Well, today I ended up at home again, unable to shake this migraine. I spent a few hours at work but then couldn’t handle the pain and nausea anymore so I came home. We were supposed to have thunderstorms today (bringing the much needed rain) but they didn’t materialize. I checked the weather radar and the huge band of storms coming from the west split up and went north and south of us. Therefore, no rain for our gardens. Sigh.
The air has cooled down quite a bit though and this has allowed the fog in my head to clear. I still have some pain but I don’t feel quite as ‘out of it’ as I have the past couple of days.
Many people think of migraines are just a headache but let me tell you, that’s not true. Yes, a headache is part of it, but I’m also sensitive to light and sound and feel nauseous. Overall, it’s a full body attack that really sucks!
I’ve been on a new drug, an anti-depressant, for the past six weeks. In that time I have noticed an improvement as I’ve only had two migraines and they’ve both been weather related. This is a big difference from the two to three migraines I was getting each week!
My migraines often come with an ‘aura’ which is a visual disturbance. You know when you look into the sun and you get those spots in front of your eyes? It’s something like that. I get the spots, they spread and then everything is disjointed and I can’t see clearly for half an hour or so. Once the aura clears, the migraine pain hits so I know now to take pain drugs as soon as I start seeing the spots. The earlier I get them into me the better chance I have of reducing the severity of the migraine. The last few times my migraines have come without the aura though which is a little disconcerting. I’m really not sure if this is better or worse!
I got in a bit of painting this morning on the split rail fence but it was a struggle. Out of curiousity this afternoon I Googled “painting with migraine” and found this neat slideshow from the New York Times. Oliver Sacks wrote a book called “Migraine” in 1970 and featured a number of paintings representing what people saw when they had a migraine aura. (Photos in the slideshow are courtesy of the British Migraine Association).
In viewing the paintings you’ll notice that in most the geometric patterns appear on the left side….that’s my experience as well. The migraine pain is often centered over my left eye as well.
It’s strange and fascinating that the medical profession knows so little about migraines, what causes them, and how to treat them. I imagine centuries ago those who had migraines with the aura were considered insane and underwent all kinds of strange treatments.
I’m hoping that as I move forward with this new drug that my migraines will become less frequent!