This morning I sit with my cup of tea, listening to the whir of the heater warming this cozy space. The table is missing its vase of flowers. I have a headache that is medium at the moment. After a visit to the doctor, I decided to finally give in to taking a daily pill for my migraines. I really don't know if it's going to work. I think it's been about 20 years now that I've been taking Imitrex and then a generic form of it. The pill is meant to be taken right at the onset of a migraine and for the most part it works, but there have been many occasions where the headache won over and there was nothing to do except ride it out. In those moments, the nausea is unbearable; vomiting is exhausting, relieving the pain for those brief moments standing over the toilet and then the pain seems to intensify, throbbing and making me feel like creating some other type of pain, just to forget about the pain I already feel. There is also the feeling of wanting to smash your head open against a brick wall to break all the tension away. I've tried to go into the pain, become the pain, and quite honestly, it doesn't help and only intensifies. I try to sleep, holding a cool wash cloth over my forehead, but even sleeping is a chore. I can't do anything except ride it out. Sometimes, it goes away the next day, but other times, it can last days. I've had to call in sick to work, which I hate having to do.
And so, I've only just begun taking this daily pill at a 10 mg dosage, which the doctor said that if I do get a headache, if I can bear it, don't take the Imitrex and increase my dosage of the daily pill to two pills, which will be 20 mg. I can take up to five pills per night–if it got to that point. Last night was my fifth night taking the daily and well, I've had to take an Imitrex, which I took this morning. I can't miss any more work this year. I've thought about acupuncture , but I don't think I could realistically afford the treatments. I try to stay away from my triggers, but one I can't avoid and that's my monthly cycle. Every month I'm guaranteed a bad headache that may last a few days. I used to see a Chiropractor, but that was when I had comprehensive health insurance through a different employer. I think it helped a little, but I don't know how much. I keep a headache calendar and write down every time I get one. I average about ten per month, most have been intercepted with Imitrex, but the doctor thinks that 10 to 12 pills of that pill is too much.
I don't like getting my migraines. They make me feel unhealthy, weak, and sometimes embarrassed. It's not easy to talk to people about migraines who haven't experienced one for themselves. Even then, each migrainer feels the pain differently, but at least they know.
My mother got really bad ones. I remember seeing her in pain and in bed for days. I don't think she had medication, so she had to ride them out each time. What's interesting is that in looking back at my childhood, I remember sometimes feeling sick at home or at school and ending up in the nurse's office and then being sent home. Then I remember a span of my childhood where I wasn't sick. Then in my twenties I started getting the headaches. I remember trying to deal with one. A friend and I were going into town and I had a pounding headache and felt nauseas, but stubborn me didn't want it to get the best of me. As we got through the crosswalk, I went to the nearest bush and vomited. I decided I better turn back and go home.
I will say this–I am grateful that I've at least found some form of medication that works. I've read stories of some people where nothing seems to help. It may not be the best solution and I still haven't given up on the daily pill. I'm trying not to get down about the fact that I may have to up my daily to 20 mgs. I have to accept the fact that this is something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life and in the scheme of things it's not so bad. I've just never liked taking pills if I can avoid it and now I'm stuck with them, not to mention the potential toll they will take on my body in the long run.
I had to get that all out because it's been on my mind. Maybe I'll come back to my blog one day and read this and just maybe my future self will be off the pills or maybe the headaches will dwindle, decrease...who knows.