Day in the Life, Health

Migraine Awareness Month Blog Challenge #1 – “Your First for the First”

Today’s prompt for National Migraine Awareness month: Migraine Awareness Month #1: Your First for the First. Share the story of your first Migraine, what it was like, if you knew what it was, what you did, how you felt. 

I don’t really remember my first migraine. I wasn’t formally diagnosed until college, but my mum suffered from them, and she recognized my symptoms. Migraines were very sporadic for me through childhood, and never bad enough that my mum sought out any treatment. I think her own frustrating experiences with doctors made her very skeptical that they would even hear her out, much less be able to help me.

I do remember getting a bad one at Six Flags when I was there with Girl Scouts when I was probably in 5th or 6th grade. I’d ridden some rough rides, been out in the heat and the sun for hours, hadn’t eaten much, and was probably dehydrated. Perfect storm for a migraine. I remember seeing the glitter, feeling lightheaded, and sitting on a curb with my head between my knees for a long time. I think after that I insisted on having some “real food” – a burger or something. And I’m betting the rest of the day was shot for me.

Another early one I remember was at youth camp between 8th and 9th grades. I was playing board games in the basement of the lodge with some friends, when my head started screaming. I told my friends there was a storm coming and I was going to go take a nap for the duration. Unfortunately, the tornado siren went off just minutes later and we were all confined to the basement anyway. My friends were all impressed with my gift of “weather prophecy”. I was just miserable.

In high school, I started self-medicating with Mountain Dew to get through tough migraine days at school. The school nurse had to call a parent for permission to even give Tylenol, and we weren’t allowed to carry any ourselves, so I just took to slamming a soda and slouching down in my desk hoping that everyone would leave me alone. Teachers probably wondered what was wrong with me, but no one ever asked. I think my friends were aware that I got bad headaches, and that I had to eat frequently to keep my blood sugar from dropping. I remember riding the bus with a bad migraine, tears running down my face as we bounced and jolted down the road. I’d just lay in the seat with my hoodie over my head, praying it would stop soon or the bus would go off a bridge.

National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com

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