Friday, June 1, 2012

#NMAM - Help Make Migraines Visible

Today is the first day of National Migraine Awareness Month. There's another one of these blog-a-day challenges going on, so I'm going to be answering some prompts throughout the month, though definitely not daily this time. I'm immersed in school and feel like I just finished the Health Activists Writer's Monthly Challenge and while I absolutely want to promote migraine visibility, I'm so tired. So, I'll do my best here, and no one judge me.

1. Your First for the First. Share the story of your first Migraine, what it was like, if you knew what it was, what you did, how you felt.

The first migraine I can remember was when I was a child, but I have no idea how old I was. I was with my parents in a rowdy bar/restaurant that was filled with people. We'd been out all day in the sun, on motorcycles, and I was exhausted. I remember sitting in the booth and feeling a little dizzy and an increasing headache. All around me, the noises started to go weird; the music from the jukebox, people yelling and laughing, and the clinking of dishes as everyone around me ate and drank merrily felt like every note and tone was vibrating my body. Then, I just couldn't keep my eyes open anymore, so I laid down on the vinyl bench, covered my face and went to sleep.

I have a few more memories of migraine-like headaches, and a short stint of chronic headaches in high school that left me joking with everyone I knew that I must have a brain tumor. Teenagers make the most hilarious jokes, I know.

On the schoolbus, I was one of two students who didn't speak spanish as a first language. I've picked up a bit over the years but the only sentence I had my friends teach me outright was, "Mi cabeza va a explotar." Forgive my spelling if it's not correct, but the phrase means: My head is going to explode. I guess headaches have always been a problem for me, I just didn't have the knowledge to call them migraines until they went nuclear and demanded the title.

I always thought it was just a headache, take a pill and be done with it.

If only.