Thursday, October 11, 2012
Living with Migraines
This past year was the year of the migraine for Miss Priss. She's had a few, some with vomiting and some without. Some with weird eye issues, such as flashing light or focus problems, some without. Thankfully, basic Tylenol is effective. But first she had to master swallowing pills. Here's what works for us: I bite them into small pieces for her. Just another thing mamas do.
This morning when she told me her right eye was flashing, we knew what to expect. But the Tylenol didn't take effect quickly enough. Lying down made her head hurt worse, so she propped up on pillows, nauseated. Eventually she came downstairs to sit on the couch. Then she fell asleep. When she awoke, she felt much better but is still taking it easy for the rest of the day.
Oh, that it would always be that way. It's hard enough to see her suffer now, to wring wet, cool cloths for her forehead -- an ultimately useless but still somewhat comforting measure. What breaks my heart is that the headaches are sure to get worse. Mine did. Her dad's did. We just don't know exactly how the headaches will affect her.
Himself has about one BIG classic migraine per year. He has Imitrex injections for those. Mine are (were) different; I lived with daily headaches. A couple of times per month I'd have big headaches, but mostly I just had minor headaches every. Single. Day. I tried several kinds of meds. For the Big Ones, I used Imitrex 100 mg.
Finally, about a year and a half ago, I tried a daily SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) commonly used to treat depression. These have been found to be successful in some headache suppression. It works for me. Now I have only a mild headache a few times a month, treatable with Tylenol, and a breakthrough moderate headache a few times per year. What a difference this has made in my day-to-day living!
I know that my nearest forebears were migraine sufferers, and, since migraines tend to be genetic, I'm sure many of my ancestors suffered, too. I can't imagine how they managed. I am thankful we live in an era where we have medicines readily available.
Which makes me think. Perhaps there will be even more fantastic treatments and cures for migraines in the next few decades. Wouldn't that be something?