Friday, July 01, 2005

Four in the morning finds me (mostly) wide awake thanks to yet another new drug that has side effects almost as bad as the migraine it’s supposed to prevent. I’d give up on this one, too, were the pain not so excruciatingly intolerable and so unbearably frequent these days that I’m desperate enough to try just about anything. But where, exactly, do I draw the line? At what point is my quality of life so affected as to make the drug worse than the illness? I wish I knew. I’ve been through this routine countless times over the years and still don’t have the answer to that one – and still no answer to the migraines!

Unless someone suffers from migraine themselves, they can’t truly understand, yet everyone has an answer, a cure-all, a remedy that worked for Aunt Suzy or their neighbor’s cousin, one they’re all too ready to share – repeatedly – whenever the subject comes up. So I try not to talk about it. I know they mean well, most of them, but I truly have tried everything out there and nothing works for me, and rehashing the triggers and symptoms and how and why and when and folk remedies and herbals and latest miracle drug, ad nauseum, (no pun intended, really!) does no good. Unfortunately, people who know me can tell by my face when I’m suffering, and immediately launch into yet another litany of headache-fixes. It’s enough to send me into seclusion, as if the migraine alone weren’t.

And those who do not suffer from migraine, and or any type of headache, have no idea how lucky they are, and often scoff at us 'weaklings.' Try facing that down in the midst of stabbing, burning, nauseating, throbbing, pain so bad you can't see straight, much less function.

'Just a headache' might not seem like much compared to life-threatening diseases and debilitating illnesses, but continuous, unrelenting pain - no matter the source - wears down the body, mind and soul in unimagineable ways, and migraine is no exception. So we continue to suffer, usually silently, often unrelieved. And silent support (maybe a gentle (!) pat on the back?) is better than advice!