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What Gets Me Through My Migraines

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More than 38 million people in the U.S. cope with migraine headaches, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

I am one of them.

While most people with migraines experience an attack once or twice a month, others can experience them “15 days or more days a month,” according to the American Migraine Foundation. Either way, migraines are one of the most painful things a person can experience.

The first time I had a migraine I had just turned 13-years-old. The pain scared me. I thought I had a brain tumor. That’s how bad it hurt. I would experience horrible pain that would last at least 72 hours every time.

If you’re one of the least fortunate ones, you’ll experience a visual aura. Auras can come in many shapes and forms. Some see flickering lights or spots. I see flying blackbirds. Only they are flying by me so fast I can barely make out what they are. For some, auras can last to a few minutes to even longer — sometimes as long as an hour.

Migraines can sometimes have the pain and symptoms of a sinus infection. Your nose might be stuffy or feel drained. And your sinus area is painful and sensitive to the touch.

There’s a pulsating, throbbing pain throughout your head. Sometimes it’s on one side more than the other.

And if it gets behind your eye, then you’re screwed. Closing your eye won’t help and leaving it open isn’t an option. Open only makes it worse.

Some experience increased urination and even diarrhea. And this, too, usually comes as an aura.

Migraineurs can experience nausea and vomiting and dizziness. For most, these can’t be avoided.

Light, noise and smells can worsen pain.  That’s why we prefer the comfort of a dark, quiet place.

Migraineurs may also experience difficulty with speech during a migraine. Yet, we tread on.

Dizziness and double vision. This tends to go hand in hand with nausea.

There’s fatigue and a lack of concentration.

Unfortunately, those that tend to get migraines will have them for the rest of their lives. It’s like trying to make peace with the devil. All you can do is fight it with all your might. And when that doesn’t work, you can take solace in knowing that in about 72 hours it will all be over with. That is, until next time. This is what gets me through. That, and knowing I can curl up in my bed, lights out, curtains closed and be miserable for the next few days.  

Of course, when I come out of my hole three days later, I will still experience some sensitivity to light and sound. But the fact that I’m up and moving around makes me happy. I have survived yet another migraine attack and lived to tell the tale. That, too, is what gets me through. 

And it can help get you through it, too.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: August 11, 2016
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