I need to distract myself from the pain afflicted by migraine. And so far, I have not been successful in doing that. It seems that every single movement of my head, every flicker of the light or reflection, every single annoying noise makes me want to hurl!
I suppose reading and looking at the computer or iPhone or iPad during this time is not the best thing to do of course. But it does beat... driving (which I shouldn't have done in the first place). So back to the reading... I came across this article on the internet while googling "Migraine Pain Management" and it states that migraine causes are unknown. It simply occurs when the brain and its surrounding blood vessels are irritated due to certain triggers, which makes it leak out certain chemicals that induces pain to the nerves. Migraines most commonly occur among women particularly around the time of their periods especially in puberty and would usually lessen by the time they reach menopause. Genetics are most commonly cited by migraine sufferers but there are also environmental effects causing migraines to occur, such as light, smell, food, lifestyle, stress, effects of other drugs, etc. What's even more worrying is that women who suffer from migraines have a higher risk of stroke (GASP!), although the connection is still unclear.
I still remember how I discovered my long-term relationship with migraine. I was probably 11 or 12 years old when it made its debut in my life one afternoon. It was a confusing feeling then because I didn't know whether I was having a headache or if my head was about to explode. I remember crying to my parents in their room saying my head hurts so much that I feel like I just want to crush my head to relieve the pain. Nothing worked. Not sleeping, not staying awake, not eating or drinking, nothing. And we never came across the word "migraine" before either.
I hadn't started my period then but I suppose it was puberty which was just the beginning of everything.
My parents were quite worried that I had resorted to bawling my eyes out from the pain. They told me to lie in their bed (which always feels more comfortable), close my eyes and try to sleep. My mum stroked my head with some peppermint ointment in an attempt to ease the pain and the lights were turned off. Before long I drifted off in a fitful slumber. When I came to, the pain had subsided and I felt better. I hadn't realised it then but being in a darken room is one of the natural "relievers" when a migraine occurs.
This episode came and went periodically throughout my life henceforth. It wasn't till later in my teens that I learnt that it was a migraine. As I began my period, I noticed a particular trend of it's occurance. Some days it's manageable without any meds. Some days are crippling to a fault. I've had several memorable severe migraines. The first is always most memorable. There was once a few years ago, I thought I was going to pass out alone in the house after crawling to the toilet to puke my guts out for the upteenth time. Another was when I started puking non-stop during fasting month at work and had to get my friends to help get me home. I couldn't drive or even open my eyes because the light was just blinding. Several other times I ended up puking after holding it in for as long as I could. The pain literally pounds on my head.
Today's episode is also no walk in the park. I'm trying to hold it together but I feel like it will not be a gallant victory. I'd only end up sitting in the dark in my room... after work ends (?). To top it off, I'm also having period pains which is a double whammy. Astaghfirullah... I think that is all I can say in this time of pain.
The article I mentioned also stated that migraine sufferers should keep a headache diary. That's a brilliant idea. Think this entry will be the first for the headache diary. Let's see how often it occurs this year alone starting from May 27th onwards. As far as I can recall, I think the migraines have lessened in frequency although the magnitude of pain when it does occur are quite high.
From time to time I will also put in how I manage migraine pain before succumbing to pain relieving meds. Lord knows I need to get my system as chemical free as possible from all those years of swallowing Panadols.