I can remember being a kid and getting these headaches which were so bad that light seemed to cut through my retina and into my brain with all the intensity of sunburn. One memory I have is when I was in the fifth grade. I was taking part in puppet shows my class was doing for our parents. We’d spent weeks writing scripts, creating Paper Mache puppets, drawing and coloring backdrops, and practicing these plays over and over again.
One of the dads had built a small theatre which the students could hide behind, complete with a cutout “stage” with hooks to hang our various backdrops. I remember that the curtains even worked.
The night of the shows came and I found a migraine coming on. This one was relentless. It was terrible! Only, my teacher didn’t believe that I really had a headache, and wanted me to perform my play with my partner, Daryl. I remember crunching up into a little ball behind the ‘theatre’ and crying. There was just no way, I would never be able to do it.
My teacher was irritated. She was upset to the point that she refused to let me call my parents to get a ride home after the shows were over. I guess she’d felt I’d ruined the evening she’d put together for the parents, and she was determined to make sure that I knew it.
Luckily, my best friend’s mom, Joni, was there and offered me a ride home. The whole way I felt queasy…my stomach turning over and over. Even the slightest bit of light seemed as if it were destroying my insides and racking me with relentless agony.
I threw up.
Luckily, it was halfway out the window and most of it hit the road, however, a portion of it ended up all over the station wagon door.
These were the intensity of headaches I’ve endured my whole life. Usually hours of tormenting pain followed by vomiting. To tell you the truth, I often welcomed the vomiting simply because I knew that the headache would soon leave me, and I’d feel better.
This happened about three times a week while I was growing up.
Now today, as an adult, I still get these migraines. I wish they’d have gone away altogether, but they haven’t. I feel fortunate that they rarely get me to the point where I feel like I am going to throw up anymore—but it still happens sometimes.
So, why am I blogging about this? It seems such an off-the-wall entry. No, I’m not looking for sympathy (though if my mom had taken photos of me vomiting or lying in bed crying I’d probably post them for dramatic effect). I share this with you because I have learned some secrets throughout the years. I’d like to share these with you in the event that they could make you feel better when you have a migraine. However, let it be known that these are not fool-proof and there are things out there which might help out even more than what I am sharing (if you know of any, I’d hope you’d share).
- Hot or cold shower and pull your hair (it feels better, don’t ask me why).
- Pressure points on the side of your head or between your index finger and thumb.
- Put two tennis balls in a sock and lie on your back with the tennis balls under your neck where it hurts. This really does help.
- Two Excedrin Migraine and a Dr. Pepper.
- Two extra-strength Tylenol and three Advil.
Remedy number 5 I only learned about a few days ago from a friend of mine. She told me that her doctor claimed that it had the strength of a prescription remedy, but could be purchased over-the-counter separately and put together.
I didn’t believe her though…Tylenol never seemed to work for me, and Advil was a joke. My headaches laughed at these.
Tonight I started to get a headache…like a performer waiting in the wings for his cue to take center stage, I could feel it coming on…waiting, patiently waiting. I put off trying a remedy, hoping—perhaps—it would go away on its own.
I could feel the horrible monster beginning to awaken and move about my head. I decided, for the first time, to try remedy number 5.
I couldn’t believe it.
I found myself amazed.
In the space of about 10 minutes, my migraine was completely gone. I could feel it flowing away, like morning dew burned away by the sun.
I am now a believer in the power of two weak things put together for the strength which they have when combined. It is truly a power not to be reckoned with.
When I was a kid, I had to endure the agony because I had no known way to stop it. Now that I’m an adult, I choose to suffer no longer.