A Release Of Pain: Migraines are a BITCH.

It was late May when I had my first big migraine post surgery. It was a weekend of hell. I didn’t understand why I was having a migraine, and I didn’t have any of my medications so I was stuck waiting impatiently for my appointment with my neurologist Dr. Doty Tuesday morning. I fought with Brian, I cried a lot, I slept even more, I tried to act as normal as I could given the awful migraine I was fighting.

It’s amazing how quickly you forget how bad the pain can be when it isn’t a constant battle anymore.

When I had my appointment with Dr. Doty, she said she wasn’t surprised or concerned about the fact that I was having migraines again. Me, on the other hand? I was have a full on meltdown. She explained that migraines are a chemical imbalance in the brain, and since the surgery was not on my brain, then it was only expected that I would still have migraines.

Well, color me surprised, frustrated, and disappointed. Dr. Doty explained that the surgery was something that needed to happen to fix a pinched nerve that was causing significantly more migraines than I needed to be fighting, and that a chemical imbalance is not something unexpected. Since the surgery I have only had a handfull of headaches, and only two of them have been major enough for me to call them migraines. The first was that last weekend in May. The second was this past weekend.

It started on Thursday night if I were being honest with you. I felt the ache in my shoulder and just knew that it was going to happen, so when I woke up on Friday morning with a mild migraine, I wasn’t surprised. I took an Aleve because I wanted to see if I could fight it with OTC meds before I jumped onto my Maxalt.

I took the second Aleve at 4pm.

I took the Maxalt at 6:30pm, with a lump in my throat that reminded me of tears and failure, which is so not accurate it’s stupid. It’s not my fault that I got a migraine. I didn’t do anything to cause it. It just happens. I went to bed Friday night with my head only slightly achy and my shoulder still killing me. Thankfully when I woke up for my shift at WJXT on Saturday (1:30am!?) my head was only tender. Popped an Aleve and went about my shift.

But by the time my show finished, I felt the migraine coming back on. Damn. I left work early, told Dreamboat that I really wanted to stay home on Saturday and not hang out with friends if he was okay with that. I have the best husband in the world, because he replied “Whatever my baby wants.” He was cleaning the kitchen when I got home so I jumped in and helped clean up some more stuff, but by 1pm, I was starting to feel it. So we sat down, turned on the TV, and started watching movies. (btw – that movie Ted? We finally watched it. STUPID movie, and I hate to admit this, but I got really into it about half way through it. If Brian hadn’t made me watch it, I would have shut it off early. Ended up being cute.)

We went to bed at 11pm, and by then my head was rip roaring again.

I woke up at 7am on Sunday and it was just awful again. I didn’t waste any time, I just took a Maxalt and went back to bed and stayed there until we had to go to my parents house for lunch. (Family meetings disguised as family lunch? My Jewish parents have it nailed.) I was light headed, exhausted, and feeling really lethargic… all side effects of the meds. My sister spent a half hour working on my back and shoulder trying to loosen up the tight muscles there, and it felt better, but my head still ached.

When I said the migraines were going to be the death of me, I was kind of hoping that statement was going to die after the surgery. Dammit.

Today I woke up with a tender head, and sore muscles, but for the most part no migraine. I have a doctors appointment for a physical at 2pm (oh, yay!!) so I am hoping that things end up being okay for that. My GP was the one who referred me to Dr. Doty, and I want to keep all my migraine stuff with Dr. Doty. My GP is awesome, but at the same time… she’s not a migraine specialist.

And with all of that pain rocketing through my head, I didn’t run. At all. I was going to walk last night, but I just laid down on the couch and found the perfect position to rest my head that didn’t leave it aching, so I stayed there. Then I went to bed at 10pm with Brian.

To say I feel frustrated is an understatement. These migraines are a PITA, and I was hoping I was over them completely, so having to fight them again makes me so angry that I’m blind to the fact that this is the SECOND migraine in almost a YEAR post surgery. I used to have migraines that lasted DAYS for weeks at a time. I used to have more days with migraine pain than without. I really shouldn’t be complaining. It’s an ongoing battle between being realistic and being emotional, as the journey through living with pain always is. I’m just really lucky to have family that knows and understands, friends that get it, and doctors who are willing to work with me. I know I am lucky.

But I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting here thinking how frustrated I am with all this, wondering if I need to start running with my Maxalt again just to be safe, or if I am just having fluke migraines that are caused by high blood pressure, too much stress, lack of sleep and the unbalanced chemicals in my brain.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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