Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spin Cycle: What if?

What if I did not begin getting migraines as a child?
Brain bursting pain starting at twelve years of age,
doctors worried that I had a brain tumor,
brain scans back in the day when they stuck needles all over your head,
sleepovers where the slightest twinge of a migraine aura
caused gut clenching anxiety that I would embarrass myself.
Throwing up in my friend’s bathroom,
when I had been invited over to play.

What if I did not suffer with chronic migraine syndrome
through my entire adulthood?
Juggling school and jobs,
staying ahead in case I would lose days to a headache
lying in a room devoid of light and sound
sometimes for days at a time.
Hearing my husband hush the children crying for mama
pulling them away from the door.

What if I had not spent five or six days a month
lying in bed praying for the pain to stop,
sometimes wishing the top of my head would blow off
so the pressure could escape.
What if I added up the time migraines have taken over my life?
Six days a month before Imitrex and Maxalt were invented,
two days a month since the medications,
from age twelve to fifty-one.
That would total about 2,328 days,
6.37 years.
What would I have done with that 6.37 years?
What if?
For more "What if" spins, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.


Pancake said...

Are they under control now?

Casey said...

Wow, that's a lot of time to spend laid up with a migraine. I'm so happy you finally found medication that works for you. I had a friend in college with terrible migraines that would make her lose her vision and cause vomiting. I can't imagine how bad that must have been for you!

Mama Dawg said...

I can't believe you added all that up. Makes you wonder.

I surely hope you have that all under control by now.

Debbie said...

I so feel for you. I used to have them when I was gainfully employed. I guess I can't afford to have them now!

Unknown said...

Ouch, I'm glad that it's in the past for you.

Ash said...

Love me some modern medicine.

Just think of all the extra hours ahead of you!!

David said...

the math is boggling!
I count the hours that tinnitus dogs me daily and nightly in my deafness. I stopped counting months ago.
I had to, it just caused me more grief. Now acceptance as my new way of life just gets me by.


Cristin said...

I got them from ages 12-18, but only a few a year, and that was bad enough... happy to hear it's gotten better for you..

Pseudo said...

I was laid out with a migraine yesterday. The meds did not help as I kept throwing up faster than the meds could get into my bloodstream.

Some say it is my body's way of forcing me to slow down and rest.

Slept all day yesterday and last night too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry.

Kristan said...


I'm so sorry.

I will say, though, that you're more and more impressive the longer I know you.

I hope you feel better than yesterday...

Ann Imig said...

I don't know about these 'What ifs' seems like cruel and unusual self-torture.

Guess its a way to mourn a painful time.

You did what you had to do to survive, no? Sounds excruciating mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Unknown said...

I hope you're feeling better now! Migraines are terrible. I've suffered from what I thought were allergy headaches all my life ... rarely a day goes by that I don't have some kind of nagging pain in my head. And then I read an article that said it might be a migraine and not an allergy at all. I took an Excedrin Migraine pill and ... headache disappeared. I still have a hard time believing that the cure (for me) was that easy. I'm sure, since the pill worked so well, that my migraines were minor but ... wow ... who knew!

Small Footprints

Lori said...

Pain sucks...plain and simple. I am sorry to hear that you suffer in this way. As someone that lives with pain, my heart goes out to you. So many times I have said to myself "What if I had been able to defend myself in getting attacked?" I would be making twice the amount of money, not living with pain and I could do all the things I used to do before these injuries. But, then I stop and think about all the lessons I have learned and people I have met through out this time and how in some warped way has made me a better person.
I already think your an incredible woman and the longer I read your blog, the more I realize that you have traveled a journey that hasn't always been easy, yet here you are touching lives, just being you. I am thankful that you have come out of all that you have been through in your life as such a positive influence in our world.

Anonymous said...

I get migraines too - and they are so TERRIBLE. I completely, completely empathize with you! Ugh!

K Dubs said...

I'm one of the lucky ones that has never had one. I can't even imagine what it is like. I'm sorry that you have lost so much time to them. :( Pain sucks ass.

cheatymoon said...

Oh Pseudo. Beautifully written, but I can feel the pain...
Have lost s few days myself to migraine, and couldn't begin to imagine how I would deal with it chronically.
One of my best friends quit her teaching job because of them.
I hope you are feeling ok today.

Sprite's Keeper said...

When I have a migraine, light and sound are my worst enemies. I find myself rocking slightly, even though the motion hurts, it at least is a pattern I can committ to. My little secret lately has been apple juice. The sugar helps me a lot, along with the pain meds, of course. Great Spin, it tells it exactly like it is! You're linked!

Anonymous said...

Oh, hon - 6.37 years worth of migraines is more than I care to imagine.


rachaelgking said...

Chronic UTI's since 16. I've seen almost 20 doctors, and not one had a single answer, other than DAILY antibiotics.

I feel you, sister.

Star Forbis said...

Thank you so much for visiting my Blog today & Laughing with me.
Come back anytime.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I had headaches almost daily for years. Not real migraines but sometimes really bad. Sometimes just enough to be annoying. But everyday for years. It's only been the last few years that they went away. I can't even imagine what you go thru with a migraine. And you put it so beautifully. ((Pseudo))

Pseudo said...

Thank-you for the hugs and well wishes. I stayed home with a bad migraine yesterday, so it was on my mind.

Feeling 95% better tonight, so internet well wishes do work like magic ; -)

Sunny said...

I'm sorry.

Beth said...

Wow! That sounds scary and awful. I've never thought about the anxiety that must come with the beginnings of a migraine.

Vodka Mom said...

My friend takes some medicine for hers. They are less frequent- but still come.

My thoughts are with you........

The Blonde Duck said...

I hope you feel better! Migraines are terrible.

Anonymous said...

My migraines have lessened over the years, but I do empathise. Something that I think has helped me are magnesium tablets. If you haven't tryed them, they might be worth looking into. They don't eradicate the pain, but they help.

Hope you feel better soon.

Just B said...

I find "what ifs" absolutely irresistible, but this one is heart-wrenching.

I am glad it is better now, but I so wish I had a magic wand to wave over you..

Jack said...

As a sufferer of migraines and auras from the age of 13, I can totally sympathize!!

Thank goodness for modern meds that can usually help to dull the pain.

Anonymous said...

Wow...i get headaches, but never as bad as that [altho i've had some bad enough to creature the nausea). And how amazing the time you've calculated out. Here's hoping that they come up with even better meds to battle even less precious time is lost.

Rhea said...

Migraines are so bad. I'm so sorry.

Have you noticed if they're related to a certain time during your cycle and hormones? Like just after your period or just before?

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

Wow that was really a great post. My little sis suffers from migrains like that as well.

Thanks for stopping by!! : )

Ginny Marie said...

Your "what if" post reads like a poem...maybe you could use it for this week's spin! (Congrats on being a two year cancer survivor, and thanks for stopping by my blog!)