Inside the head of a migraine patient

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Slowly I wake up to the sound of birds. A sliver of sunlight found its way into my room. The sun comes out of hiding earlier and earlier towards summer time…

I feel a headache on the left side of my head. It’s worse than it was yesterday. Is it still on the same side? I’m not sure. It travels around sometimes, my migraine.

I had hoped it would have gone away after some sleep. It does that sometimes. More often than not though, it’s worse than the night before.

I get up and make myself a big cup of tea. Sometimes that helps, drinking lots of fluids after waking up. Not this time.

I grab breakfast. Sometimes that helps, eating something. Not this time.

I try to distract myself by watching a show. Sometimes that helps, distractions. Not this time.

The show was a bad idea today. It has only made things worse. I’m nauseous now. It happens. Big headaches with nausea.

Does the sun shine brighter today? I swear the birds are louder today. The cars driving by certainly make more noise today. And my gosh, could someone please turn off that machine that’s running somewhere in the distance? How about stopping the airplanes from flying for a little while?

I walk over to the bedroom, crawl into bed and close my eyes. This feels good for a while. Then the nausea gets worse.

I try to resist each time, but whenever it gets this bad, I have no choice.

I walk over to the cabinet and grab a pain killer. A grade heavier than the regular ones, because these are the only ones that have a chance at giving me some relieve.

I take the pain killer with some water. I then take off my regular glasses, grab my boyfriend’s big, dark sunglasses, and put them on. This helps a little.

I swear that sun is extra bright today.

I head over to the kitchen and with my head in my hands, I lean against the kitchen island. Ah, sweet darkness.

I just stand here for a while.

Have to stay upright, or the nausea will get worse…
Have to hold on until the pain killer kicks in…

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It’s a bad one today. I don’t often have migraines this bad anymore, but they visit sometimes to remind me I won’t be rid of them completely. I had them more often years ago. Especially when I was still working a 9 to 5 job.

Ironically, the headaches never visited me on week days. I was always able to head to work. They would come out of hiding during the weekend. Basically ruining a big portion of my time off. They would subside in time for me to head back to work on monday.

Some time after the burnout happened, while still on sick leave, the migraines came less often. They became less heavy. I still get them sometimes, but they aren’t always bad enough to require a pain killer.

I don’t like taking pain killers, so I try to suffer through the headaches. When the pain and nausea get too bad though, I usually give in. Especially when the light and sound sensitivity is at its worst. Everything gets so much brighter and louder and I feel like there’s no escape.

I don’t visit doctors with this. I did a few times in the past. They always say the same: You need to exercise more. I did that. I cycled to work for years. There were periods where it took an hour per ride, and there were periods where it took 15 minutes per ride. But cycling I did. And I always walked half an hour during lunch. Always. Snow or not. Rain? Heck, that’s why they invented umbrellas. It didn’t work.

I know what will happen if I talk to doctors again. I have to exercise more. Or maybe find triggers and try to avoid them. The only triggers I found so far are things I can’t avoid. Mainly big changes in weather. Hot weather mostly. Stress is also bad, obviously.

Maybe they could give me pain killers. You know, the things I try to avoid.

That’s what I find online. Trigger avoiding and getting heavier pain killers. Other than that, migraine is pretty hard to actually beat.

So I suffer through it and take a pain killer when absolutely necessary.

The worst thing about this though, is the insecurity. I haven’t had a 9 to 5 job in over a year now. No working for an actual boss. No people depending on me to show up at certain times, 5 times a week. No stress related to obligations like that.

Instead, I earn a little crypto on the side by writing pieces like this. Or by sharing other experiences, be it in real live or in game. This allows me to set my own times. Work when I feel I can, but also rest when I feel I need to. All while still feeling I can atleast contribute a little bit, financially speaking.

It’s not a lot though. It doesn’t equal a 9 to 5 job, 5 days a week.

I think about maybe finding a regular job again someday. But after a while, my head always reminds me it doesn’t actually feel ready for it. Either it’s too fuzzy (thanks a lot, burnout), or I get a migraine. What am I supposed to do at work when I feel like this half of the time?

I don’t want to go back to migraines each weekend. I don’t want to sacrifice all of my free time, just to work 9 to 5, 5 days a week. Nor do I want to be dependent on a regular intake of medicine.

So tell me, what’s a girl to do in a situation like this?


This article was written months ago and shared on my Steemit blog. Sharing it here now to catch up. The pictures are mine and are not to be used anywhere else without my explicit permission. Check out my Homepage or Links page for a purchase.

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