Underneath my yellow skin

Migraine? No. Mini-graine? Yes.

I’m fighting off a migraine. I hesitate to use that word because it’s so loaded. Also, I know in hearing from other people that it can lay them out flat for days. For me, if I catch it in time with two Migraine Excedrin (generic), I can keep the worst of it at bay. That’s why I think mini-graine is a better name for what I go through because it’s not just a headache, but it’s not a full-blown migraine. Yes, I still have to deal with sensory issues, which I have already. Lights hurt and sounds can be too much. They can be literally painful. I had to run to Cubs because I had ran out of food. I should have went yesterday or the day before, but I had no energy to do it. I didn’t have the mini-graine then–just no fucking energy. I can’t even blame the weather because it’s not been outlandishly hot. I’ve just hated life, and when I hate life, I have no desire to do anything.

A few days ago, I had the sinus prickling that I described in the last post. Yesterday, I had absolutely no energy. Today, I woke up with the feeling that a migraine was imminent. How do I know? It’s hard to explain, but I’ll try. I woke up, and my head was…tingling. Again, it sounds stupid, I know. It’s the same as when my nose was starting to hurt due to sinus issues. I felt as if a thousand tiny needles were jabbed into my brain. In the case of my nose, it made it feel as if it were open and porous, but not exactly painful. As for my brain, it definitely is a negative feeling. Also, when I was in Cubs, I was profoundly sweating, nauseated, and a bit dizzy. The last two are common for me when I have a mini-graine, but the first isn’t. Maybe that’s part of peri-menopause, or maybe it’s a new symptom to my migraines. Which is not great.

I have to say that the pills aren’t doing the job they normally do. Full confession: I’m not sure I took the right pills this time. I had ran out, but I have bags of pills from when I traveled. I usually take my migraine pills with me because I never know when I’m going to need them.  I grabbed two pills that I thought were the migraine pills and Googled the letter/numbers combo on them. The internet told me they were migraine pills so I popped two of them. The other issue is that I don’t know if migraine pills have shelf lives. Anyway, normally once I take my pills, I only have the barest of a headache, nausea, dizziness, sensory issues, and fatigue. This time, it’s low level, but more noticeable. It was especially debilitating at the store, and I had a really hard time keeping it together before racing (metaphorically) home.

I want to clear something up. Migraines are not just bad headaches. Migraines don’t even have to include headaches, as weird as that sounds. Actually, I don’t think that should be true, but I am not a doctor. A migraine has many symptoms, ranging from the iconic headache (though that’s too mild a word for what actually happens), to physical pain from sensory stimuli. Here is a list of 15 symptoms of a migraine that are not a headache, and I get seven out of fifteen. In order, they are nausea, fatigue, ringing in my ears, sensitivity to light, irritability, sensitivity to smells, and brain fog. I would add dizziness, a sensitivity to sounds, and a loss of appetite to those symptoms as well. I already struggle with several of them on a regular basis–fatigue, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to sensory stimuli, dizziness, and brain fog, though the last is usually due to a lack of sleep–that it’s no fun when it’s intensified during a mini-graine.

I also want to note that I don’t get every symptom every time. There are a few that always show up–the sensory bullshit for one, and the extreme fatigue. The others come and go as they please, with nary a rhyme nor a reason. As I’ve said before, I don’t have much energy most of the time, anyway. Cutting it by half or three-fourths does not improve anything. I’ve been up for four hours, and I’m ready to sleep again.

I wish people could understand how terrible migraines are. Mine are at the light end of the spectrum, and they still wipe me out for the day. Yes, I can function, but I’m not even at half-mast. Plus, I’m battling issues the whole time. I don’t get the auras, but I get what might be considered the reverse. Instead of having auras, everything in my vision goes gray. The color drains out of everything, and all the light dims. I’m not saying I completely lose color, but they become dimmer than they had been previously. It’s weird to experience, and it’s harder to describe. The same thing happens to sound–the audio thins out. Right now, my left ear is half-plugged, and it sounds as if everything is coming to it in water.

My mom once said she wished she were here to take care of me when I had a migraine, and I nearly shouted, “Fuck no!” at her as every inch of my body recoiled in horror. The last thing I want when I have a migraine is to have someone else around. The only exception is that I would like someone to bring me some soup or something light to eat, but other than that, stay out of my way. When I have a migraine, I want to have as little interaction with someone else as possible because it’s just too much energy expended. That’s how I feel in general about being sick, though. I just want a mug of soup and to be left alone. Hm. I did not buy any soup when I was at Cubs. Oh well. I do have my ubiquitous honey ginger lemon tea, which I drink every day. It may not have any medical benefits except as a placebo, but there have been more studies that indicate that the placebo effect is beneficial in and of itself. Anyhoo. My point is that the tea is delicious and soothing, so why the hell not? I also just had a glass of orange juice, and I have a big klean kanteen (brand name) of cold water all the time. I’m a fan of my beverages, and I like to keep hydrated.

I’m tired. My brain is throbbing, and the brain fog is real. Hopefully, this is the worst my mini-graine will get.

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