Let me start off by saying that I am a research nut. I love to find out why, where, who, how, when about everything. So when I was stricken again with a much more severe bout of illness, I started to play detective!
It started about a week ago….every morning I would wake up and one of my eyes would be glued shut with gunk! It was never both eyes at the same time and it was completely random, one day the right, one day the left. Then whichever eye decided to would tear profusely at some point during the day, to suddenly stop for no reason! Hmmmm??? Now, I work with health care professionals, who are a wonderful group of people, but it takes a lot to get them excited. When I mentioned this at work-which I did often, I did not get much in the way of diagnosis…mostly they would recommend an eye wash or an antihistamine before they moved onto their patients who are truly sick. I do want to add that NOT getting excited about health related issues does, in my opinion, make the best healthcare professionals. When you come into that hospital with your eyeball in a baggie and your elbow twisted behind your neck you want someone to keep stirring their coffee as if to say, “How many times this week…..”
Anyhoo, this all happened a week or so out, but the day before was very strange. I am a bit of a chatty girl normally, but I was way, way too chatty! I kept coming up with ideas and projects that I would spearhead! I was hungry but nothing sounded appealing. When I did eat dinner I thought everything tasted funny. Hmmmmm? The plot thickens!
The morning of I got up to begin my usual duties; wake the kids, start the coffee, check the calendar for after school stuff. I didn’t feel well, but it was still undefined somewhat. In a nutshell, I was on the plane, strapped in and it had started to taxi out! About 15 minutes after I first got up, I was flat on my back with the most intense nausea and headache pain I have ever felt! Since then, I have recovered, done some reasearch and have diagnosed myself with -MIGRAINE!
If you have never had one, count yourself blessed! Let me walk you through. The strange eye problems, the excitability and the food tasting funny events are called the prodrome phase and can proceed the headache by a few hours or a full week. The headache is so bad it seems to encompass your entire body. There was no way I could even sit up! According to migraine research this is called the rest and repair phase and it’s true you can’t even sit up. The body is experiencing such a high level of pain,i.e. stress, it essentially takes everything off line, so to speak. So you lie there thanking God that you can’t get up on the roof to throw yourself off, because you would if you could get there. When I tried to open my eyes there were tiny little black spots or flashes that only seemed to make me sicker. This is another common, but little understood, side effect of migraine. There are varying degrees of ocular disturbances during a migraine–how about just going blind in one eye for 24 hours! This sounds so frightening I hope the poor people who do experience this get an extra tax credit or something!!!
Never one to handle illness very well, I succumb to hysterics and call the doctor. Weeping I tell his nurse my symptoms, add that I am sure I cannot walk and ask when I should call EMSA. Sighing, I hear her stirring her coffee. She says she will tell the Dr. and call me back. I did scan the paper this morning looking for the train wreck or oil well explosion that must have kept all the physicians busy yesterday. Surely that would explain why it was three hours before she called me back!
They did call in an anti nausea cream which did nothing for the nausea, but it did make me sleepy. My new theory is that is what all meds do, they just make us sleepy, the drug companies like us that way!
By 7pm I was on my last legs! My two sons stood in the hallway as I shakily entered the bathroom to vomit again. I didn’t make it. My eight year old began to cry. I was too! Still, he had the worst of it….of all the horrible things that you could see, watching yourMommy up-chuck in the hall in her underwear, has got to be one of the worst! My 14 year old managed to keep it together and he helped me back to bed. Looking at me as I lay down he said, “You are better now, aren’t you?’ And I was! Another amazing migraine factoid! There is a point usually accompanied by vomiting when you realize the crisis is over…it just stops! No one knows why! That is just bloody amazing to me!
You might be asking why I wrote this….well, the answer is simple. There are so many amazingly, wonderful, scary, mysterious, mind boggling, unexplained, horrible, crazy things that happen to all of us and we have the power to communicate them to each other. And we should! All of it! We should write about our jobs, our fears, our loves, our hates, our everyday wonderfullness! I fear, one day we won’t be able to.