I get migraines. I've been plagued by severe headaches my whole life, but I started getting textbook migraines about 10 years ago. There's not a medicine that prevents them for me, and once I get one, I can take something at the onset to minimize the pain. However, if I wait too long, there's not much to do except lay in the dark and try to sleep it off.
Unfortunately, a few days ago I had a particularly bad migraine. In fact, it lasted for three days until my parents couldn't take it any more and called our family doctor as soon as the office opened. He told them to bring me in immediately.
I've never been to a doctor mid-migraine. I always wait it out. But this was definitely a different migraine. When I closed my eyes (which was the whole time because light felt like it was searing a hole in my retina), I could feel this throb of pain circling my head... kinda like the ache was an insane 100,000+ crowd at a Tennessee football game doing "The Wave" around Neyland Stadium while stabbing knives on my brain as they sat back down.
Round and round. Some rounds were stronger than others. On some rounds even the old people stood up and stabbed.
Round and round.
Guess we'd better see a doctor.
My mom made a bed in the backseat of the car, and they whisked me across town. I went into the doctor's office with my darkest sunglasses on, and they took me right back to a room. He checked to make sure I didn't have meningitis before deciding that I simply had an especially resistant migraine. The solution was to get a couple of shots to break it up.
Except for spiders, I am a very rational person and the ideal patient. I have a high tolerance for pain (obviously, I suffered through two days before seeing a doctor on the third). I rarely get sick. Blood does not make me woozy. I can take shots like a champ and can even give them to myself.
However, this was not my day.
I barely remember that first injection, but apparently between the two shots, I started inexplicably hyperventilating -- another new thing for me.
If you've never hyperventilated before, the cure is to hold your breath. Talk about counter-intuitive.
This day was falling apart at the seams. Somehow between gulps of airs and holding my breath, I asked that my mom come back to the exam room to sit with me. There are just some times you need your mama. This was one of them.
After that second shot, the sequence of events started really blurring and I don't remember much else, except that Gene Audrey's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" played on the radio and my arm felt really weird. I asked the doctor about my arm (not the song), and he said he put some kind of numbing something on the needle... shortly afterwards, I started tuning out and blacking out.
I never removed my sunglasses during the whole examination.
Mom and Dad rushed me back home and got me to bed before the medicine completely knocked me out. The doctor called some time during the day to check on me, and I vaguely recall either my mom or dad waking me up to give me the phone. In my foggy state of mind, I remember him saying that if my head didn't quit hurting in an hour, then I needed to go to the hospital for an MRI to ensure I didn't have a brain aneurysm.
That probably should have been alarming. I fell back asleep.
I passed back out for a bit and remember my dad bringing me some oatmeal. I think both Mom and Dad checked on me to make sure I was still breathing. When I woke up late that afternoon, the migraine was gone, though my head felt bruised from the days of throbbing.
Beside the fact that headaches are just no fun, this stretch of sick time caused me to miss out on getting to visit with some friends and family. These home breaks go by so quickly, and there's just no time to be sick. I really regret missing out on some visiting time with friends whom I only get to see once a year.
The day after the doctor's visit my arm still felt really strange. As I was getting dressed, I saw why:
The needle insertion point was right belong my shoulder freckle at the top of my arm, but the medicine left a major bruise running down my bicep!
Oh, well. I'll take the bruise in exchange for no migraine any day. Praying for a headache-free rest of the trip!