Friday, July 5, 2013

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I am writing this in the aftermath of a migraine.

It was my own silly fault. One of my triggers is low blood sugar, and I did not eat today until lunchtime. No good reason for that, I just got caught up in doing things and did not take in any calories until mid-day.

By the time I had food in front of me, I felt the first warnings of an attack brewing deep inside. Those unique sensations are not pain, they are more like an electric irritation in the blood. Once I felt those odd, unmistakable twitches I gave myself an injection of a medication that can stave off an attack. And I ate lunch.

The medication did not work with that first dose. Within an hour of lunch I had a full blown migraine.

It is not just a headache, although the pain and pressure inside the skull are so intense that I always feel it must leave scars. A migraine is a profound scrambling of all sensations. In the tiny, beset part of my brain that is not devoted to riding out the attack I imagine that every bit of my skin is coated with a thick, yellow-grey slime that poisons and distorts every bit of input that comes my way.

Light slices. Sound is too heavy. A sip of water burns. Touch is too loud. Only a very narrow range of temperature is bearable, and the parameters of that range fluctuate constantly. Any instructions sent from my brain are spitefully ignored by my muscles and nerves making my hands and arms and legs useless. Rolling over in bed becomes a prolonged negotiation between my head and the rest of my body.

A second injection did stop the attack today. When it works, the medication intensifies the pain for about five minutes and then *poof*. Migraine gone. The medication is not an opiate so there is no grogginess or hangover after the attack goes away, and I am grateful for that. Meds that were available earlier in my life were at least as debilitating as the migraine attack. Thanks to the medication I will lose a few hours to an attack instead of an entire day or two.

So this attack has cut into my long weekend for a little bit, but it could have been worse. It has been worse. There is a genetic component to this condition--my mother's father had it, my Mom has it, at least two of my kids have had attacks. But, again, the migraine today was completely preventable. A granola bar in the morning would have made all the difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment