Living With Migraines – a very long picture-less post

What do I do when I’m not blogging?

Where do I disappear to when you don’t see a post for a day or two or even a week at a time?

Well I shoot of course; after all I am a photographer. Oh I’m not nearly as good as I’d like to be but I still enjoy it; and I sell my photos. I sell them through stock photo sites, my own site, and on Zazzle products.

I am also a mom of 2 grown-up kids and 1 son-in-law. I sure don’t know how that happened but some how they just kept getting older… and now I am OLD!

I am also a member of the National Consumer Panel; I help them collect information on what us average Americans purchase on a weekly basis. It’s kind of fun! I try to grow flowers, usually  not very successfully, and I have picked up a hook and have begun to teach myself how to crochet (I even have a few things for sell in a little shop!). I have a hubby (he’s a computer guy), I’m a housewife, I coupon, I have 7 siblings (I’m the youngest), many nieces and nephews, and countless cousins, I have 1 dog, 1 fish, and a few little medical issues. Nothing too major; RLS, high blood pressure, joint pain, back pain.. the usually things you might expect from someone getting near the big 5-0.

I also suffer from migraines; and that is what usually takes me away from the computer. That is what, more often than not, is happening when you don’t see a post or hear from me for days on end.

I don’t type this as a “woe is me” post. I simply decided that it is time I share some things. Maybe this will help someone who is also affected by migraines to feel a little less alone. Maybe this will help someone who lives with a migraine sufferer to understand just a little more about what their loved one is going through.

And maybe this will make me feel a little better; just getting it out there.

Ok: the following is a long, dis-jointed, not at all grammatically correct, and somewhat random bunch of thoughts about migraines. So if you have no interest in the subject I totally understand if you stop reading now…. but please do come back and visit me again on a day when I have something to say that you do have an interest in.

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What is a migraine?

head to toe pain. horrible throbbing, usually on one side of the head, often the whole head, and even the neck. pounding, throbbing, constant pressure. you beg for the “evil demons” to be let out. they last for hours or days. they happen rarely. they happen often. they happen monthly. they happen weekly. they come with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, burning cold feet and hands, visual disturbances from blurry vision to temporary blindness, visual aura from “flashing lights” and “fireworks” to “spot lights” and “neon signs”.  they bring shaking, weakness, chills, sweats, dizziness, confusion, loss of concentration.  you can’t eat, you can’t move, light is painful, sounds are like knives through you head. sometimes you can’t sleep, sometimes you can’t stay awake. you feel faint, frail, beaten.  attacks come on suddenly, or they build slowly over minutes or hours or days…

you can have all these symptoms at the same time or just two or three or four… you can even have a migraine without the headache…

you can have ocular migraines that come with only the horrible visual auras that cause you to feel very sick, uneasy, tense, you can’t get away from something that is in your own head… no mask, no amount of darkness, no happy thoughts can make them stop…

you have a brain scan… they see spots… they think you have MS… or worse… then they say no… it’s just spots left behind from migraines.. just migraines.

you spend hours wearing an icepack for a hat… wrap yourself in a soft blanket… eyes closed trying to shut out the world…

you wish for company, comfort, someone to take care of you… but you hope no one comes around… the sound of their breathing would be painful..

you want people to understand… it’s not just a headache… unless they have lived it they have no clue…

they say “what are you whining about?”… they say “I get headaches”… they say “that’s too bad”… they say “I don’t go to the ER for a headache”… they say “I had one of those once”… they say “what’s for dinner?”… they say “did you wash my favorite jeans?”… they say “do you want a cheeseburger?”… they say “eat some oatmeal”… they say “get over it”… they say “pull it together”… you can’t…

they think you are weak… lazy… or just don’t want to work… they don’t understand that you would if you could…

you do what you can… when you can… work goes undone… photos don’t get edited, uploaded, key-worded… posts don’t get written… the house doesn’t get cleaned.. the dishes pile up… the laundry doesn’t wash itself… the dog longs for a walk but somehow seems to understand and lays near by, quietly, for hours or days on end…

you make plans… they don’t go well because an attack hits… maybe it’s going to be a big one… if your lucky it’s just a little one… you paste on a happy face… you look for a moment when you can sneak away and splash cold water on your head… take a pill… and hope you can hold up just a little while longer…

you have one attack after another… for weeks you are in misery… then they stop… you feel, you’re almost afraid to say it out loud, normal again… for a while… then they come back…

you call the doctor’s office… the nurse doesn’t have a clue… she says the PA is on vacation and you could call when he is back… or maybe the doctor could take a look at your chart and call you back… tomorrow…

the stupid pharmacy is closed when you need them… the migraine medication is hugely expensive… the shots burn…

you are miserable when you have attacks… but when they are gone… when they take a break and leave you alone for a while…

you let that undone work slide and you get out and enjoy life again… you ask a loved one to go for a walk, even if it is raining… you pick up your camera and look for anything to point it at… you grab your yarn and create something fun…then you do a little of the undone work… catch up on a few things… and hope… and pray… that it is a long, long, long time before another one hits…

but you know it won’t be long… maybe a few months… maybe a few weeks… maybe a few days…

then it starts all over again…

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8 thoughts on “Living With Migraines – a very long picture-less post”

  1. My youngest daughter, Kelly, suffers from migraines. Seeing her suffer gives me a good idea of what you deal with far too often. Wishing you the very best. God be with you.

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