Over the weekend, I had two migraines. This isn’t unusual of late. For the past couple of months I have been having three or four migraines every week. They’re pretty horrible – auras, intense pain, light sensitivity, aural sensitivity, vomiting, general feeling-like-hit-by-truck-ness afterwards. The worst part of it, though, for me at least, is that I thought the migraines were over. When I was a teenager, I used to get the same migraines, at about the same frequency. I had my last one at 18. I thought I’d finally got rid of the monster that is the migraine. I was thankful every day that they were gone.
Having them back again is a horrible feeling, particularly as now I am a writer. When I was a kid and had a migraine, I could go home from school and rest, knowing I could get extensions on any homework and that there would be a mum or dad there at home to look after me and clean the sick bucket. Now, I have HB, but he’s at work or sailing a lot so I have to go through it alone.
Or so I thought.
See, when I was a kid and going through this, I was the only person I knew who had migraines. I found it impossible to describe them to people who thought they were just bad headaches. I found it difficult to put into words the lightning bolt auras I saw (in my case, they ALWAYS look like a funny, jagged hammer and sickle), or why I was actually glad when the vomiting started, because it felt like I was purging the migraine from my system.
And the other thing about migraines is that they’re often caused by eating certain foods. Not so in my case (they were and are hormonal), but this knowledge, coupled with my other stomach problems (undiagnosed coeliac disease), meant that I started to have strange eating habits. Of course, being a teenager, many people thought this was anorexia, and I suppose it was a kind of eating disorder. I became scared of food not because I thought I was fat but because I thought it would hurt me.
As an adult migraine-sufferer, I have found people who understand. And some of these people are writers. They understand how horrible it is to have a deadline and not be able to look at a computer screen. They know how devastating it is to set aside an entire day for writing and to have to spend that day in bed with the curtains drawn.
I have derived enormous comfort from knowing I’m not alone. Thank you to the other writers who have shared their migraine stories. Thank you to everyone for understanding. There’s now light at the end of the tunnel for me in the form of daily injections which will hopefully fix the hormonal problem causing my migraines. I only hope there can be a similar hope for you.
If anyone has experienced migraines, and would like to share their story, I would love to hear it.