Miss Migraine: A summer retrospective

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The Adventures of Miss Migraine is an ongoing column about my life with chronic migraine. A version of this post appeared first on my blog of the same name on August 20, 2012. 

In many ways, this has been a terrible summer. The weather was awful, my best friend in the entire world is going through some awful shit, my mom and one of her friends got into a motorcycle accident (my mom’s okay, her friend is still in the hospital with major injuries), my husband’s migraines increased from infrequent to multiple times per week, and the severity of mine have been steadily increasing.

I’ve been traveling constantly: Vietnam in the beginning of May; Maine at the end of June; Florida this week; plus three trips to visit my in-laws in Northeastern PA, five hours away from Pittsburgh; and two trips to visit my best friend and my parents in Southeastern PA, also five hours away. I’ve loved every single one of these trips, but I’m tired, worn out.

Simpsons Itchy and Scratchy Wheel of Pain

Photo by Flickr user jennifromtheblock, used under Creative Commons license.

Over the weekend, I had the worst migraine of my life. I felt like I was dying, like my right eye was slowing pushing its way out of my head. Thankfully, I had felt it coming on and taken a Maxalt, which knocked the pain down to a bearable level. I had to take another one later in the day, but at least I avoided a trip to the ER (which I was sure was going to be necessary).

Saturday, with the postdrome euphoria I sometimes get, I was able to begin preparing for my trip to Florida. But on Sunday, another bad migraine hit me and I was stuck on the couch with an ice pack to my head most of the day, having exhausted the week’s limit of abortives.

It’s easy to feel depressed. How am I going to make it through my trip this week? How am I going to make it through the semester, when classes start next week and I’ve been spending so much time on the couch? How can I do anything when I feel this way?

But in many ways, this has been a wonderful summer. I got to go to Vietnam. I climbed a mountain with my husband, and a few shorter ones with him and the dogs in Acadia National Park in Maine. I’m going to Florida for a Star Wars convention, which is just about my most favorite thing, ever. I got to spend so much time with both of my families and some of my closest friends.

Remembering these things doesn’t make the pain any less real, any less present in my life, but it does make it less significant. So the severity has been increasing. That only means I still have work to do in order to get where I want to be — like with any other goal in life. And I’m good at working toward my goals.


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