Ouchy Head

Well, if Martin’s recent sufferings weren’t enough, I appear to have developed the capacity for migraines. Imagine my delight.

It is apparently not uncommon for women’s migraine status to change in pregnancy – sufferers may experience some relief, and non-sufferers may start getting them. This ties into the theories that migraines are hormonally based.

I don’t know if the two killer headaches I’ve experienced in the last month are true migraines. In both cases, my head was throbbing so badly it felt like it would explode, particularly behind the eyes. Any light caused stabbing pains in my eyes and temples, adding to the pain even more. Eventually, it hurt so much that I got nauseated, sometimes uncontrollably.

Yesterday’s headache was preceded by an unpleasant series of sensations as well. I went up into town at lunchtime, and while on my way back, I began to feel somewhat faint. (Since I have low blood pressure, I am familiar with the symptoms that lead up to fainting, though I have only once passed out. Specifically, I sometimes experience dizziness, ringing in the ears, sweating palms, nausea and a trailing off of extreme weakness. Yesterday I had three of the five, but managed to avoid the nausea and sweating palms by sitting down for a few minutes.) Then I got back to the office, and began to feel an incipient headache.

That feeling of faintness matches some of the symptoms of an aura, such as often precedes a “proper” migraine. Not being a doctor, I don’t know if my guess that this was an aura before a migraine is accurate (though as far as I can tell, the medical profession sometimes uses “migraine” to mean “bad headache we can’t otherwise explain”. It’s been the default diagnosis for Martin a couple of times.)

My head hurt all evening, meaning my poor Martin had to put Alex to bed. (I couldn’t bathe him, because the bathroom light was too bright. I took my shower later by candlelight.) I was better in the morning, but still too light-sensitive to take Alex to nursery; Martin had to do that too. Work was right out of the question.

Finally, about 24 hours after the first faintness, I’m feeling better. The light sensitivity has gone, the headache has vanished, and apart from a dragging tiredness, I’m back to normal.

The bad news is that, being pregnant, I dare not take painkillers. The worse news is that some pregnancy-onset tendencies to migraine don’t go away after the birth…

The good news is that Martin is wonderful. Thank you, Bun.

3 thoughts on “Ouchy Head”

  1. From talking to friends who get migraines there are only really two things you can do, avoid your triggers and deal with a headache before it fully develop (either by drug or going somewhere dimly lit and relaxing).

    I understand that low doses of acetominophen or paracetomal are supposed to be safe, but I can understand your caution.

    Hope this is the only one 🙂

  2. Some of us old hippies used to cure headaches by putting a fesh bay leaf under our hats or, for greater strength, under our embossed leather headband as it passed over our suntanned forehead. The underside of the leaf in particular is strong enough to create quite a burning sensation on the skin.

    Other old hippies sneered at this practice.

    I’m sorry to hear you’re in pain:(

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