Day (I can’t remember) of this Migraine episode. Firing everything at it, but Migraine will not be denied. Every hour, it eats more away of me. Migraine is the Angry Hunger.
I woke out of a nightmare this morning with a level 9 on the migraine scale. Cracked my eyes open… it was lighter in the bedroom so I knew it was day. Couldn’t get up out of bed even though I had to pee. Too much pain. With my right hand I could reach into my night table mini pharma for a Maxalt. Took me awhile to get the blister pack open. Got the pill in my oral orifice and grabbed my water bottle to swallow it down… like a jagged little pill… it feels so good… swimming in your stomach. I needed to take 2 sips to get the Maxalt down and spilled water out the side of my mouth over my pillow.
But the migraine was so intense that I didn’t care at all about the spills.
Because I could not get out of bed still for an ice crown run, Cefaly would have to do. After waiting a few minutes… I was able to reach again into the night table mini pharma for my Cefaly. Somehow I got the wee machine on my forehead. And I sank back into my pillow and into my level 9.
The migraine was carving out the inside of right frontal lobe… from the top of my forehead, my eye and upper right sinus. Carving… carving… carving. My stomach flipped with nausea, my body… after 10 hours of sleep… completely useless and everything in pain. The Cefaly now starts to ramp up. My eyes are closed and I focus on my breathing. In and out. In and out. In and out. Let the medicine and Cefaly work. Relax and maybe fall asleep.
The Angry Hunger eats away at my everything: my life, my brain, my soul, my sanity.
Let me paint a picture for you. I’m walking through the grocery store and surfing the shelves for the perfect pasta sauce. I bend down to grab the just-right jar of marinara. The fluorescent lighting of the store suddenly feels too bright and I cringe when the overhead speaker blares the daily deli special. I manage to hobble through the rest of the aisles and drive home, but I’m instantly horizontal the moment I walk through the door. I’m now at the peak of what will end up being a 72-hour migraine attack. I have to call off work, cancel a doctor’s appointment and let my family fend for themselves at dinnertime. (I’ll spare you the details of that scary scene.)
The reality of a life with chronic migraine means dealing with unpredictability. I’m never sure how to plan and often feel like I’m sacrificing my routine for the sake of what might happen. It’s exhausting, especially since I’ve been living with chronic attacks for 17 years. But over the past decade, I’ve come to realize that I am given just one shot at life. It’s not the life I would’ve chosen for myself per se, but it’s the one I have and I’m growing more grateful to be here — alive and able. I’m doing the best I can and I would wager you are, too.
This reframing of my mindset didn’t happen overnight, and there are still a significant number of days where I can barely open my eyes to embrace the present. But I suppose that’s the true beauty of balance when you live with migraine — it’s not guaranteed but it’s possible to cultivate over a period of time. I still don’t have total control over my migraine, but I do have control over what my treatment plan looks like. I have to sometimes sacrifice productivity for rest, but the pendulum will eventually swing back in my favor.
My advice to you is this: trust the people on your medical team, advocate for yourself in moments of uncertainty and try to give yourself a break when your symptoms consumes you like the tide. Keep going, friend!