To say a typical day of work gave me a headache is a monumental understatement. For millions of people, myself included, migraines are a crippling disease. Although many people say they suffer “migraines,” most simply have intense headaches.
Migraines, like most other illnesses, are triggered. However, it’s more like a moving target than a science. Sleeping too much can give me a migraine, but not getting enough sleep has the same effect. Not eating or stress cause migraines, as well as changes in the weather. And if I wake up to the sun in my eyes it’s a guarantee that my day is shot. To prevent this, I’ve taken to taping towels over my windows (they’re much thicker than most curtains.)
Throughout high school and college, I was on medication to prevent migraines, but now, like a tragically large number of people, I’m uninsured. So, when a migraine hits, I’m defenseless against it.
It always begins the same : a pounding headache in one spot. Almost always, it’s diagonal between my eye and the bridge of my eye. Over the counter medicines are no match for the intensity inside my head.
I’ve found that a homemade terry cloth wrap (lovingly called my ouchie wrap) and filled with beans or seeds microwaved is usually the best bet for me. Some people prefer ice packs, but I’m more apt to the heat. Sometimes that and rest will ease the pain. But, the majority of the time, that’s only the beginning.
2-4 times per month, I wind up sick, but cannot stop. It’s all too common for me to get so sick that it’s only dark brown liquid coming up, which is my stomach acid. That means that I’ve gotten sick to the point that there’s nothing else left in my stomach to throw up. Usually by this time, my eyes are rolling in the back of my head and if I can’t lay in bed, I’ve been known to faint.
Sadly, my story is all too common. It’s easy to think of the joys health insurance will bring, and bask in dreams of modern medicine, but that’s not a solution to the problem. How can scientists have so many answers, yet be so stumped as to the causes and cures for migraines?
While medicine will help, what will happen to me when I decide to settle down and start a family? Going without health insurance has cost me a few hundred bottles of over the counter headache medicine, but when I become pregnant, what will be the solution?
While I thought writing this article would help other people like me find comfort in their struggles, all I found were more questions than answers….