Thursday, 18 November 2010

A Post Migraine Post.

Today is wonderful, ecstatic, brilliant. As I write, I'm trembling, I feel shaky and I'm excited. Why? Have I won the Lottery, have I landed a mega contract, have I discovered the elixir of eternal life? No, nothing like that, I feel amazing today, simply because the migraine I had yesterday has lifted, the sheer miserableness of Wednesday has gone, is past and the all pervading helplessness has drifted away.

If you ever experience migraines, you'll know what I mean. You'll also probably be familiar with the post migraine ecstasy too. I'm sure the scientists out there will tell us that it's hormonal or chemically induced, frankly I don't care how it happens, I can only say that when this shakiness starts I know the worst is over and I'm going to feel like living again. It's like a giant light shining at the end of the tunnel, showing you that there will be days when you're not wanting to bash your head against a wall.

Migraine has been a part of my life since I was about ten years old. I remember walking along a corridor in my school one day, carrying my 'cello. There were double doors at the end of the corridor but in the time I took to get to the doors, I lost half my vision and managed to bash the 'cello into the closed door that I simply hadn't seen. It seems funny now, but there's not much to laugh about where migraines are concerned.

As an adult, I've been very lucky. The really bad migraines have been mercifully few and far between, but I still live in fear of the next one, knowing just how debilitating they are. But whilst they don't often hit me in their full blown power, I do have fairly frequent periods of what I think of as migraine-brain. That's how I describe the days when your mouth and brain can't seem to connect, when what you want to say, just doesn't make it to your lips.

Often these days are also characterised by an inability to read or write. Do you get that experience? You know how it is, you look at the page but the words don't flow, it's as if you've never learned to read and you're not sure what's supposed to happen - what are those randomly collected words trying to tell you? As for writing, this is usually the way I most quickly recognise the onset of migraine-brain - I'll be trying to write something down, anything, a shopping list, a note for school, a piece of copywriting for work, anything, but what actually hits the page is a barely legible scribble. Spelling? Don't even think about it, just getting some of the correct letters down, not necessarily in the right order is an achievement.

Working through real migraines is nigh on impossible, but migraine-brain days sometimes just have to be endured. One of the good things about working for yourself is that you don't have so much trouble adjusting your day to accommodate migraine-brain. When I can't read or write, I try and do filing or simple tasks instead. At least I don't have to sit at a desk in full view of an open-plan office and fake being productive.

But today is OK, I'm back on top - long may it last and OMG what a relief!

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