I started getting migraines in my mid-twenties. The first one I remember most vividly – it hit just as I was taking off for a knitting retreat at Fort Warden. I spent most of that weekend in bed, trying to get up and knit in spurts. The headache finally broke on the third day, just as we were leaving. That was the pattern, pre-drugs. It would last for two and a half days, a burning poker in my left eye. And I mean burning. I’d have to walk around holding my head up. No regular drugs did anything, and I had no idea what triggered them.
I can recall enduring specific events while I had a headache – a bar Christmas party at the EMP, a 4th of July in Chelan, and even worse, Yinnie’s wedding. Those are times lost that I am really sad about missing. I knew that if I could make it until the 3rd day, I’d get to enjoy feeling SO great the next day. It was almost like a high – though my head would feel bruised for a day or two.
Then about 4 years ago, (and I don’t know why this didn’t happen sooner) my doctor precscribed Imitrex. That stuff is sent straight from heaven. Although now I am on the generic stuff and sometimes have to take another one the next day, it does work most of the time, and I don’t have to miss 3 days of my life.
The problem now, however, is booze. That is my most common trigger. Given that I enjoy cocktails and wine and the occasional beer with pizza, it is rather a big problem. Not only do I enjoy said beverages, in social situations, I admit to using them as a means to get by. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to and hosting parties, in theory, but they do cause me some anxiety. A nice little cocktail takes the edge off. But then I have another, and instead of stopping at two, the two cocktails become three, and then it’s too late. The chain of events has been set in motion. If I’m lucky, the pain won’t hit til I am home and have slept for a few hours, or even the next day. But sometimes, it starts during the party. At which point, I become stressed and can no longer enjoy the people and end up leaving early and feeling lame.
Hence, an experiment. I’m going off the sauce. Which brings its own set of problems. People feel weird when you say you aren’t drinking, like it’s a judgment on the fact that they are. I have no issue at all with most other people drinking, and usually seem to be the one shoving the drinks in their faces. But now I will have to figure out some other way to get by at parties. Maybe the fact that I won’t be worrying about getting a headache will help (though sometimes the stress of being social can also lead down that path. I am suddenly very high-maintenance, it seems).
Maybe at some point I will allow myself ONE drink – because I do like the taste and things seem so much more festive with a pretty drink. Also, camping season is upon us. Mornings in the woods without a greyhound or mimosa do not bear thinking about. Not to mention happy hour. Or beachy afternoons.
Guess I better find some pretty non-boozy drinks. Sigh.