Posted by: jacksterja | 29 January, 2008


Yesterday I had a migraine. If you don’t want to hear about it, you can stop reading now.

OK then, If you’re still here I’ll assume you want all the details.

In terms of migraines in some ways I’m quite lucky and in others not so much. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I really don’t get them very often. The last time was just over 2 years ago. I generally have a pretty good idea what triggers them (artificial sweetener is the worst offender, in case you were wondering) and have learnt to avoid the culprit. I’m quite unlucky, however, in how severe they are when they do come along.

So yesterday afternoon I was having a lovely day. My sister had been visiting for the weekend and I offered to drive her to the station to go meet her lift back to our nation’s venerable capital. I dropped her off no problems and headed home in my car.

Just as I was turning into my street I noticed a spot on my vision – a bit like when someone takes a picture with a flash, but a bit more sparkly. I hoofed it down the road and into my garage pretty swiftly, as I knew what that increasingly squiggly line in my vision meant, and it’s something you don’t want to be caught in traffic when it happens.

I just made it to my parking spot when the next stage hit. The squiggles (evil cousins of the wiggles?) had clouded over pretty much all of my vision and I could hardly see a thing. Luckily for me, this happens before  the headache starts and not at the same time. I managed to stumble up to my apartment by feel and ring NTB (thank god for speed-dial) who was expecting me shortly. I had a bit of trouble explaining what I needed because by this time my ability to construct coherent sentences was seriously impaired, but I must have managed to make myself somewhat clear as my hero arrived shortly thereafter with the painkillers I needed to try to deal with what I knew was coming. (I generally find the earlier and the stronger the painkiller, the shorter the migraine).

When NTB arrived 10 minutes later, my vision had returned. You may think that this sounds like a good thing, but actually it’s far from it. That’s because with the vision come the final 2 parts of a migraine for. Simultaneously arriving were an extreme sensitivity to light and a pounding headache that continues to get worse for what feels like an eternity. At this point I was a crumpled up and incoherent mess on the bed.

After a brief visit in which I downed the required pain relief, I sent NTB away again, as there’s really not much anyone can do to help at that point. I replaced my sleeping mask and crawled into a horrible painful hole for the rest of the night (excluding the brief period I dragged myself to the kitchen for a slice of toast – luckily I don’t get the nausea some do – and back about 4 hours later).

In all, it took 13 hours in bed for me to be able to get up and about again. Plus I still haven’t managed to shake the last of the headache, or the feeling like I’m still just inside a tunnel with the action still happening but seemingly farther away from me than it should be.

So, Ouch. I’ll be back to normal and some sort of less-self-pitying post very soon.



  1. This sounds almost verbatim what my own migraine experiences have been. I never used to get them before, but about nine years ago I got my first one. Didn’t know what was coming, so I ended up on my office floor for over half a day until I could move again. After that it was a full two years before my next one, but then after that I started getting them more frequently until at one point I was having about 2 a week for a couple of months. I determined that my insane consumption of Coke Zero was probably causing them (which contains an artificial sweetener). My symptoms sound incredibly similar to yours, but in addition I will occasionally end up with nausea and later have the dry heaves. Luckily now that I’ve stopped drinking Coke Zero I only get about 1 a year (not sure what triggers them now, but I highly suspect it’s when my sleep balance gets too low). Anyway, I feel for you as I know how debilitating these things can be.

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