I suffer from migraines and have for most of my memory. They’re not headaches. They’re migraines. Blinding, pounding, nausea inducing migraines. I try to explain to Ben what they feel like because “headache” is far too mild.
Imagine that you have a grape in your hand. Now, squeeze one end of the grape. See how the opposite end is sort of swollen looking, like the skin might rip at any moment? That’s how my eyes feel. Even blinking hurts them. It feels like the inside if my eyelids are lined with sandpaper. Now, imagine that you have teeny tiny elves all around your poor swollen eyes. Not cute little elves either. Knife wielding angry elves. Every single time the weakest bit of light hits your poor swollen eyes the evil little elves poke you one trillion times with their tiny little knives. Now imagine that every little sound you hear is amplified by one million times. Sort of like being at a rock concert in the front row with out all the fun of actually being at a rock concert. Now, remember that time you had the stomach virus from hell. The nausea, the body aches, and oh the nausea. Sucks right? But I’m not done yet. Now imagine that your brain is swollen against your skull and feels like it might explode at any given moment. Oh, and your head weighs about a trillion pounds. As if that isn’t enough, imagine that your neck and shoulder muscles are so tight that you can barely bend your head. You feel like your shoulders have taken permanent residence up around your ears. It’s not a lot of fun. Add in a job where you have lots of people to deal with, a computer screen to stare at and (if you’re lucky) the drive thru to contend with. But, you think to yourself, I can handle this for one day. It’s not so bad for a day. Then 3 days pass. Then it’s Christmas and you can’t even really enjoy the day because you’re head hurts so dang bad. Then it’s 3 weeks later and you still have the cursed migraine and you’re seriously debating ripping your own head off because at least you wouldn’t have that stupid migraine anymore.
Did I mention that this whole time you’re taking Excedrin Migraine and Ibuprofen like it’s candy? 2 Excedrin is the recommended dosage. As you take them the first day you think “Ah..this will get me some relief.” Only to find out later that it doesn’t make a dent in the pain. Then you take 4 Ibuprofen because that HAS to help right? Nope, no such luck. So you drink a pop thinking “I read somewhere caffeine helps.” Nope, not at all. You think “Maybe a massage.” But, since it’s the holidays you don’t have the extra money, so you beg your husband to do it. Except he’s afraid of hurting you and is, understandably, tired from work. So it doesn’t really help at all. Calling the chiropractor will help, but they don’t have any openings. Awesome. Finally, after 3 weeks of suffering, you have an emotional breakdown. It had to happen sometime right?
This is exactly how my life went from a few weeks before Christmas until after the New Year. It was awful. I was miserable. I had a migraine on Christmas, I had a migraine on New Years. It sucked. A lot. I think the worse part is that people just don’t understand. It’s hard to explain to someone what it feels like. They seem to have the “Take some Tylenol and get over it” mentality. If someone tells you that they’re suffering from a migraine, please offer to help them out so they can go crawl into a dark hole and sleep for a few hours. Or at least be understanding. Maybe loan them a pair of sunglasses. Or a massage.