My mom has suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember. Migraines come in many different forms, although the pain is always excruciating. One type of migraine is the nausea kind. You literally feel sick. The funny thing about these kinds though is once you have actually vomited, you feel better and the headache pain usually goes away. In spite of being sick, these types of migraines are the kind most people prefer because it's usually over quickly.
Then there are the visual migraines and these are the worst. It doesn't start with pain but instead starts with the temporary loss of eyesight. In essence, you go blind for a time. This usually lasts from anywhere to twenty minutes up to an hour until it clears up. And once your vision clears, the pain begins and can last for days. There is no quick recovery from these.
When I was a kid, I was totally clueless about what my mom went through. I never really understood why when we were driving sometimes my mom would have to pull over for half an hour because she said she couldn't see. Nor did I understand why sometimes she was in so much pain that she'd tell me and my brother to just shut up. Oh for the ignorance of youth again.
At the age of fifteen, I had my very first migraine. It was the milder form where I was fine after I got violently sick. But once you have one, you are prone to getting them again. And I have had migraines ever since. In school, I would get visual migraines and have to go to the nurse's office until my sight came back. Then, the nurse would have to call my mom and send me home because I was in no shape from the pain to be there. I'd be out for three days at least, sometimes a whole week.
A few years back they came out with the first really serious treatment for migraines called Imitrex. One problem though, I'm allergic to it. So, while my mom could take it and get relief for her migraines, I had to just suffer through. But, they have since developed more meds for migraine pain that do work for me. I'm on a major migraine program with three serious medications. The first is called Toprol and its purpose is to prevent migraines from happening. It doesn't prevent them completely, but it has reduced the frequency I get them.
The second med is called Furinol and it's purpose is to deal solely with the pain. It's a godsend. The third is called Maxalt and I take it when my vision starts to blur letting me know a migraine is coming. It knocks it out before it even begins and that is even more of a godsend. Some migraines start when I'm sleeping and the pain is already full blown when I wake. Too late for the Maxalt so that's when I take the pain meds.
My mom has suffered with these for years. I got a visual today and started thinking about how unsympathetic I had been as a child and realized I truly owe my mom an apology. I'm so sorry mom. I love you so much. But until I got migraines myself, I never understood just how bad they are. I wouldn't wish a migraine on my worst enemy. You are my best friend and I wish you didn't have to suffer migraines. I wish neither of us did.