Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bright Sun, Blue Sky, Partly Foggy Brain

(Lake Erie, April 2010)

I used to get really painful, vomit-inducing, stop-my-life migraines. From the time I was 12 until I was almost 30, these were a constant source of worry and distress. I've written about how I got rid of that version of them here.

It turns out, though, that I didn't get rid of them, because migraines aren't "just" headaches. A headache is one of the possible symptoms of migraine disease, which is actually a neurological disorder. A disorder that morphs over the years and can change drastically in its signs and symptoms.

This does not diminish the minor miracle that was getting rid of the version I had for so many years. Believe me. I am thankful every day of my life that I am done with those!

The version I get now is much more subtle in its approach and it still interrupts my normal life, just in a new way.

We teasingly call it my "brain damage days." (Migraine disease does leave brain damage in its path -- especially due to the auras that I used to get and still occasionally get.)

For the past few days, I've been noticing an onset of a set of "brain damage days." I've gotten really good at noticing subtle things that are red flags.

For example, my emotional responses to life change. In particular, I get extra annoyed. Yes, many of you are saying, "OH! I have migraine disease to the max!" Ha. Very funny.

I get extra annoyed at things that would barely blip on my radar. I have a hard time not reacting in an angry way. I can't really describe this, but trust me when I say, it's different than a normal annoyance or a normal urge to tell someone off.

Now, as compared to five years ago, I have a Witness Consciousness available to me (thank you, yoga), and I see that this is happening.

It doesn't make the rest stop, but at least, I see it coming. It doesn't make the rest stop, because that severe annoyed feeling means the domino has been tipped...or the storm clouds are already running into each other and the thunder and lightening has begun.

I am in the middle of a storm right now.

Trying to deal with this, yesterday, I did hours of yoga and kundalini yoga breath work. I sat with a candle. I went for a walk at our lake.

If you look at the above picture, you can see that those waves have picked up a lot of particulate and it's floating on the surface. That is my brain right now.

The only way to get over this is to ride those waves until they are done with themselves.


Emma said...

I hope the waves are done soon. Good work riding them mindfully and taking good care of yourself.

Carolynn said...

There's a lot of this going on 'out there'. I'm feeling tossed about by the waves, as well, these days.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I never remember my exact blogiversary. I just know it was 4.5 years ago. I was plagued with migraines constantly in my teenager years, into my 20s ... headaches that would last for days ... render me completely photophobic. I'm convinced they were a manifestation of emotional issues unresolved: have not had one in years...

on one level, awareness is quite effective in combatting the demons which manifest themselves in this way.

Marie said...

I have been reading your posts for sometime now. This post really spoke to me. I get migraines on a regular basis. I know the triggers...the one I cannot, or have not changed, is stress. I am in awe that you have worked so hard to change this aspect of your life. I think I know what I need to do to change it. I know what I want to do to change it. I just tell myself it is not possible.
You are inspiring. Uplifting. And you touch my spirit each time I read your blog.
Thank you and Blessings of peace and joy to you.

Rachelle Mee-Chapman said...


I totally know what you mean about migraine brain. You can feel when you are just "not quite right," even when the big obvious pain of traditional migraines have passed.

May you rest and restore.
May clarity come to you quickly.
May you feel proud of yourself for all the ways you
and care
and pay attention.

Lots of love,

Your Mapgie Girl

ellen said...

Good for you Christine for taking such good care of yourself. I'm inspired that you spent hours with yoga, meditation etc to try and deal. I don't get migraines, but still know that stormy feeling where nothing is right.