working the migraine

It’s 4pm and I just got out of bed. I wish I could say I spent the day lazing around with a book or having a lot of kinky sex. Actually I could say that; it would just be a big fat lie.

I started getting migraines when I was about 20. I’m now 32. That’s twelve years of migraines. Twelve years, people. For a while I was getting them reliably every month (yay, hormones!) and occasinally in-between; I barely had any at all while I was pregnant (the ONE side-effect that was actually good!) and I’ve had maybe 3 since Happy Fun Baby’s birth.

This one kicked my ass, though. Sleep didn’t help. A hot bath didn’t help. Pulling my hair and crying? Surprisingly ineffectual. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had because I didn’t actively vomit. I did stagger shakily to the bathroom and hover over the toilet, gagging, until I got so dizzy that I actually considered laying my face on the toilet seat so I could rest. I’m not suggesting we don’t clean our toilets (I cleaned that very toilet the day before yesterday, in fact) but when snuggling with the toilet seems like a good idea, we have a problem.

And, see, I have a terrible feeling I know what triggered the migraine. Yesterday I ate three squares of very dark chocolate. The same very dark chocolate that I ate before my last migraine, although surely, surely the two cannot be related because I love dark chocolate. The darker the better. Bring on the cacao! Only don’t, because apparently I will spend several subsequent hours writhing in pain and wishing I were dead.

Now that I’m feeling well enough to be upright, I’m doing a little half-hearted checking to see if there are any new migraine meds on the market. I tried Imitrex about…what, eight years ago?…and it was pretty useless. It got rid of the pain, but all the secondary symptoms – including nausea, vomiting, auras, sensitivity to light and sound, numbness, difficulty in speech – remained. Want to know how much work I can get done while not being able to look at the computer screen? Not a lot.

Controllable triggers […] include bright light, chemical smells, second-hand smoke, particular alcohols such as red wine and some hard alcohols such as scotch, foods that are known vasodilator such as fish, some chocolate, aged cheese, and foods which contain nitrates and/or the radical vasodilator MSG.

Migraines: Myth Vs. Reality (and why is it that migraine sites are so headache-inducing? Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?) has an exhaustive list of medications used for preventing and treating migraines. The most promising are the attack-aborting meds, because seriously, I can seldom tell I’m getting a migraine until it’s well underway. Which means I need to send an e-mail to my doctor. Because, dude, if this hadn’t been a weekend and Not So hadn’t been able to wrangle the baby? I’d have been screwed.

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5 thoughts on “working the migraine”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear that all of you have so much experience with migraines! They are teh suck.

    Sarah, I’ll check out Maxalt. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Fireflower….yum! I would totally eat them and then, you know, weep. I have poor impulse control. Hee.

    Alexandra, that is such a good point – I usually try to drink coffee or something when I get a headache because if it’s *not* a migraine, it helps…but I do notice that it has the opposite effect when I have a migraine. I don’t think I ever put that together until I read your comment.

    Dana, ugh. Last weekend was not a good weekend for us. I hope you find something that works! Let me know if you do, okay?


  2. I had this same problem on Sunday and I blogged about it. I can’t stand these damn migraines and I wish my doctor would prescribe better medication for them.


  3. Ugh. Astroboy took beta blockers for several years and it all but got rid of his migraines (he had three in a space of five years, which is much better than the once a week that he was getting sometimes). Since he has been off of them for almost a year, he hasn’t had any reoccurence of migraines. If “chocolate” is a trigger, it may actually be caffeine in which case most of the migraine medicines that are on the market won’t help.


  4. Hope you find something that works well for you. Migraines are zero-fun and make a cranky mama even crankier. If you were closer I’d offer you a chocolate-chocolate-chip muffin. Except, well, I’d hate to trigger more pain for you. So to be a true friend I’ll eat them all myself. /giggle/


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