Thursday 29th December
Although I never had a brother or a sister, or indeed many friends as a child I did have a companion who though uninvited and never-expected, was never far away. I have been a lifelong sufferer from migraine headaches, of course as a child I didn’t recognize them as such and when I used to complain of a headache I would get short shrift, “Go upstairs and read a book” or “I really don’t know Catherine, you are always complaining about something or the other, now buck yourself up child.” It was only as I got older and read up about them did I realise they had indeed been very bad headaches and not just something I had made up to get out of swimming at school or to avoid doing the washing up.
There is supposed to be, or often is, a trigger which starts the headache, but in my case I have never been able to identify this; all the favourite suspects such as cheese or chocolates do not seem to apply, and it can be summer or winter spring or autumn, the season makes no odds. Sometimes sitting too long in the sun can start one off, but then again so can a walk in a stiff cold wind; but mostly neither of these extremes seem to be present. One thing I have found is that I usually know I am due one the moment I wake up, it is a sort of fuzziness, almost a premonitory state, and befuddled it takes me a few moments to catch on, and then it is hope against hope fighting the inevitable as the pressures rise and the wave finally breaks. They are usually accompanied by some sort of tummy upset too, with horrid tasting belches to boot, so I wonder if it might really be a bad tummy which triggers the migraine, I also find I am extremely tired, even after just waking up, and trying to go back to sleep doesn’t really help either as the headache will out no matter what I do.
I do take Neurofen, which sometimes manage to take the edge off, or dull the grinding pain somewhat, but nothing I have found will cure them. They have to run their course, and I usually have to retire to my bed where in the dark and huddled up in a little ball, or stretched out with my wrist on my forehaead trying desperately to stop the throbbing pulse of pain, or with a wet flannel on the back of my neck, I go through the hours it always seems to take to die down, and become at least manageable again.
I used to wonder why me, why was I the one who got these rotten headaches, but apparently they are really quite common. One wonders why headaches occur at all, and I have never heard a really good scientific explanation for them, there simply seems no point, except to make one suffer. But I have learnt over the years to bear with them, because they do go eventually, only never quite fast enough.