I’ve struggled with migraines for years. This ailment becomes even more insufferable when faced with people who live blissfully without migraines and thus, cannot understand and will dismiss a migraine sufferer entirely.
Posted online by Carl Cincinnato and titled “Letter to People without Migraines” is very insightful:
“Imagine for a moment you’re having a dream. In this dream you’re trapped in a room with no doors, no window and no light. It’s pitch black. But there’s someone else in the room.
Someone who’s wearing night vision goggles whilst you remain in the dark. What you can’t see is their firm grip on a metal baseball bat, ready to swing.
You’re hit in the head and drop to the floor. The attack causes dizziness, vertigo, and confusion.
Eventually you vomit from the intense pain. Your speech is slurred. You can’t concentrate.
You frantically search around this small dark room, feeling only solid concrete in every direction. There is no escape. Some time passes … it could have been hours or even days.
Just as you can begin to rise to your feet, you are struck again in the head. The attack leaves you completely debilitated. Worse than the first.
The pain is so intense you feel you might pass out … but somehow you don’t. Cruelly, you’re left conscious with all the pain. Your head is spinning. You feel pins and needs in your fingers and your face.
Bright lights which aren’t really there, blind your vision.
You beg for it to stop.
But it won’t.
This is how a migraine attack has been described to others without migraine. It’s a nightmare that you don’t wake up from.
Only it’s worse.
No one believes you.”
• • • • •
I’ve been a migraine sufferer since January 2000. While the rest of the community was celebrating the start of the new millennium, I was struggling to understand this new dark abyss that had overcome my life. Two small children to look after, a full-time job required to pay the bills and disabling migraines. Lovely combination, she said sarcastically.
Initially, I had more bad days than good ones. The first six to eight months of 2000 were the worst. Trips to the doctor’s office were a regular occurrence when the migraines reached a disabling point.
Over the last 21 years, they have reduced in frequency. Now, as long as I can stay away from triggers, such as strong perfume smells, I do fairly well.
My last migraine was triggered by an overuse of disinfectant. I spent 24 hours locked in a dark room, and I missed a day of work. A goal to prevent that from happening again has not been easy.
I either have to leave for an hour or so while the perfume dissipates or I have to open the doors and let the perfume out. I’ve done both.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.