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The Reality of Living With Migraine

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If you’ve never had a migraine, you will never understand them. An easy way to get on the bad side of someone with migraine is to liken a migraine to a headache. Trust me when I say, I would be more than willing to live with a headache every day if it meant no migraines ever again.

Picture this, you go about your daily life and make plans to have fun outings with friends and family. You’re watching a film at the cinema and you get the telltale pressure behind the eye building up. Automatically you know — this is only the beginning. You have absolutely no way of knowing if this onset is going to take minutes or hours. So you bargain with yourself or whatever higher beliefs you have.

“Please migraine, just let me get through this one outing. Just this one, I’ll do whatever it takes later on. But just for tonight, please don’t.”

Well, unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast called migraine. It doesn’t care what you want or where you are. It’s happening and you just have to deal with it. By the end of the film, you can tell that the vomiting is not far off. You know that pretty soon driving home will be impossible, so you skip the dinner part of your evening and head home.

Some may think that once you’re home, it’s all good. You’re home right? In your own space. False. You are not any better than you were, you’re just closer to what you need: somewhere to vomit and somewhere to lay down with your head covered in ice packs. You take what you can, anti-nausea meds, ibuprofen, and a lot of water. You can’t take an abortive medication, because you’ve already used them this week and the possibility of going into a rebound migraine situation terrifies you.

You close your eyes and relish in the darkness. You try to sleep it off, but often the pain is so heavy that you can not fall asleep. You wonder how long this one is going to last. That time you had one that lasted three weeks often comes into your mind, and you push away the panic that this could be the same situation.

Eventually, it gets to the point where your general doctor is out of ideas. So, it’s time to start the specialist route. A whole new ball of anxiety and stress, a new professional looking at your issue and you hope that this person is going to be able to work with you to help.

The hope, though, is that at some point this saga will end and that you will beat this issue and move forward. Keep on searching for that pot of gold at the end of the auras.

Photo credit: tommaso79/Getty Images

Originally published: October 1, 2019
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