April 21, 2016

Migraine Days

I get migraines maybe once, twice a month. This sucks. But I'm pretty lucky, for a migraineur, in that mine are relatively low-grade (usually a 5 or less on the pain scale) and respond to over the counter NSAIDs, plus caffeine and capsaicin (the stuff that makes chilies spicy), and I very rarely have them for more than a day. I used to have a friend who had had a constant migraine for over ten years, and for whom 5 or less was a good day.

Pain's a funny thing. Sometimes, it can actually make you feel more alive. Sometimes it just beats you down. I have a number of recurring pain problems (including arthritis in my knees and back spasms whenever I stand up for more than a few minutes), plus the usual random accidents, bumps, and bruises. Of all of them, the thing that beats me down the most is a migraine, even a low-level one. I'm useless for the rest of the day, and often the next day as well. It's also, not coincidentally, the most incredibly boring pain I experience. I can't read, can't wear glasses, can't make anything, can't even watch TV. The only thing I can usually handle is an audiobook or podcast in a dark room. And if I don't have something to focus on, my anxiety and depression get worse. I get too much in my head, and all the bad thoughts get out to run around.

This morning, I woke up with a migraine. I was too drugged to get up and take care of it (I always take sleeping pills, and can't maintain a regular sleeping schedule without them) the way I normally do, so there was no hope of heading off before it got too bad. I managed to grab another few hours of badly-needed sleep before I finally got up and got tea and more painkillers and stuff. I spent hours with a sock tied around my head as a blindfold, catching up on some of my podcasts.

It's finally slacking off now. It's down to background pain, and I can stand to look at the monitor to write. Pretty soon the sun will be low enough to come in between the gap in the two sets of blinds and hit me in the face, and then I'm sure it will get worse again, even if I can block most of it. But right now it's ok.

I don't have any kind of conclusion to this. Just a little maundering about pain.