Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Day With A Migraine


Photo source:  I have no idea, and I take no credit for this one.
I would not wish an hour with a migraine let alone a day or more on anyone.  I have a girlfriend right now who has been dealing with a debilitating one for over a month now with little relief in sight.  They've been running every test under the sun on her and have come up with little to explain why she is all of a sudden burdened with them.

I've titled this post a day with a migraine because for me, that's how long they usually last.  And mine started to come on last night, and lasted through my night's "sleep" and into this morning where I really at that point wanted someone to just knock me over the head with a shovel real hard and put me out of my misery.  I've suffered from migaines since I was a wee little girl.  I used to come home from school every day and would have to head straight for bed.  Cool dark room, no sound, feeling of nausea and generally just hating life all the way around.  I was living in southern California at the time (my dad was in the military) so I pretty much visited every military hospital in the area and every military doctor taking every test available at the time to rule out any actual illness that could be treated.  Finally they sent me to the naval hospital in San Diego where a cat scan revealed...nothing.  But they were also aware of certain triggers at the time that may cause these life stealers, including  MSG.  Up until that moment, no one had mentioned dietary triggers, and this was the aha moment for my mom.

For those of you unaware, MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is this "fabulous" ingredient highly used in Asian cuisine to flavor up sauces in some really yummy dishes very easily.  You know where MSG is also highly prominent?  In the soup packets of ramen noodles, which is what I was being fed every morning for breakfast because I LOVE NOODLES.  I am a noodle girl.  I love my rice too, but I LOVE MY NOODLES.   From that moment on, much to my chagrin, I was allowed to have my noodles but not the flavoring that went with them.  And the daily migraines quickly went away.

Not forever though because I still experienced migraines quite frequently, and I learned other triggers that would set them off:  extreme exhaustion, changes in barometric pressure (I always know when rain was heading into the forecast), hangovers (of course), periods of high stress, exceptionally strong periods of PMS, and of course certain food triggers such as wine and MSG.  As I've gotten older and have learned or sensed when something was a trigger for me, the headaches have become far and few between so my tolerance level for them have also lowered.

...which has brought me to today...and my headache this morning and subsequent taking of a sick day at work...or unpaid day as I'm working on contract and don't get "sick days."  Through a combination of sleep, water, a bit of noodles for substance (I told you I was a noodle girl) so I wasn't taking my Excedrin Migraine on and empty stomach, I seem to have overcome the worst of this migraine...thank goodness!

Migraines...just say no!

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