The pain has turned into a dull pulsing I can ignore.

I sleep.

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Thinkstock photo by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz


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