Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hyper Migraines, What?

During a migraine, I tend to go rather dormant. I stay still and quiet, retreat into myself, try to detach from the pain, and I certainly don't push myself unless I have to.

But, not always. I've gotten a few of these migraines before, what I've started calling hyper migraines, but I didn't think to make note of them until I was having a conversation with another migraineur and we found we share these bizarre episodes in common.

With horrible head pain and other associated neurological symptoms, normally I just want to crawl under the blankets and wrap myself up in some lighthearted tv until the worst passes. I mean, if a family member needs to go to the hospital, there's to be an inspection of my home by the landlord in half a minute, or the dog has diarrhea, I can usually muster some adrenaline and get myself doing whatever needs to be done for a limited period of time. I'll medicate as needed to get through the moment, and deal with the consequences later. This rarely ends well, but such is life with chronic migraines. Sometimes I end up walking myself into the pain, totally aware, but unable to change what needs to be done. For example, I simply can't have dog poop everywhere, no matter how badly my head hurts.

But rarely, I have a different kind of migraine. The last time I had one of these different migraines, I wrote about it before the experience was forever lost to the migraine-suck that has become my short-term memory.

I woke with moderate head pain which increased during the day, despite my best efforts. I tried to rest, relax with my usual remedies and a quiet movie, but I couldn't sit still for more than a few minutes.

So, instead, I did all the dishes and laundry, thoroughly cleaned both the bathroom and kitchen, and didn't really realize anything was off until I found myself on my hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor with a vehemence, and quietly crying. My head pain was wavering between about a 5 and 7 out of 10, and oddly, the cleaning was helping me cope. Just like playing a puzzle game, meditating, or watching tv, I was able to point my mind at something else and block the pain. Sounds like a handy trick, but it was rather unnerving at the time. Like on the kitchen floor, my shoulder started to ache and cramp as I scrubbed, which was shooting an arrow straight up into the side of my head, but I still felt like I shouldn't stop cleaning. If I stopped scrubbing that floor, everything (my head, the kitchen) would only get worse. I don't think it was mania (which I've never experienced, but have read about and witnessed), but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a first cousin. It's all neurology, after all.

As the migraine tapered and fizzled out, over several hours, my activity level, too, tapered, and then fizzled. I was exhausted at the end of it, slouched in my computer chair, trying to type all this out before my poor, migraine-cooked brain lost it all. I was grateful to have a clean kitchen floor, but I'd rather take my migraines laying down in the future, thanks.