It’s All In My Head

photo snagged from

My absence of late is due to migraines which are triggered by sharp barometric pressure changes, a.k.a. storm systems (check out more information click here, here, and here). I hate to give an ailment that much power over me that it determines what I can and cannot do. For Pete’s sake, I just posted a video of an armless man playing the piano and a guitar, and here I am letting the pain in my head render me incapacitated. Something about not being allowed to make my own choices grates on me. My mom thought it was because I grew up in a world with women burning bras and fighting for equality. My siblings say that I’ve always been that way and would refer to cursed home movies of me dance the rhythm of tantrum at the end of my mother’s arm as she drags me down the sidewalk.  I chalk it up to my dad always telling me that I had a mind and he expected me to use it, and something about being independent and taking care of one’s self. I could be wrong.

My dealings with migraines started in Junior High School (’78/’79). For those of you not familiar with Junior High because you hail from a land that lumps them together with 6th grade and calls it “Middle School,” it is the equivalent to the seventh level of Dante’s hell the 7th and 8th grades. Not a good time to have an incapacitating ailment. Not that there is “a good time,” but it is very unfortunate to have to deal with it when you are in the throws of establishing a soical identity. Not that contracting an incapacitating ailment is ever fortunate, but. . . Good night! This could go on forever. You know what I mean: to couple anything with Junior High exacerbates the problem.

At that time, my migraines were sporadic and would come on at any given moment without warning. My mother told me she also began experiencing the heinous head-crackers in Junior High.

Oh, the joy that is known as heredity.

Photo credit:

I was a sophomore or junior in high school when I experienced the worst one of my life.  I was at basketball practice, and the coaches had us scrimmage at the end of practice. I was a point guard. Kay passed the ball inbound to me, and I dribbled down court, passed the ball to my right to Jodi. Jodi faked a bounce pass to Jane who was on the base line and then turned and passed the ball back to me. Without any warning, when the ball touched my finger tips, it felt as if my head crack in half. A searing pain started in the middle of my forehead, shot directly through the middle of my head, and settled in the back of my skull.  In the same moment, I was blind in my left eye. Everything went white and I could barely breathe from the pain.

I finished that play and then asked the coach if I could sit down because I felt sick. I was scared to tell him that I had lost sight in my left eye. I just wanted to go home. Fortunately, we lived across the street. Seriously only 47 steps from the front door of my house to the front door of the school. 21 steps if I ran. My coach told me to go ahead and shower, which I skipped. The vision in my right eye was fading, and I could barely see to do anything.  I grabbed my gear from the locker room and ran the 21 steps home, afraid that I was going blind.

By the time I got to the front door, I was completely without sight and I was on sensory overload. Everything I touched, heard, or smelled made it feel like my head was cracking open a little further. Ringing the doorbell hurt. Hearing cars start caused more pain.  My mother opening the door and asking me why I was standing there with my eyes closed was almost too much to bear.  When I mumbled that my head hurt so badly that I couldn’t see, she grabbed me and drug me upstairs while I screamed in pain. Don’t judge her too harshly. What felt like grabbing and dragging could have been a slight touch and mere support and guidance.

She tried to lay my head down as softly as possible on my pillow, but it felt like she slammed me against the hardest rock she could find. I remember screaming and her apologizing.

I honestly cannot tell you what happened after that. I don’t know if I passed out, if she gave me medication, or what. I am positive, however, that she prayed. And you better believe it wasn’t a wimpy prayer, but a faith filled, Holy Spirit induced, Satan rebuking, there’s power in the blood and name of Jesus Christ kind of prayer.

You didn’t mess with my momma.

And she didn’t leave my side. Or maybe I hope she didn’t leave my side, because, honestly, I can’t remember it clearly.

I do know I was out of school the next day because of a little thing I call the headache hangover, a.k.a. postdrome. That’s the time it takes to rejuvenate after a migraine.  The pain is gone, but the residual effects still linger. For me that means drowsiness, queasiness, and dizziness are accompanied by an inability to speak coherently or process what is being said to me. And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ask me questions! Even if I could understand what you are saying, it would take me hours to formulate an answer. Then I’d have to take a nap. The headache hangover can last hours to days after a migraine. (The postdrome phase of a migraine is different for everyone. Click here for more information.)

The day after the postdrome, I’m usually ready to get caught up on everything that was left hanging as I lay in bed. The long to-do list gets created, things get purchased to complete the to-do list, the ball gets rolling and then I get tired. Right now my bedroom is in shambles because I thought it was time to organize and purge all the stuff that ends up in there because no one has a clue where it should go.

Now I’m in need of two extra bookshelves, a filing cabinet (or maybe two), a craft room, and a trip to the Goodwill Donation Center.

Goodwill Looks like I have my to-do list for the rest of the week!


6 thoughts on “It’s All In My Head

  1. I have had a two-week migraine binge. I’m okay during the day, but I wake up with one every frickin day. We had bad storms here again yesterday and this morning. Maybe it is just the baro. pressure, but I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism too. I can’t do anything when I have a headache. Worthless.

    1. I have hypothyroidism, too. I thought at one point that maybe that had something to do with it, but it doesn’t. Not for me anyway. I have found that when I feel even the slightest pressure during the day if I take sever sinus headache medicine like Advil-D, I can sometimes fend off a migraine.

      I hope you find relief. Have you tried an acupuncturist?

  2. You describe it so well, it’s like I have been there, oh wait, I have! : ) The worst instant migraine was when Eric was in college and got his new pistol and was so proud and wanted to show me how it shot. I was 10 feet away and not like I hadn’t been around guns going off but when he shot that gun, the instant that pistol fired my head exploded like he had fired at me and hit the bulls eye, or Mom’s eye. 🙂 Eric had many experiences with his Mommy and migraines so he knew to get me to my bed. The worst ever was the time Eric and Dan had to carry me to the car, I couldn’t see, couldn’t speak…words came out like ‘bluudablabuh’ or something equally incoherant, with drool…I couldn’t make my legs work. I thought I was probably in the throws of death and evidently Dan did too. No, it was a migraine of epic proportions. They took me to the ER where I was given a shot, Imitrex, within minutes I was ready to roll with no afterburn…it was amazing. I used the shots (nifty little push button thingy’s that shot the meds into my thigh, Kryz had to give me the first one because even with the pain and knowing it would help, I couldn’t make myself push that button) with wonderful results, until I had 9 in a week. The doc got worried…she called them cluster migraines…I backed off the shots deciding taking care of my heart might be a little more important than relief from migraines. Doing a little research and finding that Imitrex targeted the nerves in the spine, I decided to try chiropractic and it helped a lot but when I added massage therapy it got rid of 99% and for the remaining headaches, usually with a storm front, a couple of ibuprofen knocks out. I hope you find a permanent help. I never got as far as acupuncture so don’t know if that would have helped me or not. I don’t know how Mom lived thru them with only aspirin for relief.

    1. Oh the joys of heredity, right? I’m glad you found relief. While writing this post, I read an article about a young woman who committed suicide because she couldn’t find relief from her chronic migraines. I can’t even fathom what living with that amount of pain everyday of your life would be like. I hate to think there are people out there suffering and them not know what options are out there, so thank you for bring up chiropractic and massage therapy.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever accomplished an entire weekly to-do list. I had to add several binders to that list because part of purging my bedroom was getting rid of all my Better Homes and Gardens magazines. There are just too many good recipies and ideas in those magazines to just throw them out, so I ripped out the pages that I wanted to keep and bought extra 3-ring binders to put them in. All of that mean, I need another bookshelf! Argh! The list never ends….

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