Long term readers of this blog (and the other one… and the long departed even older one) will know about my migraine issue. To recap for those new(er) to the blog. I started having really horrible vertigo attacks. These attacks are awful. In the worst cases I end up where I feel like the world is revolving at 1000mph. With my eyes open it feels like what I’m looking at goes left at a very high rate of knots and then flicks back ridiculously quickly and the rate of that can go from a couple a second to many many times a second. I can’t stand up, I get extreme nausea and then start being sick. The worst attack I had lasted like that for 18 hours. Normally before an attack I get a few days of feeling “wobbly” (as I call it) I feel not quiet steady and upright as I walk about. After an attack that can last for weeks and other shorter attacks happen. In 2009 I was debilitated for about 6 weeks with it. It has been diagnosed as migraine associated vertigo. Now I didn’t see the migraine bit as I didn’t get crippling headaches like I’ve heard of others but I now know I get a “pressure” feeling normally in my left skull around the eye socket and down and back from there. That is the sign I’m starting – so I’ve learnt some tricks. Firstly – don’t battle through (see below for an update about this), stop and relax. I’ve found Ibuprofen Lysine is a good first attack – take that and it helps. If after say two doses of that it is not cleared and feels to be getting worse I hit Migraleve – now this contains Codeine – so I’m wary of it due to my history. But the docs recommend it (it is even manufactured by my old employer) and so I take it carefully. Never more than two days in a row – the patient leaflet says no more than three, but normally one is sufficient to kill the attack off. I share this here for one reason there is a lot of talk in AA rooms about people taking drugs that can cause dependency issues. Be aware is my advice. I only take this when I need to – I try the first non-codeine approach first. I stick to the rules. I don’t kid myself. I tell people, normally my wife, when I feel it is necessary for me to take it so they can challenge me about my consumption later. Honestly I fought the doctors for some time, cos I was convinced I had Meniere’s Disease which my Grandmother had. Through not listening and not taking medication I had that 6 weeks in 2009 that could have been avoided.
The update… over the last three weeks my migraines have changed significantly. Now I’m getting this visual disturbance thing early on in the headache. It is like I am looking through a cracked pane of glass that is moving – i.e. somewhere near the centre of my sight is a bit that is not right, out of focus, just wrong, when I try to look directly at it … it moves of course.
So what do I do? Stop and relax (see above)… NO! I just battle on – stupid! Yesterday one started as I came how from the grocery store. I tried to carry on with my list of stuff to do and it was not getting better… worse in fact. So…I did stop and took the tablets – sat for 10 mins… gone. Simple but why don’t I listen to my body more and remember the lessons of the past.
Is this just alcoholic thinking? I doubt it but I hear many alcoholics with the same trait this level of stubbornness and desire to just march on regardless of personal cost. I may have stopped the wreckage of the drinking but that trait still stays in me.