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Migraine Watch

Migraine Watch: Nov 14, 2022

I thought I might die yesterday. It seems that all the migraines that I haven’t had over the last two and a half years have joined together to inflict upon me a Super Migraine.

I woke up with a sharp pain behind my right eye. This is kind of the usual post-migraine pain for me, so I assumed that the migraine had come and gone while I was asleep (it’s happened before!) and I just had to put up with the fallout. Not so bad! So I started going about my day as usual.

Around 10:30, though, the pain started to worsen, and I decided to write off the rest of the morning and nap until the afternoon. At noon, my vision began to degrade, and I knew things were only just beginning. A while later, the aura subsided and the true pain began. My brain felt like it was being stabbed repeatedly. My right eye felt like it was trying to pop. My ear felt as though someone had jammed an icepick into it, and I developed a massive toothache on the right side of my mouth. As if all that pain weren’t enough, I had full-body chills and felt like I could throw up at any moment for the rest of the day.

So, I ended up spending almost the entire day trying to sleep on the couch with a mixing bowl by my side. It was so bad, in fact, that I texted my parents to bring me some ibuprofen on their way home from work. Normally, I can get through a migraine without any medication, but this one was like nothing I’ve felt before. I’ve never had one that’s lasted the entire day before, either. It’s usually just a few hours at worst. Like I said, Super Migraine.

I’d wager that this one was likely brought on by stress from the previous day. But I didn’t think I had been that stressed out? I mean, I definitely was, but it was for a short while and easily resolved, and I ended up perfectly content. In any case, it was self-inflicted and royally stupid, so I don’t want to talk about it.

The good news is that I feel completely back to normal today. Hooray!

Migraine Watch: Mar 16, 2020

You know, my last recorded migraine was in September 2018. That’s really good! A year and a half free of horrible cranium pain? I’ll take it!

But the good times never last. Monday was just another day at work. I was doing my thing, and had just come back from a lunch hour study sesh. I sat down at my workstation, intending to get at ‘er, and then suddenly I noticed that the letters and numbers on the screen were becoming hard to read.

“Oh dammit. I remember this.”

A fun twist to this particular migraine is that I tried to sit through a conversation with my boss as the auras were coming on, and I almost wish that I could have recorded myself trying to explain what was happening to me. I could tell that the words coming out of my mouth weren’t quite right, and so we ended up wrapping up and I went to sit at my desk until it was time to go home.

It was about 2:30 when the auras started to appear, and I think maybe about 4:30 once they had dissipated enough to become functional again. So I got in a solid half-hour of work that afternoon. Not that I could do much about it. I’ll have to refer to my previous notes, but I seem to recall that the aura, in whatever shape it takes, generally hasn’t persisted for two hours. I thought they went away faster, but it’s been so long that I’m not sure.

On the other side of the coin, the actual headache portion wasn’t nearly as bad as I’m used to. I was actually up and functional throughout the rest of the evening, as opposed to getting home and going straight to bed for the night. I made dinner, I played video games, I watched TV. I didn’t dare try to work out, because jostling my head was still a source of major pain.

As for causes? I’m going to pin this one squarely on COVID-19. Mostly because I’ve been uncharacteristically stressed out and worried about it. It’s just… kind of a huge deal. I’ve already detailed many of my thoughts on the pandemic panic, and they haven’t changed appreciably since last week. I did wake up at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning to a single cough, and then proceeded to freak out for the next two hours over possibly having caught the virus. Mostly because the idea of unintentionally missing two weeks of work gives me serious anxiety. I’m not the kind of person who would typically prescribe myself a chill pill, but these are trying times. Oh and I have a tough final coming up on Monday so that’s not helping any.

I don’t think there’s much else to note here. Aura was aphasia with blurred vision and a little bit of travelling tingliness. Cause was stress almost without a doubt. Aura was extended, but the headache afterward was mild and was mostly gone by the next morning. Overall, not a bad migraine. A little embarrassing, but not bad.

Migraine Watch: Sept 5 2018

“It’s happening again… I can feel it happening. As I try to scribble out tome small thoughts, I can feel the transient aphasia onset. I’m trying to fight it, but it’s very, very difficult even to get through a sentence. I’m not looking forward to trying to figuring out what this paragraph once my brain is gain to working something or other.”

Don’t know where this came from, but I’m a little upset because the lasting migraine wasn’t that long ago. This latest one came literally out of nowhere, on a fairly quiet Thursday afternoon. Completely normal day at work, I come back from lunch break, and realize that I’ve been re-reading and trying to comprehend the same sentence for like two minutes. I grab my stash of ibuprofen, pop one, and let it happen.

It was a bad one, too, because the aura lasted pretty much the rest of the work day. That meant almost two solid hours of me being literally unable to accomplish anything due to the fact that I simply could not think. What a waste. And I needed to get as much done as possible, as I’ll be on vacation the next week. Yeesh.

But yeah, the usual “workday migraine” symptoms of forgetting how to read, write, and speak. Having issues seeing. A little bit of numbness in the face area. But I have no idea what could have triggered it. Things have been quite good lately, so maybe it is a dietary thing? I hadn’t really been eating enough the last couple days, so that may have been a factor, but it’s not something that’s been consistent with other migraines.

Anyway, basically just went home and straight to bed. By the time I woke up, any “actual migraine” had passed and I was on the home stretch of lingering headache. So really, aside from being useless at work for the afternoon, it was a pretty “good” migraine. Still not closer to uncovering the cause, though. Total bummer.

Migraine Watch: August 2, 2018

Another migraine this evening. Not really sure from whence it came, but it did. I haven’t got a damn clue what triggered it, as life has been fairly good lately. If there’s been any one thing stressing me out, I hate to admit that I’ve been feeling intensely lonely as of late. Has it been weighing on my soul that heavily? My sleeping hasn’t been great, but it hasn’t been so bad that I feel it’s affecting me. I’ve heard that sharp changes in diet can trigger migraines, but I’ve been eating healthier than ever before over the last month, and I have a hard time believing that a positive change like that could cause my brain to feel like it’s self-destructing.

Anyway, it really did come out of the blue. I was sitting on the couch after dinner, playing some Picross, when I suddenly noticed that my vision was starting to blur more than usual. I popped on my glasses, but they did nothing to help. I tried to deny it for a bit, but it was obviously the aura of an oncoming migraine, so I quickly made my way to the bathroom and popped an ibuprofen. I then abandoned the Picross and decided to just shut off all the lights and hop into bed.

That’s when my left leg went all tingly. Over a short period of time, it made its way up my body, through my arm and finally into my jaw. I would say the tingling lasted maybe twenty minutes at most, and by then I could tell that my vision had corrected itself, even in the dark. Though at this point, I could feel the pain in my head begin, and being curled up in bed became an extra boon, because I suddenly caught a terrible case of the chills. Overall, a varied and somewhat long-lasting sequence of auras, but fairly normal and not nearly as scary as the times when I have completely lost my vision or ability to comprehend language.

I’m writing this about an hour after the aura onset, and all the extra symptoms have gone. Now it’s just a relatively mild throbbing in the right side of my head. Significantly less crippling than it could be, so I’m pretty glad I downed that pill. All things considered, this is probably about as well as a migraine can go. I really just wish there had been some clear link to any previous attacks, because I’d love to know what’s triggering these migraines so that I could cut it out of my life.

Migraine Watch – June 11, 2018

After a long day of work and E3 excitement, I laid down on the couch at the end of the day to watch some YouTube before going to bed. I was drifting off a bit, and noticed that my arm was going all tingly. I naturally assumed it was because I had laid on it funny. But then the tingliness moved up to my face, and that’s when I knew that a migraine was coming.

I mean, it’s not like I had been resting on my face in a way that would make it go numb. Right? Is that a thing that can happen?

Anyway, I managed to beat this one to the punch again, as I immediately turned off the TV, popped an ibuprofen, and went to bed. As the tingling faded, I could feel my brain try to scream out in pain, but it was too late, the medication had worked. While it was still a little annoying and made me take a little longer to fall asleep than expected, all was good and I slept soundly through the night. I had a little residual pain the next morning, like you do, but nothing that would stop me from going about my usual day.

As for causes? Honestly, I’m not sure. Work has been a little stressful lately, and I’m definitely feeling worn out from class, but neither one feels really overwhelming. Diet and activity levels are about the same as ever.

It may have actually been the garbage stream of the Playstation E3 showcase, which skipped back two seconds every seven seconds, making it actively stressful to watch and difficult to follow. Or maybe the fact that I was watching it on my phone with one earbud in, with The Bachelorette on in the background and my parents talking rather loudly about the show. Sensory overload, too much for my brain to try to take in all at the same time, and then it just crapped out a couple hours later.

Hey, I don’t know. I’m not some kind of brain doctor. I’m just keeping these logs to try to figure out what my migraine trigger is. And to document the more exaggerate auras. This instance of tingly arm/face was actually pretty tame. I was weirdly disappointed.

Migraine Watch – January 17, 2018

It’s been quite some time since my last migraine, in fact I don’t even remember it. Which kind of makes yesterday a sad day. I was hoping deep in my heart that they would just be gone forever, even though I knew it would be too good to be true. Bad things happen to mediocre people.

Let’s start at the start: perfectly normal day at work, I was actually feeling slightly less exhausted than usual, so maybe I got a decent sleep the previous night? Then, at around a quarter to four, I notice that words and numbers are getting hard to read. I’m still functional, but it’s taking a lot of effort to read anything on either paper or screen.

I immediately poured myself a glass of water and popped two ibuprofen. Twenty minutes later, my vision is restored. However, I do notice a mild pain on the right side of my head. I pray that I was swift enough and that it will not get worse. It does, but not anywhere near as bad as my migraines usually get. It persisted through the evening, though at the less intense level, I remained perfectly functional and went about my daily business as usual.

Weird thing: I actually had some “aura” after the headache part started. On the bus ride home and lasting even about an hour after that, I had a mild numbness along the left side of my body. I worried briefly that my supposed migraine might actually be a stroke, but I don’t think I ever actually believed it could be true.

As far as probable causes, this was my third consecutive day caffeine-free. Normally if I go a day without coffee, I get a pounding headache by around 2PM, but I hadn’t had any issues at all up until this point. So I don’t know if it was just my physical dependence catching up with me or an unfortunate coincidence, but we’re going to blame this one on the lack of coffee. I have also been sleeping worse than usual for the last two weeks, so that may have something to do with it, but there’s no way to be sure.

Migraine Watch: August 4/16

I’m a little bit worried that it hasn’t been even three months since the last migraine attack that I experienced. I haven’t ever had two happen so close together. And of course, this is after I was so happy last time that they had spaced out farther than ever before.

Anyway, this one rolled out almost exactly the same as the previous one, only my arm and jaw got all tingly first, and then it moved into my brain and stunted my communication abilities.

To be honest, I’m much more worried about the aura effects than the actual headaches. It’s terrifying to be put in a place where you can literally no longer form coherent sentences, when you feel like your basic comprehension of language is quickly disappearing. Even worse when you’re in the middle of a work day and you can’t communicate to anyone what’s happening to you.

But it passed, and then I went home, worried for the whole ride that I was going to throw up in the bus. I didn’t. Arrived at home, took an ibuprofen, and passed out for a couple hours. When I awoke, the worst was over and only the lingering pain of the headache remained.

If nothing else, at least the actual headache part seems to be getting milder with each attack. I don’t know if that’s much comfort in the wake of the escalating aura effects. Is my brain falling apart? Should I be worried? I think it’s time to talk to a doctor.

Start : 3:00 PM (aura), 3:50 PM (migraine)

End : roughly 8:00 PM

Aura : Numbness in right hand/forearm, moving to jaw. Transition to dizziness and great difficulty thinking/spelling (I tried to spell “transition” and it came out “transviserinfverinsiverinsioncervisionversiong”). Finally, inability to focus visually.

Triggers: Lack of sleep (likely), stress (less likely), maybe something in my diet?

Medication : Ibuprofen (2 pills, taken during actual migraine)


Migraine watch: May 13/16

It’s been quite a long tine since I’ve written up one of these, longer than gaps between my migraines used to be. To be perfectly honest, I was kind of hoping that maybe the cause of my migraines was gone (if you know what I mean), but I am in the middle of an attack, so that’s not the case.

This one, specifically, impaired my ability to spell and form coherent sentences. It look me nearly half an hour to write that last paragraph.

I woke up Friday morning feeling overtired but otherwise okay, as is the usual lately. I went to work, and all was fine until I arrived. I turned on my computer, and noticed that I was having a very difficult time focusing on the screen. It’s hard to explain, but I could only see a small portion of the screen that was dead ahead, and the rest was totally blurry. I knew something as wrong, as I could see everything fine besides my monitor.

Then my right arm started to get all tingly. That’s when I knew for sure that it was a migraine. The feeling lasted for about five minutes, and then moved up into my jaw for maybe a minute.

About 40 minutes after arriving at work, my ability to read my monitor had come back, and I hit what was sort of the calm before the storm. The “aura” ended completely and it seemed like my body was getting ready to go back to normal. Less than five minutes later, the true migraine began.

Overall, it was significantly less painful than migraines before. While it was still very difficult to focus and my head was throbbing like crazy, it was bearable enough that I toughed it out and stayed at work instead of going back home to sleep it off. The big disappointment this time around is that I had not kept any ibuprofen available at work, and the neared drugstore didn’t open until 10 AM, so I had to sit and suffer for a few hours, and by the time I could go out to grab some pills, I could already feel the pain slowly beginning to subside and didn’t bother.

Start : 7:55 AM (aura), 8:45 AM (migraine)

End : 11:30 AM

Aura: Inability to see computer monitor, inability to spell/write coherent sentences, brief tingling in right arm and jaw, difficulty thinking/speaking

Possible triggers: Exhaustion, mostly. Maybe not eating properly?

Medication: None taken

Migraine Watch: The Startening

I never had migraines as a kid, but they began in my early twenties, and have been happening somewhat regularly since then. They aren’t anywhere nearly as bad as they are for some people; they only last a day and only happen every six months or so. However, when I get one, I am generally rendered useless for the rest of the day.

In the interest of keeping data, I’ve decided to post notes every time I have a migraine. Each one is different, with varied effects (known as an “aura”) preceding and accompanying the main headache. I’m interested in seeing how many side-effects I can “collect,” so that’ll be kind of neat. I’d also like to see if I can nail down what triggers the migraines in the first place, and how/if I can prevent them.

Start: 4 PM, April 23/15

End: 12 PM, April 24/15

Aura: Mild loss of feeling in left hand (temporary, no tingle), dizziness, upset stomach after eating (persisted overnight)

Possible trigger(s): Stress, lack of sleep, poor eating

Medication: No-name ibuprofen pills, taken 2 hours after start (had none handy). total of 3 taken over the course of the migraine.