Before the Headache

There was a time when I thought that a migraine was the worst thing that could happen in my head.

I had my first migraine when I was in 6th grade. My vision blurred, I threw up on a popular boy’s shoes, and my head felt like it would split with every beat of my pulse. I thought I was dying of brain cancer (and embarrassment). Then my dad picked me up, told me it was a migraine and that he got them too. That was the end of it, no discussion, no treatment (besides otc pain relievers) and no advice. Eventually a family friend told me about food triggers.

By the time I reached my mid twenties, I had my migraines down to one or two per month. The problem was that even at once a month it was causing me missed work. A friend convinced me to see my family physician for treatment. So began my quest for a headache cure, or at least some comfort.

We tried a few of the standard abortive drugs: maxalt, imitrex, maybe one more. They did nothing to help; I was better off taking ibuprofen, drinking a cola and taking a nap (sometimes for days). Next we tried topamax. This left me feeling spacey and with numb nose and fingers. It was very disconcerting. I guess I got fed up with trying new meds at this point. I stopped everything and just took ibuprofen if I really had to.

All that was before the daily headache struck.

And I’d gladly go back to it if I could.

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