It usually starts with a little tightness in my shoulders and neck.... that steadily increases. And then yawning, when I'm not tired. Face-ache? Maybe.... A little ear pain? Sure, why not? And the awful sense that maybe this is yet another sinus infection, or even an ear infection. Everything feels blocked, somehow.
Then the soldiers march...... They go up my right side of my neck and park themselves squarely behind my eyes, and my only response is to squint -- just what I need for the tension in my neck and shoulders too. Lights hurt. Sounds don't hurt but I just wish they'd diminish a little..... whisper please. If you looked at me head-on, you might think it was the hangover from a hellacious bender. And smells? Oh God no!!! I need air. Deep breathing isn't possible, only normalish that somehow phases into shallower breathing. And ALL you want to do is sleep. Precious, precious sleep might be what helps this infernal beast subside.
Neck and shoulder massages at this point don't really help at all ..... sometimes, it makes it even worse, almost like the tension and knots are holding back a dam of toxins or nerve signals. Heat? Oh gosh no, that will cause a violent reaction. Cold, yes, please. Ice packs to the neck and shoulders. Yes, I'm shivering now but the alternative is worse. I'd rather BE cold right now. It might freeze out everything.
And just when you think a certain physical reaction should, could, ought to happen...... no. No. Nothing happens. You almost pray to please, please, just let it happen so you can sleep it off, but no. It doesn't come. All you can do is remain perfectly still except for your own breathing. You dare not move a pinkie finger for fear that it will trigger that particular reaction. You don't move your head because the room may spin. You just lie still. Silent prayers of "Please, please, please" echoing from your heart .......
A well-meaning person comes and asks if you're okay and all you can do is grunt disapprovingly, as if to say, "DO I LOOK IT?" but it's more a plea of "please, go, go, go. I love you but GO! Every noise you make pounds and echoes like a cannon in my brain and ears!"
After a while, you do fall asleep..... you may wake up fine. You may not. This may be a short episode. It may last for days. It may reach that lovely sick-as-a-dog level (which means it is finally broken and on the way to leaving you) or it may stay that annoying little sibling in the backseat with you who says, "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you...." while his/her finger circles within millimeters of your face.
This, friends, is the guts of what happens to me during a migraine. I've experienced more of them this year than I can count, it seems. My only sure trigger? Changing weather patterns. Everything else is fair game, but not necessarily guaranteed to induce one..... strong smells. Too much stress. Hot weather. Cold weather. Most of my attacks tend to begin in the afternoon and carry through the evening, but I've woken with them before. I've been at work at 10:00 AM and had one hit. I never know. I've had them hit me like a ton of bricks, and others have built for hours or days, even.
And almost always the right side.
Twice so far this week. My meds are a muscle relaxant combined with an analgesic/caffeine combo. It's not working anymore.
I have nearly had it. Except I'm a fighter. I'm a detective. I am determined to find out why, and how I can fix this (as much as possible). But right now, all I can do is hate it with the heat of a thousand white-hot suns.