I first started having migraines when I was in undergrad. I remember going to a neurologist, both here in Nashville while in school and back home over the summer, to make sure there wasn’t anything obviously abnormal going on. All tests came back clear so I kept on with my prescription for Imitrex.
A couple years later, they stopped. It was never recommended to me to keep a journal to track triggers so I never really knew what caused them. At this point I had another migraine maybe once or twice a year but it wasn’t worth keeping up with the med refills. I instead just coped by spending the day (or days) in the dark in bed, hoping to be able to sleep through the pain.
Then I became a parent and the migraines returned, with a vengeance. I just last month re-upped my Imitrex prescription and have already had to refill the meds.
I’ve casually kept note of possible triggers and have narrowed the options down to two: weather/atmospheric changes and/or my cycle. The weirdest thing is that any significant weather fronts that have come through have coincided with my menstrual cycle. My cycle, though, is so unpredictable since I’ve had an IUD.
I share all this to normalize talk about migraines and women’s health but also commiserate with other parents who might be better at coping and parenting simultaneously.
Today, for example, I woke up at 5:45 am because M was wide awake and asking for a Goop Tales podcast. My head was aching but I wasn’t sure how bad it was going to get so I went back to bed and tried to fall asleep. M’s dad thankfully took over primary parenting for the morning so I could see where things would go. By 10:00 am it was clear that it wasn’t just a regular headache but a migraine and it was quickly becoming one of my worst in terms of degree of pain and symptoms (nausea). Took my meds and it wasn’t until 5 hours later, around 3:00 pm, that I started feeling relief.
How do you do it? How do you care for another human being when you yourself feel so helpless?
Maybe Imitrex isn’t working for me anymore. Have you found something that works to help prevent them? Manage them more timely? Please share in a comment below!