After suffering for over 20 years, I was diagnosed last year with chronic vestibular migraines, which basically means that one of my main migraine triggers is MOTION. Seriously? I mean, how can you not MOVE? Long car rides, like our frequent trips to Dallas for Brendan's treatment, are pure hell. It's not motion sickness. I'm perfectly fine IN the car. The hell begins when we stop.
fun for them, hell for me.
When the car stops. . . .
The moment I step out of the vehicle, it hits me. I can't hear anything but a loud roar, like really loud road noise, as if you were driving along rough pavement in a poorly-insulated old truck. I'm dizzy, and feel almost drunk and disoriented. Then the skull-crushing pain slams in, along with other classic migraine symptoms like nausea, neck pain, light and noise sensitivies, chills, body aches. At that point, I'm done for the day; maybe for a few days.
Ibuprofen chased with a cold caffeinated beverage, and maybe some super-salty potato chips (for the nausea) seem to help the most, if taken immediately at onset.
Don't judge. It works for me.
I do have other migraine triggers, with hormonal swings being the other biggie. There are a few other triggers, like heat. . . .
MASSIVE migraine after this.
Pain and postdrome. . . .
I typically have 6 - 13 migraines every month. If I don't have a migraine, I'm recovering from one. Migraine hangovers are a thing. They suck, too, but I'd rather feel hungover than in excruciating pain. On the rare days I'm not suffering from either of those, I'm almost manic, trying to get as much shit done as possible, because I know the good days are precious and few.
As an example, I did all of these projects for our homeschool classroom in one, maybe two days. I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to do, or finish, so I had to rush. . . .
From zombie to crazy. . . .
So far, preventative medications haven't helped. They've been nightmarish, really. I'd prefer a migraine over insomnia, interrupted sleep, extreme fatigue, suicidal thoughts, sluggish thinking, vertigo, horrific nightmares, weight gain, even more frequent migraines. And did I mention hallucinations?
hallucinations are not cool.
Waking up to find my bedroom engulfed in flames (it wasn't) was SO. INSANELY. TERRIFYING. And then there was that time that I awoke to see my bedroom walls dripping in blood (it wasn't). . . yeah, that was the time I decided to stop taking medication that was making me batshit crazy.
never cool. especially in your bedroom.
My neurologist's solution? Throw in some anti-depressants! You know, because if you aren't waking up and seeing horrific hallucinations, are you really even having hallucinations? I mean, maybe if I were just a little more stoned or catatonic, maybe I wouldn't know I had a migraine? Maybe?
He's now my ex-neurologist.
I'm free of those shitty drugs. I have Imitrex for emergencies, and it usually works very well. I use it sparingly; that's some really powerful stuff. I once used a month's supply within a week. . . SO not good. Now I try to rely on avoidance and ibuprofen. I'm considering the botox treatment once I find another neurologist. Or maybe acupuncture?
on my functional, less-excruciating migraine days,
I take photos to take my mind off the pain.
another migraine day photo.
Migraines are making me fat(ter). . . .
The medication debacle packed on some pounds, and being a zombie helped kill my workout inclinations. Remember when I went to the gym almost every day? Yeah. Good times. Then a Month of Migraines happened, and I've just never really been back. Add eating salty junk food crap, and 20 pounds appear on the scale.
I need to add gym time to my manic get-shit-done days, I suppose.
So that's where I'm at.
That's why I don't (can't) blog much, sew much, interact much.
waiting for me.
I haven't even touched on how this affects my family -- my husband, my precious babies, our homeschool, my relationships.
Migraines touch, affect, and infect it all. Let's talk about that another time.
For now, I'd love to hear from other migraineurs. I'm curious -- what's worked for you? Have you tried botox or acupuncture for your migraines? How are you coping overall?
Talk to you soon. . . or on my next good day. :)