Friday, August 12, 2011

Migraine Eyes

I have a little excuse for why I have been MIA lately.

I really, really, really wish I could say that I have been outside doing tons of fun sunshiny summery things.

I have been doing a little of that.  After all, those volunteer tomato plants have to be tended.

But I have also been spending some time dealing with migraine headaches. 

'Migraine Eyes'
I started having migraines when I was about 12.  The first one I had scared me to death.  I always seem to have a lot of visual disturbance leading up to my headaches so that first time it struck I was convinced that I was going blind.  It was a bad day.

Those headaches of the past were always triggered by stress.  Most of the time it was emotional stress but they could even be triggered by physical stress - too much activity on too little sleep.  Since we have a strong family history of migraines no one was surprised when I started having them & my pediatrician advised aspirin & it really worked.  I could usually head it off at the pass if I took two aspirin as soon as the visual disturbances appeared.  After a couple of years I seemed to have developed the maturity to handle the stresses in my life & the headaches sort of disappeared except for maybe two during my college years.

Fast forward 12 years (ouch!  has it really been that long?) & I have had something like six migraines in the past six weeks.  I don't really know what is going on.  A couple of them seem to have been totally unprovoked while a couple of them definitely flared when I was overtired & a little upset.  I went for two whole painful weeks without eating cheese to see if it made a difference.  My grandpa became sensitive to cheese when he was in his early 30's so we thought maybe we shared a trigger.  Nope.  Thank God I can still eat cheese!  So I don't really think I have developed a food allergy.  I'm thinking it's probably the same old song & dance - I need to relax! get more sleep! trust the Lord for all the scary stuff!  Yes, yes, & yes, all easier said than done.  But I can be very grateful about a couple of things: these headaches are for the most part much less intense than the headaches of the past.  I have been able to work through most of them.  I don't really get nauseous.  Light doesn't bother me but loud sounds really do.  It's easier to escape from noise than it is to escape from the daylight.  My old lady stomach is too sensitive for regular aspirin so I have to take the coated stuff.  That means that the headache usually has time to go full blown, but all but one of these headaches has only lasted a couple of hours. 

A weird situation for sure & I have to admit that I'm a little sad that so much of my summer has been consumed by this headache deal.  But it's manageable & yeah, I intend to talk to my doctor about it sooner rather than later.  I just haven't done it yet.  This has just been another excellent way for the Lord to show me that there is always something to be thankful for in every painful situation.  He has protected me & given me the strength to get through the painful times. 

I'm totally open to home remedy kind of suggestions.  A facebook friend told me that when her mom feels a migraine coming on she sniffs Vick's VapoRub & it makes it go away.  Who knew?!


Carrie said...

Awwww, I'm sorry you have been dealing with migraines all summer!! :( What a pain (literally!). I have been fighting off a bad headache today myself, so I can relate a little bit . . . although I think I have only had a true migraine maybe a couple times in my life (thankfully). I don't have any tried and true ideas for you (I usually find that only Advil and getting some sleep works for me), but I looked up migraines/headaches in my handy dandy book "The Green Pharmacy" and he suggests the herb feverfew (among other things). Apparently you can find feverfew capsules at many health food stores--might be worth a shot? I also found these threads at a natural health/wellness forum, which might have some helpful ideas:,11746.0.html
I hope you find something that helps, and most of all, that you stop getting them altogether! :)

Alicia said...

Wish I had some advice for you, Mary Ann! But alas, I do not. :( Hope God leads you to find something that helps real soon.

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for your thoughts, girls. I have an appointment with my doctor's nurse practicioner (my favorite one to see). She does an excellent job of getting the details & offering advice without immediately pushing a prescription at me. So we will see what happens from here!