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About Those Migraines: FreeWriteDon’tStop

In response to “Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.” prompt in Writing 101. 

There’s a lot on my mind. Not most important, but foremost at the moment, is the fact that I have an impending migraine. I’ve learned a lot about migraines lately. Did you know that you can track the pre-symptoms to give you a better idea of when you’re experiencing onset? You might not think it would help, considering the ads for migraine medicine.

“Are you missing out on ninety percent of your life? Are you like this poor girl here on the couch in her backyard while everyone parties around her but she just sleeps?” First, WHY IN THE WORLD would anyone put a couch in the back yard. That’s almost as bad as the Cialis commercials with the two people in separate tubs OUTSIDE watching the sun set. Sure, it’s a cool photo op, but let’s think this through. How warm could that water possibly be?

I mean, unless you have outdoor plumbing to an old enameled tub. Two tubs, actually. Do you even know how much outdoor plumbing costs? Speaking of plumbing, another really good reason NOT to take a bath outdoors is that NO ONE wants to see YOUR plumbing. Seriously. It’s not the way to get into someone’s pants, which is the whole reason for the commercial in the first place. Especially since no one wears pants in the tub.

Bathing outdoors aside, putting a couch in the backyard is really just…dumb. What happens when it rains? And then, when everything is soggy and doesn’t dry out for three days, you have a serious mold issue. I don’t know how things are for you, but mold intensifies my headaches. Unless it’s Sunbrella fabric with special foam treated specifically for outdoor use, you’re going to run into trouble. From the looks of it, the couch in the commercial is NOT outdoor-approved. It’s probably infested with moisture-loving bugs and microorganisms as well. Gross.

But I digress. My original point: you CAN head off (ha, pun, get it?) a bit of the ache. There are some really WEIRD pre-symptoms of migraines.

First, you may lose your words. There’s probably a super-scientific name for it, but this is what I call it. When you can’t think of the word you were just about to say, “it’s on the tip of my tongue,” etc. It’s doggone frustrating and is almost bad enough to make me cuss. Almost.

I have a problem with cussing. I think it’s effing unimaginative. Get a thesaurus, people. NO, that’s not a kind of dinosaur.

But, yeah, a few days before the migraine and especially the day before, I am reduced to pre-school communication:

“Honey, can you please, um, hand me that, um, thing over there? The one that’s on top of that…(vague gesture)…ugh. That other thing. The square, uh–no, rectangular–tall box. Yes. The shiny one. The, the…fridge. Hand me the thing on top of the fridge. It’s in the brown thing up there.” By this time, Hubby is looking at me halfway between amused and annoyed.

“Oh good grief. The…AHHHH. The mug. There’s a mug on top of the fridge and I need a…writing utensil…PENCIL. Please give me a pencil from the mug on top of the fridge.”

Not kidding. It’s ridiculous.

When I start losing my words, I know we’ve got a doozy coming. A second pre-migraine symptom is weird vision. I’ve never seen “the lights” that some people get, and I’m a little bit jealous. I imagine they’re sort of like little fairies dancing in your field of vision. Once, I did see something that looked like bright fishies twirling through the air in my dorm room, but…that was due to something else entirely.

Oh, stop it! I’ve never done drugs (unless they were in those brownies…). The doctor said the phenomenon was due to a drop in my blood pressure.

Anyway, I don’t get lights, but I do get double vision and my eyes feel really weird. A third and HOW IS THIS POSSIBLY RELATED pre-symptom is constipation. What? Yes. You heard (or rather, read) correctly. Now, I don’t usually share my personal potty stories in blog form, but I was so floored by this that I felt I should pass it on. It’s absolutely true. The last few…incidents…I had were definitely precursors to the worst migraines I’ve had in a while.

I actually wasn’t looking for that little nugget (ha, nugget) of information. I was just generally looking for any information about trying to predict migraine patterns. So…if you’re having a little difficulty and things just aren’t moving the way they should, note this, especially if you’re migraine-prone.

The fourth and coolest pre-migraine symptom? CREATIVITY. Some of my most amazing pieces (well, as far as I’m concerned—you don’t have to think they’re amazing; no pressure) are ones I wrote within the 24-hour period prior to a migraine. It’s almost worth the pain. In fact, I’m likely getting one tomorrow, which is probably why this particular piece is going to go viral and sweep the nation. Or at least WordPress.

I don’t know whether it’s truly helping, but since becoming aware of these pre-symptoms, I’ve been a bit more proactive about treating my migraines. I don’t get them often enough to warrant the couch-medication, which has multiple varied side effects which range from tinnitus to mild or moderate death.

At this point, I take a monster dose (800mg) of ibuprofen and go sleep it off in a dark room with eye blinders and a pillow over my eyes for good measure.

The main after-effect of my migraines is actually pretty nice; I wake up feeling refreshed and as though someone has poured clean, cool water through all the nooks and crannies of my brain. I do also deal with the not-so-nice-after-affects (dizziness, less-severe-but-still-annoying word loss, fatigue) but otherwise…it’s sort of like the feeling of sliding between crisp, cool cotton sheets that were dried outside in the sun. Of course, if the nausea during the migraine is too overpowering…then there’s  no silver lining. No washed-out-brain feeling is worth losing my lunch.

Perhaps none of this will help you, but the information has helped me curb (I think, since there’s really no way of knowing how bad it COULD have been) my recent migraines. Do you get migraines? How do you fight them?

Next time you get really creative right before a migraine (but before the double vision and word loss sets in), let me know.


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