Migraine chronicles

Can it hurt?

I have a migraine today. It is a fairly bad one, or at least worse than many and I noticed a few more symptoms as part of the constellation. Colours hurt, the secretary’s voice was a sound from the depths of hell and the office lights were akin to the tortures of having my brain scrubbed with a wire brush.

Now, you may ask, if you have a migraine why are you on the computer? And this is a good, valid question. I left work after a couple of hours with the headache to come home after all, unable to work. I tried tea, coffee, food, sugar, chocolate, dark room; all without success. Finally I succumbed to medication, and after a couple of hours nap, I now sit cotton mouthed and perhaps symptom free at my computer. Ever curious, I want to find out what exacerbates or brings on the migraine event for I know it sits, there, just out of my field of vision, ready to pounce again.

Many believe a migraine to be a headache, but it is much more than that. Part headache, part neurological event; migraines are, for many an out-of-body experience without any spiritual insight. Complete with an aura, a migraine is often closer to a seizure than a headache and today, I discovered that the aura experience for me can also include behaving in a socially awkward manner.  Followed by a somewhat whiny, querulous manner. Neither of which are attractive, favoured presentations of a health care professional – or anyone else.

The socially awkward behaviour was definitely part of the aura because it was shortly after that that I discovered head pain, nausea and feeling not right with the world. The whiny, querulous behaviour could well be ascribed to the pain experience, though with an already identified aberration in behaviour, it is equally as likely to be a component of the migraine event.

So now I wonder, because not all migraine events occur with an identifiable headache or other physical manifestation that can be pointed to and said, ‘I feel unwell’, is it possible that some behaviours that seem a little inappropriate or socially unacceptable from usually ‘normal’ people, are actually a migraine event?

I search Dr. Google without effect. I can find triggers, symptoms and now evidence of genetic transmission, but little on the possibility of behaviours as a component of the attack. One article mentions over 70% of headache sufferers report  interpersonal relationships are impaired. Mymigraineconnection answers a question about behaviours with a usual online caution to discuss with a doctor, but at least someone else is asking the question.

The search leads to Anatomy of a Migraine, which provides a wonderfully succinct overview of migraine events as much more than headaches. And there I discover some things I didn’t know about migraines despite having the experience for many years. All those things that I often just chalk up to the weirdness of being me, well they are also a part of the prodromal migraine experience.

Does this help me? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. I would still like to know the Why of the event, but at least now I can point to a Why of some of the other things that are also being experienced frequently. I still want to know why after years and years of freedom from bad migraines they have resurfaced. I can wander through life yawning, and dizzy, but behaving oddly does not give me comfort.

Although, on retrospect of being a heretic, perhaps I should embrace the oddity of being me, run with the wind and just tie a crocodile to my head.


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