Migraine Brain

It’s been a while, but yesterday brought another visit from the Migraine Fairy. Sending myself off to bed at 9pm would normally be a blessing if my body didn’t decide that it’s had its required 7 hours and wake me at 4am. I suppose in the wide open field of aches and ailments migraines are relatively minor, but when they visit they’re like the house guest from hell.


I remember getting my first one during my last year at primary school. Throughout the next six years of high school I’d get four or five a month, always with the same pattern.

  • Firstly, out of the blue, my eyesight would go funny. It’s almost like a little fish-eye lens so that everything is distorted at the edges, with a little pixilation thrown in. Nausea and dizziness would accompany this, making walking an interesting experience. I’m told I resembled a drunk. As soon as that would hit, I’d know what to expect.
  • Within half an hour my head would be pounding, a strange kind of headache usually just on one side, feeling like my brain is a stress ball squishy toy
  • Within another half hour I’d be revisiting my breakfast. Whilst no-one enjoys this experience, and every heave brings another stabbing head pain, this would actually come as a relief as I’d know this stage would soon be over.
  • Then the headache would really lay it on thick, waves of stress pushing against my skull. Bad times. Sometimes when they got really bad at this point I’d go numb down one side. I even got admitted to hospital at one point for a brain scan because of this.
  • Then light at the end of the tunnel. I’d eventually pass out exhausted, and wake up headache free and just a little light sensitive and tender a few hours later.

The amount of medication they threw at me during my teenage years must have mutated me to some degree.

Growing older has changed my migraines, along with many other things. These days they take on more of a slow burn than a frontal assault. I usually feel out of sorts for some time beforehand, a little sickly and a “normal” headache. It’ll take nearly a full day for the headache to build to a full migraine status. I rarely experience the visual distortions any more, and I’m better at keeping food down, but being me I’ll allow my social anxiety to force me to grin and bear it and just try to get one with things. This usually ends up making feel worse (and stupid) in the long run, but the world can stop just because I’ve got a headache.

I felt yesterday’s migraine start when I woke, and it took a full 14 hours to come to a head. Now more than 24 hours later, having slept most of the migraine away, I still feel drowsy and a little sickly. Looking at this monitor makes my eyes hurt. Maybe looking at monitors all day contributes to the migraines. I wonder just thirty years ago what kind of job i would have had ?

In the long run, I’d much rather have these slow burning migraines than throw up on myself in public again. After half a dozen times, you just stop worrying about it.


Bob says:
Never had the vomiting and mine usually last at least a couple of days with at least a days recovery on the other side.Mine come with changes in air pressure. I think its one of the reasons I love storms as the air clears up and I know the migraines will go away. Then there is the stress induced cluster headaches. Almost instant pain and gone in 20 minutes. Anything I take for them doesnt act quick enough to have an affect on them either. About all I can do is walk as it stops me focusing on the pain. If my eyes are constantly moving then its a good bet when I get to the other side I won’t have to spend the rest of the day i bed.

Clare says:
Headaches are rubbish. Hugs xxx