I’m sick people, please bear with me on the awful pun.
I do not remember the first time I got a migraine, probably because it was at least six years ago. However, I always know when a new one is coming. They are always pulsating and usually start behind my left eye and then travel to the left side of my head. When that happens, you can catch me in my bed (blinds drawn and tapestries over the blinds to make sure no light is coming in) with a towel on my head and my finger against my eyelid. (For whatever reason, the pressure helps alleviate the pain).
I’ve thrown up and passed out multiple times over the years because of my migraines, and have had to miss class because I couldn’t lift my head off my pillow because of the intense pressure I felt in my skull. In women, the appearance of migraines can often be linked to their menstrual cycles, as a drop in the level of estrogen before their period often leads to what is called a “menstrual migraine.” I’ve kept calendars to track them to see if there are patterns in which I get them, and the ones that do not align with my “time of the month” are without attribution.
I’ve visited gynecologists and neurologists, and have had myself poked, scanned, and prodded in hopes of finding out what causes these pains, but ultimately it’s hard to pinpoint and I’m told they just are seemingly random.
Often times I feel bad complaining about migraines. They’re not life-threatening, they’re just uncomfortable. Although my longest kept me shacked up in bed for (no lie) 48 hours, I eventually got out of bed. My doctor told me once that the pain is still valid and deserves attention like anything else. I guess she’s right.
My whole point in this writing is to say that often people do not understand the extremity that is a migraine, and often chock them up to being “bad headaches.” If you find yourself experiencing this discomfort and yourself believe it’s just a headache, I’d urge you to go to your doctor and begin the process of trying to find out how to get some help to alleviate the pain.