Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Head Like A Hole

I LOVE these videos!  I know you can relate!!

I have been getting ocular migraine headaches on and off since I was seven years old.  My first one occurred during the Memorial Day parade in my hometown.  I was supposed to march with my Brownie troop.  Instead, when we passed my street, I found my mother and went straight home where I hid under my pillow for the next twenty-four hours.  My migraines are brought on by many different triggers including bright sunlight, dehydration, stress, and/or caffeine.  The first symptom is blurred vision, similar to what your television screen looks like when your digital cable goes wonky.  After that, it's all downhill.  I have extreme nausea from the blurred vision causing a Puke-a-palooza, if you will.  Lying under the covers is the only thing I can tolerate.  The headache usually lasts throughout the night and then the next day I have a "hangover headache",  a dull, lingering throbbing but my vision is restored.  They are truly debilitating and something only fellow migraine sufferers and their loved ones can relate to.  Luckily, I don't get them too often, maybe 3 times a year.

Today we had lunch at my in-law's beach club.  I had a delicious garden salad and a cup of "decaf".  When the waitress came by to refill my cup, I asked if it was decaf to double check, as is my routine when eating out.  "Oh, no it's not.  I didn't know," she answered.  Great.  I felt okay, so I didn't make a big deal about the mistake.  I finished my lunch without thinking twice about what happened.  Until...

...I went out for my run about an hour later.  I was planning on running a 6.75 mile trail along the Indian River.  After  the first mile, I noticed my vision start to blur.  Oh crap.  I decided to push on hoping it would pass.  At 2.2 miles, I decided it would be better to turn around rather than get stuck on the remote trail.  Once I arrived back at my in-law's I chugged two and a half bottles of water and gulped down an orange.  This only made me feel nauseated.  The blurry vision had subsided though.  I got lucky and was able to stave off a potential disastrous dinner with the family.

Lesson:  It is better to remind your waitress about your caffeine woes ad nauseum than to sit through a meal with your in-laws and children ad nauseum.  Figurative barf beats literal barf.  Always.


  1. Me too. 2-3 times a year. I get the sparkling, traveling aura. It portends the onset ~20 minutes later.

    1. Boo! Does any medication help? Imitrex works for me sometimes, but sometimes not. I heard nasal sprays are pretty effective.

    2. I never took any prescription drugs for it. The only time I went to a doctor was for my first one, in high school, right after an SAT. I just take two aleve or two extra strength whateverislyingaround and go somewhere dark and quiet. It usually commences as that hangover headache you describe. If I don't head it off (ha) I'm in deep shit. It sounds like mine may be less severe than yours. I'm sorry. They are such a big waster of time.

    3. What is it with runners and migraines? I'll admit that my periodic hemispherical headaches aren't at your levels, but every six weeks I get affected. I've found that pseudoephedrine and Excedrin, taken together, provide a decent cure. Actually, since I "retired", I haven't had one!

  2. Well, that certainly speaks volumes, ER..
    I believe my tinnitus, my recent new 'affliction' is related to running. The doc says no, but I'm thinking blow flow may be part of the problem. I also very rarely listen to music through headphones anymore, just in case that's the primary cause.