In the middle of the night, on Thursday (actually Friday, because it was around 3 am), I got up for a routine reason. A bathroom break and a sip of water. I do not know about you, but I have a time of night that I get up almost every night for that. Why is this blog worthy? Normally, it's not, but what happened on that night turned out to be so.
My vision was blurry when I made my way through the darkness to the bathroom.
I have horrible eyesight. That is no secret. When my contacts are out and my glasses are not on, the big giant E on the vision testing board is a blur. I honestly would not know that is an 'E' if not for the fact that the chart has not changed in all of my years of living. A blurry trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night is not that uncommon, because I know the route I take, I do not put my glasses on. What made this night different? I got into the bathroom and looked at something up close, it was still blurry. As this occurred in the middle of the night, I didn't think too much about it. I was half asleep and had been rubbing my eyes. In my half asleep state, I put it in the back of my mind and went back to bed.
When my alarm went off a couple of hours later, I knew that my blurry vision at 3 am was an indicator of the massive migraine that now occupied my head. If I had been more aware at 3 am, I would have taken my medication and been ok, but I had not, so at 6:45 I was in pain. My vision was down to straight in front of me, my peripheral vision was gone. I could not handle light, it made me nauseated. Noise, like an alarm clock, was like a chainsaw on my nerve endings. The next 36 hours were spent in an attempt to rid myself of these symptoms. Sleep is elusive; the pain will not let you drop off into oblivion. The medication that at 3 am would be so effective at 7am does not make a difference once the migraine has taken full effect.
This was not my first migraine, and unfortunately, I do not believe it will be my last. Bummer. Through out my years, I have learned about my migraines and their triggers. I, somehow, manage to get both hereditary and environmental migraines. Hereditary migraines have a family link, normally from father to daughter or mother to son. Weird, huh? Not all of the time, but according to the information my doctor gave me, it's true the majority of the time. My dad gets migraines. We both get them where our vision is affected. It's not fun. Environmental migraines are triggered by food, light, or something outside of the body. I have issues with nuts, especially almonds and walnuts. Flashing lights, like strobe lights, trigger them as well. A certain tight muscle in my neck left untreated will trigger them as well. I have spent a lot of time figuring out what causes my migraines, because I would do about anything to avoid one. They just suck.
Since my mid-twenties, I have managed to learn my environmental triggers and my number of migraines has dropped dramatically. Amazing progress and results, because for a time of my life, I was having way too many. The frustrating thing about my migraines now is that when they happen I can not identify the trigger. I posted about this one on facebook and got a couple of ideas, but none of them were it.
(Guys turn away for a second....it's time for period talk)
One trigger of migraines, especially in women, is tied to their menstrual cycles. Some women get them right before their period starts; others when certain hormone levels drop or rise. Everyone is different, but this has never affected me. There goes that trigger.....
(ok, guys, you can come back)
The reason for this post is two-fold...
Number 1, if you suffer from migraines, what are your triggers? Any ideas for me? I am willing to try just about anything.
and Number 2, if you don't suffer from them, Thank your lucky stars, but please also realize unlike a normal headache, a couple of advil will not solve the problem.
Feeling human again....