She's a character, she has opinions.

Chasing the migraine pain.

with 4 comments

Sometimes I read about people who won’t take medications. They don’t believe in ibuprofen or acetaminophen, maybe they don’t believe in diphenhydramine or pseudoephedrine. They prefer to brew up a cup of tea or hold a homeopathic remedy under their tongue when they have aches, pains, allergies, or colds. And lest I sound as judgmental as some of them do, I don’t think there is a “right way” just a “right way for you.”

In a way, I envy those people. Today I didn’t want to take ibuprofen and lie down. I wanted to function. I wanted to tough it out and be “like everyone else.” You see my mistake there? There is no like everyone else, there is just like me. And I really needed to take that medication because today was baby’s first migraine with vomiting because of extreme pain.

By the time I fully realized what I was in for, it was too late. I took the medicine anyway and lay down. It felt like my brain was swelling and bumping against the inside of my skull in some sort of maniacal symphony. It’s okay, I told myself, you’ll get through this, you always do. But today, with the pain from my post-herpetic neuralgia throbbing in my arm and hand, and the stress of the last few weeks percolating in my system, I didn’t get through it. When the queasy feeling hit, I tried to ignore it because it never, never turns into anything. Except for how today it did.

You’re all right, the pain really does lessen after you vomit. Not a lot, not enough to make me feel better, but enough so that I eventually fell asleep with a cold cloth clutched to my brow. Twelve hours later and I’m still in pain, but at least now my eyes can focus and I’ve managed to rehydrate my system. I’m hoping–praying–that this migraine runs its course quickly, but in all honesty I’m doubting it will. I’m worried I’m in for days of a migraine hangover once the pain finally goes away.

I really, really should have taken that medicine this morning when I first felt the pain coming on. I know better than this. I know that having constant pain makes other pain worse and I know that if I don’t take medicine right away I’m going to spend the next few days chasing the pain. I know all this and I still screwed up. It’s been a rough day.

So I envy those people who won’t take medicine. I envy that they don’t have to.


Written by tldegray

July 9, 2010 at 12:48 am

Posted in Essay, Health

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4 Responses

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  1. I’m grateful that I don’t really get them anymore, but NOTHING infuriated me more during my YEAR LONG MIGRAINE when my friends were like “oh, I don’t take anything for my headaches.” This was just before Imitrex was released- it became available right at the tail end of my Migraine Year, so I was downing 4-6 ibuprofen every couple of hours just to be able to open my eyes. Sure, I would have loved to not be messing up my stomach with so much aspirin, but it just wasn’t feasible.

    And yes, once you puke, the worst is usually over.


    July 9, 2010 at 8:10 am

    • That “I don’t/won’t take medicine” attitude comes from a place of privilege. I wish I could say that. I wish I didn’t have certain illnesses that require me to take medicine to function or to live. It’s super-frustrating, and I’m finding it especially so right now where if there was a medication to cure PHN and the chronic fatigue I’d take it in a heartbeat no questions asked.

      God, the puking. So awful. It’s like “why, body, WHY? WHY DO YOU HATE ME SO?”

      I don’t even know how you survived a migraine phase like that. Terrible.


      July 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm

  2. I am well impressed by your ability to be non-judgmental – I have used the word privilege to those who don’t have to use medication. One young man has told me that “a glass of water or a nap” would cure my PHN pain which I describe as excruciating and that can only be described as wholly debilitating. It is erasing my disability in a manner that is similar to those who say they don’t see race or gender… pshaw!


    July 20, 2010 at 12:21 am

    • If only a glass of water and a nap was all we needed to fix our nerve damage. *eyeroll* People can be so blissfully unaware of their own privilege. I figure I can either get mad at them (which upsets me which in turn upsets my PHN) or I can just try to get through it. I’ll correct those I’m close to, the ones I think matter, but I generally don’t bother with the jerks. I just don’t have the spoons. *G*


      July 20, 2010 at 1:16 am

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