Headache. Don’t know about you, but to me the word headache is not really accurate. When I have a migraine my head doesn’t exactly ache. I don’t feel at all like Barbie down there. My head is not in a vice. For me, its more like nuclear weapons have been detonated and the blast keeps on expanding and expanding and expanding ,up and outwards, only since there’s nowhere for all that explosive energy to go, the concussion backs up on itself and the ripples repeat. The blast beats against my skull over and over and over. One can understand why there are some Migrainers who decide to take a drill to their skull, if only to let the concussive wave have somewhere to go.
Added to this endless nuclear detonation, is the nausea and worshiping the porcelain God, and lying prostrate in front of of that cool, white Deity. There are the conflicting ideas that I must be
- Suffering an aneurysm;
- having a stroke;
- about die;
- all the above.
Added to this is the little dog who stays by my side and whimpers whenever I do, and all the cussing. If you think I already use the eff word a lot, when I’m in a full blown migraine mushroom cloud, It’s pretty much the only word I say.
I also have the good fortune of experiencing cluster migraines. The Cluster hangs about for three days. While it rarely sees me curled in the foetal position in front of my very clean toilet (remember, I am a June Cleaver type so naturally my toilet is a vibrant, sanitary white at all times), the Cluster turns me into a Nuclear Bitch. The Cluster is centered behind my right eye. Its’ a lot like being stabbed with a white hot poker from the inside out, which of course burns a hole from the back of my eye out through the back of my skull. The thing about a Cluster is that is comes in waves. There are periods of time where a dull ache barely registers; it’s a faint ripple. Then there are the periods where you think “gee, this spoon should gouge out my eye nicely so I can insert this ice pack to cool down where that poker is burning the hole in my head.” After three days of this ebb and flow, I’m sure you can understand why I said I become a Nuclear Bitch.
I’m not the only one out there whose ass gets kicked by the Nuclear Migraine or Clusterfuck. Author Ainslie Paton does too. She knows the awesome power of this THING. She understands the brain fog that comes after it–the side effect that keeps you thinking that yes, you did indeed have a TIA or aneurysm after all. I tweeted that “Trying to write after a migraine is like being a vegetarian trying to suck a whole chicken through a straw.” Ainslie describes her Clusters as having a similar result:
Ah… generally with a cluster I get a couple of absolutely clear normal brain hours – before the next one comes on. So no hangover during the cluster. Depending on how long it goes on I can get brain fuzz coming out of it – I know what you mean. The worst is when a cluster takes my words and short term memory out. I feel like a stroke victim. I can’t remember the word for those thinks I use to start the car etc. I can’t remember my own phone number. It freaks me out every time it happens. I have to stay calm and know that the effect will fade. It always has, but you go around feeling like a stroke victim while it lasts – particularly if I have to work through it – I come off like a right idiot unless I want to explain chapter and verse.
Ainslie’s upcoming release is Detained. It’s out on September 1st and if you click on here title you’ll be led to her buy links. No, Detained is not about being held hostage by a migraine or cluster headache–although it is an awesome title for how it feels when one is in the clutches of the Headache you are certain spells your impending demise. So you tell us, me and Ainslie. Are you a member of the Headache Club? Are you a Clusterfucker? Do you suffer from the After-Fog like Ainslie and I do? Tell me about your Migraine or Cluster experience. I want to know if you are tired of paying dues to this club like we are, and the ways you cope when your dues are up.