Today I want to talk about my life before Chronic Migraine. Back in high school and college. When I just had daily headaches that weren't migraine (in high school) or migraine that was controlled to once or maybe twice a month (in college).
Back then, I could never imagine things as bad as they are now. I lived in oblivion. It just didn't dawn on me that it was possible to have daily migraines. Migraines that hit you every single day, no matter what you try to do to stop them. They just keep coming at you like monsters in the dark, trying to tear you to pieces. Only you don't tear into pieces, you shrink into a tiny bit of your former self in the bed, and hide, and stay that way until the monster leaves, hopefully leaving you intact and ready to face the world again. Back then, I would have a migraine in college, it would last 3 or 4 hours, and I would take a nap and it would be gone. Luckily I could always sleep through the pain, because that was what was required to get rid of the Migraine.
In high school, things were kind of different. I wasn't treated by a doctor yet and hadn't been diagnosed with migraine and didn't know what to do and what not to do, so I was drinking tons of caffeine in a day and taking lots of OTC meds to try to control the headaches I was having. This led to Chronic Daily Headache and rebound and I usually slept every afternoon after school, for at least a few minutes, to try to get rid of it. The headache wasn't horrible. I could still function. I could even play volleyball on game days, though I'm sure I wasn't at my best. It was just a nagging, dull headache that plagued me daily. Sometimes it spiked into what I now know was migraine, but since I hadn't been diagnosed yet, I didn't know that at the time.
But during all this time, I never, ever, imagined those headaches would turn into what I have now. I often wonder if the then me could sympathize with the now me? I don't know. Sometimes I think it's more difficult for people with slight migraines to understand someone like me. How easy would it be to think "My migraines aren't that bad, so hers must be like mine, what's all the fuss about?" I can see that happening and it makes sense sometimes that that would happen. But wow, that's so not true. Migraine is truly a spectrum disorder. You can have one end of the spectrum with someone who rarely gets migraines and may even be able to take OTC meds for them when they do, and at the other end of the spectrum you have someone who is completely disabled and uneasy to treat with the most powerful prescription medications available.
I guess I am doing so much for migraine awareness to keep people from living in the Oblivion I once did. Embrace those in your life with migraine. Love them and treat them with care, no matter where they fall on the migraine spectrum. They will love and appreciate you for it. I promise.
June, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is issued by FightingHeadacheDisorders.com