Migraines: So Much Fun

Now that I’ve had five or so, I guess I belong to the Migraine Club. For awhile there, I worried about how much I was missing out on migraines. Great excuse to lie around in bed all day with the blinds drawn, possibly weeping on a fainting couch and moaning, “Oh woe.”

Actually, I didn’t think about migraines. At all. If someone told me they had a migraine, I’d make sympathetic noises and promptly forget about him or her (ask Homes – I’ve never been a good sympathizer with the sick).

Shortly after I turned thirty, I had this fantastic visual disturbance. It looked like a ferris wheel – but only half the ferris wheel, going around at night, with little green and red and yellow lights. And I could only see it on the left, and only with my left eye.

Intrigued, I went onto my health insurance member’s page and followed the little symptom checker until I discovered I was probably having a stroke.

So then I called them to ask if I was really having a stroke, and the advice nurse asked me all kinds of inane questions, like, “Are you breathing right now?” “Do you know your name?” (Okay not really, but when I’ve called in about a minor rash for Z, they have asked, “Is she turning blue? Has her tongue swelled to fill up her mouth?” and really? I’d be calling 911, not the advice nurse. But I guess sometimes the answer must be, “Yes, my child is blue,” otherwise why would they ask and then my hope and faith in the world just plummets. I’m a little depressed as I write this, can you tell?)

After making sure I still had a pulse, the advice nurse asked if I had a headache. I thought about it for a minute. “Yeah, a little one.”

“Oh,” she said. “You could be experiencing an ocular migraine.”

Well, that sounded fancy. And it didn’t really hurt. Thus reinforcing my belief that migraine sufferers were a bunch of whiners, on par with Frodo:

I got my eyes checked and got some rockin’ reading glasses, while Homes made jokes about me getting old & gray & needing glasses (because I’d just turned thirty, see. No, I didn’t find it funny either).

Fast forward to my latest migraine. Probably my fifth or so, but I’m not exactly keeping tally with hash marks on my fainting couch. And I couldn’t keep tally because…


I’m sure I could purple-prose us all to tears with my vivid and melodramatic description of the pain I suffered, and my martyrdom that I still sat up to breastfeed Maverick, tears splashing down my face to land on his little fuzzy head. The valiant Homes, making our bedroom as dark as possible (it can get damn dark, and it wasn’t dark enough), and darling Z, whispering on the phone to her Gran,  “Mommy has a really bad headache.” And the doting Gran, distracting Z as long as possible so I could rest.

But the truth is, lots of people get migraines. And they’re horrible. And if I could go back in time and slap 29-year-old, pre-migraine me, I totally would. Actually, I wouldn’t slap her. I’d just wish a migraine on her.

Oh my gosh. That’s totally what happened.

I brought this on myself.


  1. readingisdelicious · August 22, 2012

    Oh, I’m so sorry. I know Shaz gets migraines too and is also incapacitated. Sounds like that ocular migraine was a sign of things to come. I hope they don’t happen too frequently. 😦

    • Beth Hull · August 22, 2012

      So far, five or so in a year and a half. Not too bad! Each one seems to be worse than the last, though. Then again, that could be my melodrama talking.

  2. Pat Kahn · August 22, 2012

    Oh no! Migraines can be horrific. Hope you feel better soon.

    • Beth Hull · August 22, 2012

      Don’t worry, Pat, I don’t have one now! *knocks on wood*

  3. PB Rippey · August 22, 2012

    Yes, they SUCK. I had the ocular, which was interesting for as long as the flashing lights lasted. I was also told the ocular is called a Vanishing Migraine, which makes no sense because of what you can see and because when you’re in it the vanishing seems impossible, but I kind of like that terminology, something to focus on during the pain. “Vanishing”. Ha ha! But still–they SUCK. Sympathy noises from here.

    • Beth Hull · August 22, 2012

      I like that, Vanishing. It relates to my visualization trick (which works about half the time) of envisioning blowing the pain into a balloon and watching the balloon float away, smaller and smaller until it – voila! – vanishes. Sympathy noises for you too, sister.

  4. Adrea · August 22, 2012

    Welcome to the Migraine Club! I slap your former self too. 😉

    • Beth Hull · August 22, 2012

      Thanks Adrea – my former self deserves it!

  5. Vic · September 30, 2012

    Oh no! So sorry to hear, Beth! I’m not exactly a great sympathizer myself, considering the phrase “Suck it up” is lingering on my lips when I hear someone talk about how they’re feeling, but yes, migraines SUCK – especially for mommas!! I’m catching up on the blogs so I’m hoping to read you get relief soon!

    • Beth Hull · October 1, 2012

      Yup, feeling better, thank you, Vic!

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