Some women mark their menstrual cycles on a calendar, circling the days in bright red ink. I do something similar on the days I have migraines. I highlight each headache and note the ones that last for more than 24 hours (the doozies, I call ’em).
Based on this tracking system, I’ve discovered that for nine months of the year, I tend to suffer from two or three migraines a month. In the summer, however, I endure two or three migraines a week.
People’s migraine triggers vary, but mine are well established. I get these vicious headaches when it’s hot and humid, when the barometric pressure drops, during at least one day of my period and when I alter my altitude (by flying or spending time in the mountains). Knowing this, I do what I can to avoid such triggers. During the summer, I mostly just suffer.
Which is basically why you haven’t seen any postings here. Although I’ve had a lot to say, much has prevented me from doing so. This month alone, according to my calendar, I’ve had more days with migraines than without. I had a week off for vacation and spent three days of it with nausea, head-pounding pain and exhaustion. Then there was the 9-day stretch of migraines, where a new one popped up every day. I worked through nearly all of them, but had to call out one night because the invisible ice pick stabbing my eyeball left me both dizzy and blind.
That series of headaches abated on Sunday, around the time the heat wave we’ve been enduring ended. Yet I was still left weakened by the experience. Connections in my brain were severed by the prolonged pain and so I spent much of the day sleeping, trying to recuperate enough to be a productive part of society again.
On the days without migraines, my spirit lightens and I have more energy to tackle the rest of my life. I spend much of that time playing catch-up for lost time: finishing chores, paying bills, running errands and simply taking notice. The dog has contracted a cold. Laundry awaits proper folding. The bird feeder needs fresh seed. My novel has not progressed enough. The herbs on the back deck all died.
Despite this, I can already sense relief on the horizon. I just gotta survive August (my least favorite month of the year). Until then, I beg for your patience and understanding.