Migraines stress me out.
My migraines, though they don’t come that often, come often enough to send me into a little bit of anxiety–Am I going to get one today? What if I’m out driving and I get an aura? What if it happens while I’m working or before an exam?--but I’ve also come to realize that I can kind of predict them: I always get them AFTER an exciting or stressful time. Never during, which I guess is a blessing, but after, when I should be slowing down. When I get frantic and running around and my mind is racing to 1o1212109 things I need to do in the next few weeks (i.e. how I felt yesterday), then I can be almost certain I’m going to get one. Of course, I get random attacks that I can’t trace to much (maybe the weather?), but for the most part, managing my stress before it gets out of hand so I don’t have something to come down from is a wise bet for me, I think.
Oh, PS, I got a migraine last night, in case you didn’t guess. I tried a new medicine and while my headache is gone, I do NOT feel good. Tired, fuzzy, emotional…you get the gist. I want to go home to bed but I’m hanging out and keeping my eyes open til I teach bootcamp tonight. I love teaching, but I really just want a heating pad, my futon, and wonderful sleep.
Missing swim this morning was hard, but when I woke up at 4am and knew what was up, all I could do was turn off my alarm, take my pills, and sleep this bad boy off. So I did. I also had a snack of dried papaya (last night I was into it before bed and had an apple for the sweetness I apparently wanted)–which is a habit I probably don’t need. Migraines make me nauseas but the stress always sends me reeling for sweet–candy, dried fruit, whatever is on hand. That just turns into emotional eating that leaves me feeling guilty and gross and to be honest, it makes the next day, which needs to involve plenty of rest and sleep, more nerve wracking. Good thing I read that there are still nutrients in that treat in this article about dried fruit that came up on my facebook news feed today.
I’m going to stop rambling, but I’m not done with this migraine talk yet–if you get them, you know how much they can really rock you. I was lucky to read a piece by Joan Didion (which I didn’t realize was written way back when in 1968) that I could totally relate to. You can read the whole thing online, but these points I especially relate to:
“We have reached a certain understanding, my migraine and I. It never comes when I am in real trouble. Tell me that my house is burned down, my husband has left me, that there is gunfighting in the streets and panic in the banks, and I will not respond by getting a headache. It comes instead when I am fighting not an open but a guerrilla war with my own life, during weeks of small household confusions, lost laundry, unhappy help, canceled appointments, on days when the telephone rings too much and I get no work done and the wind is coming up. On days like that my friend comes uninvited.”
She also writes:
“And once it comes, now that I am wise in its ways, I no longer fight it. I lie down and let it happen. At first every small apprehension is magnified, every anxiety a pounding terror. Then the pain comes, and I concentrate only on that. Right there is the usefulness of migraine, there in that imposed yoga, the concentration on the pain. For when the pain recedes, ten or twelve hours later, everything goes with it, all the hidden resentments, all the vain anxieties. The migraine has acted as a circuit breaker, and the fuses have emerged intact. There is a pleasant convalescent euphoria. I open the windows and feel the air, eat gratefully, sleep well. I notice the particular nature of a flower in a glass on the stair landing. I count my blessings.”
Yupp, migraine works like that for me. The slap in the face to remind me that even though I’m injured and cranky and can’t do all the things I want to, I can do a lot. I can enjoy the sun. I don’t have to be a bear just because I don’t feel like myself all the time right now. I can be happy in spite of, and even BECAUSE of all of it!
What doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger, and in my case more grateful.
It also helped that my overnight oats in a jar (with banana and almond milk) were amazing — lots of leftovers in the bottom of that almond butter jar), and that I made a delicious salad with my leftover portobellos from last night’s yummy dinner.
So there, migraine.
I’m focusing on how this is just one day of my life. This injury is just 7 weeks of my year. I can and will run again. I can and will have days where I feel good — thinking of all the days I don’t get migraines is always helpful when I start to get anxious about them. Slowing down, not trying to get any of the assignments (including a new one for Canadian Cycling Magazine that literally found me without me having to ask–yahoo!) or projects I “should” be working on done right now, and trying to smile a bit is my best course of action! Happy by choice, which reminds me of a quote:
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”
Have you ever had a migraine?
How do you move on when you’re feeling blah?
When do you know it’s time for a day off?