Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I get migraines. Classic, one-sided, blinding, migraines.

I was first diagnosed with them at the ripe old age of 4.

I remember it. I was sitting on the examination table and the doctor asked me how I was and I said "What's this hurt behind my eye?"

Geez, I was 4!!!! Couldn't God have waited until I at least could blame it on hormones or something like that?? What did I do to deserve migraines at that age???

So I have had them for over 50 years. I have been to neurologists by the dozen. Pain clinics. Acupuncturists. Massage therapist. Chiropractors. Migraine specialists. Allergists. You name it, I have been there.

So I warn every judge I am in front of that I get them, that I don't know when they will hit but when I say I gotta go, I mean I gotta go now. Otherwise I end up walking into walls that I can't see and/or bursting into tears and/or (this is the good one) having the symptomology of a stroke!

Great fun.

But, in general, people think that migraines are just a headache and you will be just fine if you take an aspirin or ibuprofen or some such shit.

I have patiently explained to judges (and others) that my migraines are not headaches. They are a neurological event. That my brain simply shorts out. I explain that I get auras. That my vision splits so that I can't see what is directly in front of me but only that which is in my peripheral vision. And that is blurred. I loose feeling on the skin of my hand (right only) that progresses up my arm, into my neck and then into my jaw and my tongue.

I explain that I am exhausted after the neurological event and it prevents me from working with any level of competence.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I mix up word order in sentences when I speak?

Cuz that is what I did in an opening argument where the judge didn't believe I had migraines.

That was the day I ended up in the hospital because even my doctor was afraid I had stroked.

I hadn't. There is never a bleed. Although every time I get one I am terrified that this time it is a bleed.

That judge has retired. I ran into him the other day. He asked if I had been cured.

So if you don't know about migraines and someone you know tells you they have them, please educate yourself.

It is NOT just a headache. In fact, a lot of times no headache occurs. Just the auras, the blindness and the fear.

Please don't take someone saying they have a migraine lightly. It can really disrupt your day and your life.

If you don't mind, I am going to bed. I woke up with a migraine this morning and I am not feeling much better right now.

At least I know that this one was not a bleed. I didn't go numb this time.

1 comment:

  1. Yow...I'm really sorry. Really. My sister gets migraines that last for days on end; nothing touches them, no narcotic that they've found, and she's incapacitated the enitre time, and she's in pain the entire time. In bed in a dark room... I can barely tolerate a headache--I'll take the chronic pain I have over a migraine any day.