Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What a freaking drama queen

You don't know. Unless you get them, you don't know.

Mine start with seeing spots, or what's called an "aura." Hang upside down for awhile, then get up really fast. The black, spotty fog clouding your vision? That's what I see. For about 20 - 30 minutes. This is when I usually take something, and it usually curbs the pain. Sometimes, I'm not so lucky.

Like today, for instance.

If I'm not lucky, the spots are followed by waves of dizziness and nausea. And the lights have to go out and the music has to turn off and the phone has to be turned down because lights feel like daggers in my eyes and everything sounds like it's been turned up to 11. If I'm home, this is a good time to just go to bed.

If, like today, I'm at the office and have no way of getting home (drive like this? No, thank you), this is when I'll shut the door like I'm about to hop on a 4-hour conference call and pray no one disturbs me. Then I'll curl up on the floor, weep quietly and wait for the sweet release of sleep.

The pain itself is really special. Imagine you have the worst hangover you've ever had, only this time you've decided to take a small, rubber stocking cap and shove your hungover head into it, clench your teeth like you really mean it, then bang your head against a wall for good measure. I've never actually done this (nor do I know where one could find a rubber stocking cap), but I bet that would come pretty close to a migraine. If, of course, the resulting pain lasted for about 3 hours and wiped you out for the rest of the day.

That said, unless you're a migraine sufferer, you don't know. Nor will you ever. The worst headache you've ever had doesn't compare.

And before you ask, yes, I've talked to my doctor. Yes, I've investigated the prescriptions. Yes, I've read the books and I've probably done whatever else you would like me to do so my blinding headaches are less inconvenient for you.

Oh, that's not what you meant? Well, that's how it feels sometimes. Sometimes, I don't tell people when I get them, because it's embarrassing. I hate being the invalid, the "migraine sufferer," the person with the problem. Or else I'm just sick of feeling defensive about my pain, my treatment of it, and my (personal) medical reasons for why this is the treatment I use. Even if the questions are meant to be helpful, I just hate talking about it with people who don't get it, period. It's just easier sometimes to shut my door, hope no one asks, and sneak out early after the 8th Excedrin Migraine allows me to drive. Because I can't take the questions and, what's more, I can't take the looks I get that say,

"She's faking. It's not that bad. She could just take something. Why doesn't she just go to the doctor and fix it? Why is she so lazy? Does she like suffering? She's probably not even in that much pain. She's probably just in there sleeping off a hangover. What a freaking drama queen."

To which I can only say, you don't know, nor, if you're lucky, will you ever. Now shut up and let me sleep.

1 comment:

Los Angellistair said...

Fuck em'.