Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Oww. Oww. Oww.

Woke up yesterday with a stonking headache. I have suffered on and off for years with migraines, as has my mother. They started when I was in my late teens and reached a peak in my late twenties. I tend to get headaches quite often at the same time of the month (sorry to the male readers. If there are any) so I know they are hormonal, but sometimes the headache is more than just a headache, it's a migraine and that's like a headache on steroids.

Everyone I know who gets migraines experiences them differently. You tend to get the headache-y part plus an "aura" of additional symptoms. In my case, the headache is centred squarely behind one eye - almost invariably the right eye - and is accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances like little flashbulbs going off which eventually develop into disrupted vision sufficiently serious to make driving impossible and, if I am really lucky, actual vomitting. Which is lovely - nothing like throwing up while moaning and trying hard to shove your fist into your eye as it tries to throb its way right out of your skull. When I have a serious migraine, all I really want is an eyepatch with a golf ball stuck to the inside as only firm pressure on the eye itself gives any relief. Oh, and a totally silent, dark room in which to lie completely still and whimper.

But fortunately this month's headache was just short of qualifying as a migraine, and I have therefore been at work (although pretty useless while there, if truth be told) and, with the aid of strong painkillers, vertical. Interestingly, the only absolute 100% cure for these headaches I have ever found is being pregnant or breastfeeding. Call me unreasonable, but I think as headache remedies go, those are just a bit too drastic for my taste.

So, no running yesterday or today and nothing much else to report on any other front. We have scoffed most of the dairy free dark chocolate Easter egg that First Born got and didn't like (it is a Thorntons dark chocolate egg and is lovely but quite a grown up taste. He willingly swapped it for some dairy free chocolate buttons. We ate it because it would be a shame to waste it, obviously). The boys are going off to stay with Granny and Grandad for a couple of days and Husband and I are going to have a nice meal out tomorrow before he heads off to Prague for a judgely huddle with other internet guru-types. I will be on my own for a day or two. And you know what that means, don't you? Uninterrupted Torchwood and the Wii all to myself! Yippee!


  1. I get lots of headaches, many quite disabling...but I'm so glad I don't get migraines! They seem to be a whole level up in terms of symptoms and ability to function.
    Of course I've never met your boys (2 little, one big) but from my perspective (as a recluse), having a couple of days by yourself sounds like a heaven to balance the migraine-hell you've been through.

  2. Yes, the migraines are terrible. I have had them since my car accident 23 years ago. Hubby has learned to stay away and just let me alone during them.

  3. Ouch -- migraines. Hubby also gets them -- and they seem to be heriditary and so are genetically unavoidable. His sister gets them too any they are really awful.

    He has triggers that, if piled on top of eachother, cause migraines that almost present like a stroke. It's quite scary. I almost called EMS once when his hands went numb and he could no longer form words.

    Triggers include chocolate (sorry), alcohol, over-excitement, and sleep deprivation.

    Hope you feel better soon, and relax while the boys are all out of the house!

  4. So sorry about your headache. I hope that it goes away before it has a chance to ruin your hubby and alone time. I know how precious that time can be!

  5. I used to have horrendous Migraines as a teenager. My mum had to line the curtains in my bedroom to make them black out the light completely. No drugs would touch the pain. One particularily bad episode, my mum was in a panic, I couldnt even let out a whimper because of the pain, so she foned my granny 'Vinegar on a tea towel, lay it on her forehead' was the advice. And do you know it bloody worked(it stank, but who cared??). Grannys are mad as hatters, but wonderfully so.

  6. I just blogged about migraines myself. I've been having them for the past few weeks. I think some of mine are hormonal and have to do with birth control (again, sorry male readers), but I think some have to do with a drop in barometric pressure or sinus problems. I don't get an aura but sometimes mine last for days. And mine are like yours in that one eye feels like I could take it out and the pressure would be so much better.

    The worst I've had, I was taken to the ER. It felt like someone took an ice pick to my temple and I vomited out the window of our car. Then they stuck me four times to find my vein because I was dehydrated. FUN TIMES!!! I feel your pain, literally. I'm now on Topamax, which is a preventative and I hope it helps (I was just prescribed it yesterday).

  7. HI! I told you I'd be over here soon to check out your corner of the world.

    MIGRAINES!! YUCK! I use to have them, too. Hormones were a big contributor for me, as well. My doctor put me on, of all things, Depakote. A very low dosage, 250 mg per day, was all it took to keep me pain free. I had to have blood tests to check liver function once every three months just because it was standard protocol, but IT WAS WORTH IT!

    Hope you feel better by the time the guys leave. I'd be a shame to have your Wii/ME time ruined!

    I'll be back later to check out some more of your stuff. TTFN!

  8. You could ask your doctor about the progesterone-only pill, if you're on the "normal" one (whatever it's called). My wife gets migraines but has been much better since switching pill a couple of years ago.

    Kal should be able to vouch for this advice not being crazy.

  9. I agree with dickie. Pregnancy etc. were the only times I didn't get migraine until my doctor worked it out. With the mirena coil / injectable pill thing I'm fine..... unless I overdo Soya, which apparently is 'rich in natural oestrogen' (possibly a clue!).

  10. I have hormonal headaches/migraines too, when I did not use the pill I could tell the day I ovulate and the beginning of my period because of the headaches.
    Now I use birth control, NuvaRing at the moment but before I was on the pill, a combined one and not a minipill, and it helps a lot.
    I tried a minipill and had a month of continuos low level headache, bleah.

    I discovered the joy of using them 2 packs back to back, skipping the pill-free week, so that I get the dreaded week of headache only once every 2 months instead of every month.

    3 months in a row don't work too well for me because my body seems to discover I'm cheating and for the best (ehem) part of the third month I get, guess what, headaches.

    There is definitely an hereditary component at play, because both my mother and my grandmother had the same problem, for them the migraines started at about 12 and stopped with menopause.

    For my mother being pregnant seemed to increase the headaches instead of diminishing them, and since she could not take painkillers she had 7 and a half months of suffering (I was born premature).

    No food triggers, but some smells (perfume, cigarette smoke) can start a headache or make it stronger.

    Sorry for the funny grammar and spelling, English is not my first language.