Migraine Headaches

I think what I hate the most is the way they come at me out of nowhere. I’m back from Pilates, sitting at my desk with a cup of San Diego’s best coffee (Jitters on Morena, folks!), a full tank of ambition and suddenly there’s a flash of light the size of a thumbtack and I’m out of my chair like a rocket. It used to be that if I caught a headache at this flashing aura stage, I could bull through it. I’ve had it happen in the middle of a Novel Cram weekend with twenty students expecting me to be one hundred percent on it and my old meds, Midrin, got me through. But Midrin isn’t available now and Fioricet doesn’t do it.


I’m not a wimp about pain but there are things I want to do, projects and books to write. The problem is that life doesn’t always give me what I want. LOL. I try really hard to accept headaches and a stiff back and the countless bad hair days with some grace. I am aware that in a world of war and hunger and oppression a migraine headache doesn’t amount to much. But today I couldn’t be philosophical and went down for the full ten count. New symptom. Freezing feet. Not the skin but the bones. I covered myself in blankets and stuck Art’s I-Pod in my ear. Listened to half a dozen Terry Gross interviews I can’t remember anything about. Midway I got a tremendous need for a big bacon cheeseburger and Art went out and got it for me. So grateful, I am. It tasted wonderful but it took forty five minutes to eat because chewing hurt. O poor me! But all those carbs put me to sleep and when I woke the actual headache was gone, just a bruise on my brain somewhere behind my eyebrows.


What causes a migraine headache? No one really knows. They are like so many things these days. No single cause, no quick fix. Sometimes I have clusters of them in the spring and fall. Something about the light maybe? Or it might be middle age in which case I guess I’m doomed. But there’s good news! I feel fine now and I’m writing this to remind myself to take a minute to feel what it’s like to feel fine. What a gift and prize and blessing it is. When I look back on my life, I know I’ve wasted a thousand days of feeling fine. I’m resolved to be more appreciative in the future.

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One Response to “Migraine Headaches”

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  1. lynnbarry says:

    Dear Drusilla,

    I have not read your work yet, but am looking forward to doing that soon. I will be attending the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference in June and also look forward to listening to you speak while there.

    As a former migraine sufferer I offer this…now that I am gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine, alcohol and other substances free and on thyroid medicine I don’t get migraines.

    I know how debilitating migraines are and for me when I had one the only thing that helped was sleep.

    Good luck!
    See you at the conference.

    Lynn Barry

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