a gift from Mother Nature…

… for outliving my usefulness as a spawning unit, apparently. Welcome to middle age, howbout a pipe wrench to the head?

Um. I don’t know if I’ve whined incessantly about mentioned this, but I’ve been getting these headaches for a few years now. They start in my right eye and last about three days. Sometimes they migrate to the left eye, sometimes not. Mostly the pain isn’t excruciating, exactly, it’s just oppressively there, ALL the time, so I pretend I don’t have a headache until about 3:00, and then I crash and burn because the effort of ignoring it has worn me out. Advil doesn’t help. Neither does sleep, stretching, exercise, chicken soup, lots of water, whether taken internally (drinking) OR externally (baths), giving up coffee, drinking extra coffee, giving up dairy or meat or refined sugar, or anything else I’ve tried.

SO, I started keeping a headache diary, and lo, the headaches were happening about once a month, hm. After six months, I took it to the doctor (that was the “something else” in my doctor’s appointment about three weeks ago), and she said it could be, in order of how much it will complicate my life:

  1. Migraines. Don’t respond to regular headache pills, but there are migraine pills you can take.
  2. Hormones. We can put me on some kind of birth control pill and mess with my hormonal balance.
  3. Tension. I can change my entire life around to accommodate my stupid headaches.

That said, quite sensibly, she suggested we start with the simplest possibility: she wrote me a prescription for five migraine pills, I took one and it… muted the headache. I still knew I had a headache, I just didn’t care, basically. And it made me sleepy. So the next time I felt one coming on, I started with my usual tactic (pretend it’s not there, it will feel unwanted and slink away), but then I realized that since that hasn’t worked for years, maybe it’s time to give up on it. So I took another migraine pill, noted ghost headache but no sleepiness, and made an appointment to report to the doctor. She said yep, probably migraines, wrote me another prescription and told me to check back in three months so we could see how it’s going.

So now here we are. On one hand, yay! These headaches have plagued my life and now I’m taking active steps toward controlling them. On the other hand, egad. I am now a Migraine Person.

Song du jour of the day: Headlock, by Imogen Heap.

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5 responses to “a gift from Mother Nature…

  • abh21

    My mom used to get 3-day headaches once a month (relevant, because I think I inherited my celiac from her, but hers was undiagnosed). I’ve heard of migraines disappearing–or at least getting far more manageable–when people go on a gluten-free diet. I don’t know if you tried that already, but here’s some more info on what I noticed with myself: I had certain gluten reactions that were worse once a month–I definitely think hormones exacerbate the reaction. For the first few months I was gluten free, I’d still have these symptoms cyclically, but they were better, and after the first few months, they were gone (unless I accidentally glutened myself, of course). So one or two months maybe isn’t enough to tell if giving anything up is working. Either way, I hope you get some relief. I get headaches but not migraines, and I do think, now, they’re related to what I ingest.

  • Kel

    I’ve been a migraine person all my life (or at least since about 5), and yes, they suck, but with the right pills its okay. In the end, after finding out what was in most migraine pills (caffeine and painkiller), I simply started drinking a cup or two of black coffee (no milk, no sugar) with 4 aspirin the minute I felt one coming on, and that has been working pretty well for the past few years….

  • Jonna

    I’m also a migraine person, though luckily not as severely as in my youth – now it’s two to four times a year and stress related. Sometimes, I try a hot tub on my head and a cold towel around my neck and then I go to bed in a dark room. It actually helps. But I feel like a Victorian, fainting, lady….

  • Melanie

    You may want to look at The Hormone Diet by Dr. Natasha Turner. Changed my sister’s life.

    • alala

      Umm, the thing is, I don’t really want to change my life. If I couldn’t even write down what my kid ate for three days to get on WIC, then I can’t read the ingredients on everything I put in my mouth and stop going to restaurants and memorize what all those E-numbers mean and never be able to grab a sandwich at the train station if I didn’t have time for breakfast and limit my diet to the five things that don’t contain any trace of wheat nuts dairy caffeine sugar salt meat or carbon. I admire my friends who have turned their lives inside out, they’re a better man than I am Gunga Din, but turning three headachy days a month into the permanent headache of tracking every carb and calorie is… not even not worth it – I just can’t.

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