Posted by: chlost | August 10, 2011

It’s enough to make my head hurt

Migraines.

I get migraines. It had been a long time since I’ve had one. Now I have had two in about two weeks. I had almost forgotten about them. It has all come back to me very quickly.

My mom had migraines. She would be in bed for a day whenever they hit. Usually, she would lie in the dark, or with one of those sleep masks over her eyes. We tried to be quiet. Usually that didn’t last long, and she would have to get up to handle some family squabble.  Her migraines stopped once she reached menopause.

I started getting them around the end of high school. I could usually suffer through them. During college, they got much worse. I tried many different medications. None really helped much. They became worse and more frequent. When I started taking birth control pills, they became more than I could handle. Sometimes daily, usually at least weekly suffering. I found it very difficult to get through them. I couldn’t stand it, and even though I tried many different brands and dosages, I could not continue taking the pill. Pregnancy was also a time when I suffered many migraines, which were made worse by the fact that I was limited in the types of medication I could take for them.

As our kids grew up, I usually tried to muddle through the headaches. There was rarely a chance to just stop life due to a migraine.  I tried all sorts of medications over the years, but finally gave up and just suffered with them.

I was always hopeful that one benefit of reaching menopause would be no more migraines. I guess I am just not that lucky.

The current headache came on during dinner last night. I immediately took some medicine and went to bed. This afternoon I am beginning to feel better. Earlier today, I had to work. It was quite a struggle. I came home and took a nap. As of now, after swallowing down several acetaminophen tablets and taking it easy, I feel as though I am coming around. By tomorrow morning, I may be back to normal.

The worst part of these is never knowing when they will hit. Unlike many other people who have migraines, I have never been able to pinpoint a trigger for them. They come out of nowhere. In the past, I have had numbness in one of my hands and one side of my face precede the headache. Usually it is just a visual thing, which makes my vision seem as though someone flashed a bright light in my eyes-like a camera flash. There is a spot of bright light that begins small, grows larger and stays in my vision as the headache progresses. The headache hits, with nausea and sensitivity to light and odors, and lasts from 24 to 48 hours.

While lying around with this headache, I’ve had a lot of time to think. One of the things I’ve thought about is whether I could be the President of the United States with a migraine.

Would my migraines preclude me from being President of the United States?  I don’t think I could make a major decision while in the throes of a migraine. I could not be a proper hostess to a guest. If I were in a place with bright lights, I would have to close my eyes, or at least look away. If there were an odd odor, I would likely barf.

So, no heads of state at diplomatic dinners for me. It would not be good to ask me if we should invade some pesky country. No television lights and cameras in my face.  And if you have body odor, watch out for your shoes.

Yes, I am sad to admit to you that I will never be able to be President of the United States.

I know that Michele Bachmann believes that she could be the leader of the free world. Even if I didn’t think she was unqualified in so many other ways, I have a hard time believing that she could competently handle the job while suffering a migraine. It’s my understanding that she believes that (her)God has called her to be President.  From my perspective, if (her) God wanted her to be President, He wouldn’t have given her migraines. Maybe He is trying to tell her something.

The only possible benefit I could see from that would be that perhaps she would support research into effective preventive treatment for migraine headaches. But I am not willing to entrust the world to her on that basis.

Just the possibility of her as President is enough to give me another migraine.

I’m going to lie down.

{Note: Another blogger recently wrote on this subject as well, but I can’t remember who it was. I would like to link to your post, so if you can let me know who it was, I will add the link. I am obviously not thinking clearly right now.}

Okay, now I have it. My memory banks have kicked in. Here is the link to  Nance at Mature Landscaping, who wrote on this subject recently. She writes much more eloquently than I, so check out her post, as well.

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Responses

  1. Aw, you have my deepest sympathies. Hope you are all better now.
    I had those monsters for 10 years and thankfully out grew them when menopause hit so I guess they were hormonal. Mine would last exactly 4 days. Don’t know about hers, but I doubt you can put running a huge world power on hold for 4 days. I know besides being debilitated and in a drug fog, I was quite cranky with a short fuse. She needs to rethink.

    • Thanks for the good wishes. It has been four days now with this one, and I am still not feeling my best. I thought I’d be home free from them at menopause….no such luck, I guess.

  2. A blogging friend calls her ‘Crazy Shelly’ and if her symptoms are like yours. I certainly I don’t want her running things because I was a tad “off the hook” (as my kids put it) when I went through the change, too, Fortunately, I went through it rather quickly — a real blessing, They would have had to lock me up if it lasted any longer than it did. .

    • No question she is not all there, whether having a headache or not. I think she is more that “a tad off the hook”. She doesn’t even know what a hook looks like.

  3. Ugh. Migraines are nasty things. I hope you feel better soon. *hugs*

    • Thanks for the hugs. Hugs always help.

  4. Ah, you are the reason that post is suddenly getting new hits. Thank you for the shout-out.

    I’ve never pinpointed a generic trigger, either, but I did stumble upon three specific ones that seemed unrelated to me. One was when my father gave up driving and asked me to begin to use his brand new, rigged out SUV to pick him up at assisted living and take him to the doctor. I’d get migraines in that car and I believe it was the visual disturbance set up by the barely discernible shimmy in the cabin of the car. It must have had a nastagmus-like effect that scrambled my brain and made it think something bad was happening.

    Again, after cataract surgery, the doctor put two types of lenses in, one for distance and one for reading. During the period when my brain was getting used to them (it took a very long time), I was prone to migraine.

    The third trigger I’ve identified at times is a sudden drop in blood sugar related to stepped up exercise after a period of relative inactivity.

    But I can never count on any of them. I’m sorry for yours. Michelle Bachmann’s eyes give me a problem; maybe they bother her, too ;^)

    • I don’t think my little blog is doing much to increase your hits.
      I have narrowed the triggers down to a few things as well. I agree that blood sugar levels do it to me. So of course, I have to eat more, just to be sure I don’t waste away…..:)

  5. Sorry to hear about your migraines. My week was spent battling my own recurring illness. I go to a place where there is just me and my pain so I can cope with it until it goes away. I guess I can’t be president either! People would expect me to give speeches, go to grand events, do something, and I’d be telling them, “Just leave me alone!” A few days later I’d be my usual cheerful self, but…don’t think the world would be willing to stop and wait for me. Life is just not fair!

    I never figured out that God thing and political candidates. Cause I am certain God told ME not to vote for her! Was she supposed to run for that reason? LOL They’re all so full of crap.

    • I’m sorry you had a tough week, too. I go to bed and pull the covers up, and the world just has to get along without me for at least a few hours. Any intelligent being would tell people not to vote for someone who claims to have all of the answers from God.

  6. Michele Bachman and her husband are despicable people. That’s what should disqualify her, not her migraines.

    I get them, but much less frequently now. A friend recommended a vitamin supplement called Ubiquinol (a CoQ10 derivative), I can’t swear it works, but I do know the frequency and intensity of the headaches is better.

    • NO question as to them being despicable, I am sure that they have ruined more lives than many other people who do not claim to be Christian. Hopefully, people with any intelligence will see how despicable she is…..but I am not sure about it.
      I have never heard of the vitamin. I will have to check it out. I have other meds that I am taking, so I have to be careful about mixing.

  7. As a citizen of the Great State of Minnesota, let me personally apologize re: Michelle Bachmann. She is a lunatic and a generally sneer-worthy person. I don’t know what is wrong with us that someone believes she should run for president. But I suppose she can run, huh? There’s no way she could be elected, right?

    Sorry to hear about the migraines. I, too, send hugs in the hopes that they help…

    Pearl

    • Hey, I not only have to apologize as a citizen of Minnesota, but as one of her constituents in her Congressional district. I tried to get her opponents elected, but for some reason those in this area seem to be enthralled with her craziness. I just don’t get it. And I sure hope that the craziness will not extend to the rest of this great country. Then I WILL have to move.

  8. So sorry to hear about your migraines — I get them, too.

    It seems I somehow missed the news that Bachmann is a migraineur. I would NEVER vote for her for political reasons, but I do know that medication does work for some migraine sufferers and doesn’t necessarily mean they couldn’t be effective presidents.

    I have suffered 4-day-long and recurring migraines, too, and most of mine did seem to be hormonally triggered. For me being pregnant was a blessed nine months free of migraines! But when I got into my 40s they seemed to be coming non-stop, one on top of the other. I used to drive around with a barf bucket in my lap when driving my teens to and from their jobs and activities. It was then that I started meeting older women who said their migraines all but disappeared at menopause, so as you can imagine I’ve been eagerly looking forward to that event!

    It wasn’t until 2006 (age 49) when my sister persuaded me to see a neurologist that I finally got effective treatment. ZOMIG! A drug literally gave me a life! Now after 5 years free of unrelenting pain my only fear is that this wonder-drug will be removed from the market for some reason. It’s very expensive but worth every dollar.

    I’m so sorry menopause didn’t bring you relief. Maybe a neurologist would help you… (((hugs)))


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