Friday, January 27, 2012

please learn from my mistakes

We interrupt this craft blog to bring you a lesson in learning lessons.

I know you'll forgive this random post as you always do when I chatter on about things other than crafting. Yesterday was just a horrible day, with such a strong lesson learned, I just had to share. For those of you who don't know, I get migraines. I know, it's a headache, suck it up, right? No. These are crippling, head-splitting, nauseating, vision-blurring, deafening, limb-tingling, writhing in pain migraines. During a full-blown attack I can hardly speak (the sound of my voice sounds like a megaphone in my head), I need the lights off, I need no noises at all, and I need to be in bed until it passes. I used to get them once a week, at varying degrees (not all of them render me incapacitated).

Cue migraine drugs. Now, I've been getting migraines for about 12 years. I've only had a drug that works well for me for about 6 years. The rest of that time was spent trying out different drugs and elimination diets, and keeping a migraine journal and pretty much becoming useless to the world anytime a bad one hit. Those bad ones can last days. Trying different drugs was interesting. I had one that caused a NEW migraine the instant it wore off. Another made me hallucinate. Some didn't work at all. The drug I take now is so wonderful. I take it when one starts coming. If any of you get them, you know you can tell. Some people have funny pains, or tingling, or vision disruptions, or auras. Some unfortunate people just suddenly have severe pain that wasn't there 30 seconds ago. As soon as any of those things happen, I take my medicine. Usually within 30 minutes, I can feel it starting to work. Most days, that's it. I'll even forget later on that I ever had a migraine that day. Some days, if it was a real stinker, I'll feel the drug still working throughout the day. I don't know how to describe that feeling, but I can tell you without a doubt that I wouldn't be standing at that moment if I hadn't taken it.

I would also mention that I am NOT a pill-popper. If there is a better, safer, more natural way to deal with something than a pill, I will try it (I have tried any natural headache remedy I could find). Except with migraines. I do NOT mess around when it comes to these. Until now. And oh how I regret it. So here's the thing: The drug I use only comes 6 to a box. I probably need to take it 2-3 times a month. So I have to get it refilled quite regularly. That's a big nuisance for me because I have to order it and have my husband pick it up since I don't have a car. So far, I've been on top of making sure I don't run out. When I finished my last box, I kept neglecting to order more. I don't know why. Mr. R even reminded me a couple times. I still didn't do it. I still don't know why.

One of my triggers is not getting enough sleep. Yesterday the kids both woke up at 5am. I held them off for a bit, but finally had to get up with them. I already knew I was in trouble. I showered, Mr. R left for work, and I was hoping for death. I didn't get off the couch except to feed the kids and change Monkey's diapers. Around noon, I knew I couldn't manage on my own anymore. I could barely open my eyes. Mr. R came home and got my prescription to take and get filled. To make a long story short, I didn't get my medicine until about 5:30 that evening. I had suffered for about 12 hours. I had moments where I was almost physically sick. I had moments where I didn't know what to do with myself because the pain was so intense. It hurt to lay my head down. It hurt to keep it up. My arms tingled and I couldn't feel my hands. I haven't felt pain that severe in a long time. I caused Mr. R to miss half a day of work, I couldn't look after my kids. If anything had happened during the day before Mr. R got home, I wouldn't have been able to do anything. I was useless. And it all could have been avoided.

Worst of all, I'm still suffering. If I take the drug when I should, at the beginning of an attack, it's never not worked for me. Yesterday, taking it 12 hours in, I had to take a second dose; something I've never had to do. Today, I'm still extremely nauseated, light-headed, and still have a mild headache. Each task I attempt requires several breaks. I napped with the kids. I haven't eaten much.

Why am I telling you this? I guess there are two reasons. First, if you suffer from migraines, go to the dr. Now. There is no reason for you to suffer. Great strides have been made when it comes to migraine drugs. If you're like me and don't like to take medication, get over it. You save yourself a day or more of agony. I used to be conservative with the pills. In the US, on the insurance we had, they still cost around $45, for 6 pills. It's different in the UK, but once I had kids, I got over the price issue and just took them when I needed to. I didn't want to suffer and make my kids suffer too. I get migraines often enough that I would miss several days a month with them. Before you go to the dr, it's smart to keep a log of your migraines. If you get them quite often, also track what you eat. I used to keep a spreadsheet or a little notebook. I would make an entry every time I ate anything, and any time I had any type of headache. Put down the level of pain (on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10), if you had an auras or precursors, how long it lasted, and if you took anything for it, and if it worked. Write down anything else you think is valid (other medications taken, menstruation, exercise, etc). More info is better than not enough.

Second reason for my tale is to remind those of you already taking medication for migraines (or anything else for that matter) not to run out. I know that's a dumb thing to say, but I think one of the reasons I slacked with mine was because I thought maybe they didn't get that bad anymore. I thought maybe I could just rest a bit and it would go away or that I could take something OTC and it would go away. I was so very wrong. Don't risk it. Get the goods and keep them handy!

Now back to our regularly scheduled crafting...

To that effect, I finished January's a year of Christmas, I just need to take photos and post it. Hoorah!

1 comment:

  1. Guilty -- if a migraine comes on in the middle of the night I find myself thinking I can just sleep it away... which NEVER works!!! Someday I'll probably figure that out. :)