As of December of last, I'd had three migraines in my entire life. They'd been terrible - room spinning, head throbbing, nausea-inducing - just awful. But a migraine every nine years or so I could deal with.
In December and January each, I had two migraines. After consulting Google, I figured it was wedding stress or two much caffeine and nothing to worry too much about. I did start taking notes, though, to see if I could determine what was triggering the headaches. And per the Internet's instructions, I tried to avoid taking painkillers as much as possible to avoid rebound headaches.
In February, I had two migraines again. Each lasted longer than a day. At this point, I realized there was a pattern to when I was getting the headaches: I'd get one each month the first day I took the first pill in my birth control pack, and again on the second day of placebo pills.
[Again, I consulted Google. It turns out, while there hasn't been much research to support their claims, a lot of women complain that their migraines started after they began taking birth control pills, or even specific brands of birth control pills. Drug companies and doctors say hormones affect everyone differently and there's no way of knowing whether birth control pills could cause women to get migraines because young women have these hormones in their bodies anyway. It's a conundrum! In my case, I noticed that I stopped growing hair on my arms and legs when I switched to the brand of pills I was taking when I started getting migraines. While that seemed like a positive side effect at the time, I probably should have realized that there was a chance they were putting a few too many lady hormones into my body.]
I didn't really want to change my birth control around right before the wedding, as messing with my birth control has a history of making me a bit
By the time we got back from Greece, I was getting three migraines a week. When I had a headache, it usually lasted for 12-24 hours. I could smell my computer from across the room. Looking at the monitor to edit vacation photos or write posts (bright light!) was out of the question. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do my job.
Two weeks ago, I went to see my doctor. Up until this point, I had been listing my migraine triggers in hopes that I could avoid taking medication. I showed her my list:
-drops in barometric pressure
-sleeping too much
-sleeping too little
-eating too much
-eating too little
-too much caffeine
"With the exception of red wine and bananas, how do you think you're going to really be able to control any of this for the rest of your life?" she asked.
I left with two scary-sounding prescriptions and sense of cautious optimism.
Two weeks later, I've had one (very mild) migraine, and I feel like a new woman. I've had some mild side effects, but I mostly just feel better. And even though I do generally avoid taking anything, I'm feeling a lot less defensive about taking medication. (Sure, I did have one episode where I got very stabby when someone suggested I just try using Aleve and Vick's Vapor Rub to treat my migraines, but progress is progress, right?)
Hopefully I'll be back to my old Posty McPosty self soon. Thanks for your patience, Internets!