Being A Migraine Mom

So there are two kinds of people in this world, those who have migraines and those who don’t. The latter being the luckier lot, possibly can never understand how does it feel to be in the former’s position. That shooting pain which almost splits open the head, the eye sockets which pain so hard that it feels like the eyes will pop out any moment, the constant throbbing accompanied by innumerable pukes, aura, disorientation- which can sometimes be so overwhelming that one can’t even walk straight. And all this leading to a drained out mind and body! While a migraine is a torture for the sufferer, it can easily be seen as an exaggeration by family & friends, a reason to call in sick by an employer and as another excuse for not playing by your kiddos! Hence, in my opinion, awareness about migraine is extremely essential, so that the sufferer doesn’t feel shy or guilty in expressing the pain and also has a support system when she/he is down. And one must know- Migraine, once it sets in, has no treatment. There are only preventive measures one can take to reduce the frequency and a handful of medicines (with side effects ranging from memory loss to affecting vital organs) which can “maybe” help if taken right at the onset.

As a mother of two children, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a daughter-in-law, there’s so much I have to juggle between on a day to day basis. I sometimes pray to God for some extra hands and legs! So falling sick is just not feasible. A migraine hence, on any day, is a big spoiler for me. I can’t lift my head up in my migraine days, let alone do any other thing. It’s the most dreaded thing in my life. But the monster loves me so much, that it visits me almost every week, sometimes even twice a week and sucks the life out of me. Without even being over- dramatic, I feel half of my life goes in battling it and the rest half dreading it!

Different people have different migraine triggers. For me it’s staying hungry, going out in the sun, moving the head too much, getting too tired and sometimes even thinking about it! A little stress, extreme climate, irregular bowels, mood swings are some more.

So basically each and every thing I do or even feel, is done or felt only after due consideration on the fact whether it can trigger a migraine! Yes, it’s true. Sometime if I am sad and feel like crying, I have to consciously not cry because that can trigger it for me. Can sound funny for some but it has become a way of life for me.

I faintly remember the beginning of it all when I was around 13-14 years old. A kid then and a mom now- a lot has changed while migraine has been a constant. Back then, I could bury my head into the pillow, put the lights out and doze off for as long as I wanted. My food was served in the bed, I wasn’t responsible for any chores  or people. But today- it’s a different story. While I have to admit that my husband does everything possible to ease me off the kids  and other work when I am down with Migraine, there are many days he is not around (thanks to his traveling job). On those days I HAVE to get up early, I HAVE to dress my toddler, I HAVE to put my baby to sleep, I HAVE to go to drop my toddler to school, I HAVE to pick her, I HAVE to bathe them, I HAVE to feed them, I HAVE to look after the house, I HAVE to attend phone calls &door bells, I HAVE to do all the other work and I have to take care of myself too. These are the days when I feel most miserable and gloomy. When I hear people fussing about their upset stomach and one time puke, I want to tell them I manage all of the above with 5-8 pukes a day, a ringing head and a blurry vision. WOW! Just writing this makes me feel I deserve an award for this 🙂  . But yes, it is truly difficult. The moment I feel my migraine has subsided, I do a victory dance (every single time), the world seems a happy place, all problems look petty and I appreciate a “normal” life much more. Yes, the monster can do that to you!

So next time you meet someone with a migraine, please do not treat their pain as just another headache. Please be more empathetic, be there for the person, hold their hand and say you’ll help them sail through it. That person is going through the same cycle every few DAYS (not even weeks). It’s not just painful to the body but also to the heart- to see yourself suffer so much every single time!

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