February 4, 2011

How to Cure a Migraine in 15 Easy Steps

I guess looking back, in the long run, it's a good thing I was iced in for a second day in a row Wednesday.  The reason for that being that I ended up with a headache that slowly inched towards migraine all day.

It started small enough with a little fatigue and tightness behind the eyes.  I got out of bed, scratched my ass, and sat down to do what work I could from home, which included some emails.  I made a pit stop in the kitchen for a diet soda, hoping the caffeine would help me kick the pain before it got bad.  Along the way, I chased the soda with some chocolate.  Hey, in some of my more obscure headache research over the years, it's been suggested as both a trigger AND a source of relief.  I didn't need to worry about it setting anything off since I already had it, so it's worth a try.  Who am I to argue with science?

About an hour and 30 emails later, my epileptic internet connection gave up the ghost. It was about that time I decided to try a snooze to kick the low grade throbbing in my head and shoulders.  I settled in with my body pillow, eye mask and the comforter pulled up under my chin.  Adorableness aside, naps sometimes do wonders for pain.  It allows the muscles to relax, and rest can never hurt a body.

About an hour and a half later, I woke up and I had that dry, hollow sensation behind my eyes that means this one's here for the long haul.  Creakily, pulled the mask off my eyes, sat up, and put my feet on the floor. Time to try water in case this was originally caused by dehydration and the soda and french onion soup from the previous day made it worse. For as amazing as it was in the moment, I think it had about the same sodium content as a salt lick. 

After drinking enough ice water to fill a bathtub, and my head was still pounding.  Hmmmm....  Ok.  Well, two more swallows to wash down some Excedrin migraine can't hurt.  We're just getting progressively more drastic here.  So far, this is reasonable, right?

That whole work on your pain in 15 minutes thing is only partially a lie...  That's all it takes when it works!  This time, it did not.  Crap.  Ok.  Time to take stock.  Where is the pain, and what's causing it?  Seems like it's in my shoulders and neck, and it's a spasm that's causing my pain receptors to fire.  Get the stiff muscles to submit, you calm down the rest of the pain tornado.  Perfect for the rolling pin!

Yes.  Rolling pin.  I have this massive humdinger of an instrument of baking torture that hasn't seen my kitchen since I realized it could be used as a muscle abuser.  I am prone to muscle knots, and when you tend to live alone, or only know people with relatively weak hands, picking fights with your own body gets creative.  You've heard about punching down bread dough?  Well, picture this, if you will, my plentiful self laying on this 7" diameter rolling pin trying to make biscuits out of the spasming muscles in my hips.  My bright idea was to use this as a pillow to get the pressure of my own body weight to release the pissed off muscles. It's comedy for peeping toms!

And hour later, all I had was deep tissue bruises, a better understanding of exactly how tightly wound I'd become.  What pain relief I was able to get from my shamu shimmy on the floor was negated by a sneeze when all my muscles clenched up again.  *sigh*  At this point, my hands were starting to shake, and I was feeling rather unsteady on my feet.

At this point, I knew I already had some bruises that were gonna show up under my skin because of the pressure from the rolling pin.  Maybe some heat would help.  Epsom salts are wonderful for bruises.  And who doesn’t love a bubble bath?  Maybe a soak would help?  So, I run a bath, dump in the salts, and squeeze bubble bath in until the bottle makes rude noises.  45 minutes later, I’m cleaner, but still in pain.

Ok, so...  What's next?  Spasms might respond to the muscle relaxants.  Let's do that with a Darvocen chaser!  Bwahahahaha.  Shock and Awe the body edition, here I come!  So, off to the medicine cabinet with a glass of water and palsied hands.  Enter small panic monster that my fumbling with the childproof cap didn't send every single pill down the sink.  Two desperate and dry gulps later, and all I can do is wait for the pills to work.  And hour later, and nothin'. 

Alright.  Time to get serious since pills didn't work.  Let's try electricity!  No, I didn't stick my finger in a socket.  But, I do have a TENS unit.  All you do it press a couple electrodes to your skin above where it hurts, turn the dial, and let the electricity sort it out. After an hour of jumpy shoulders, dial cranked to the max, and a slowly fading battery, I cried uncle.  No use, this headache was the facehugger of pain, only vacating when it was good and ready.  Time to grin and bear it, and shut off the world for a bit.  It's not just nap, it's coma time.

Two hours later, I'm still shaky, sick to my stomach, and splayed at an angle on the bed in the darkness of my room with a towel wrapped ice pack on my head.  The housemate pokes me with a stick and says "Oy.  Corpse lady.  Yer groaning is giving you away as not dead.  Have you even eaten today?  That might be what you need you know."

*whimper*  Well, that was dumb.  Why didn't I think of that?  Oh.  Right.  Throbbing brain.  The instinct to breathe is taxing at the moment.  Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my chin.

After lurching down the stairs and into the light of the kitchen, my stomach tried to get at the plate of food at my place on the table by any means necessary.  I think I might have had to shove both thumbs in my nostrils to keep it from escaping.  Mana.  From.  Heaven. My housemate had been good to me and made a delicious dinner for us and had already served up my portion on my plate.

Later, I was reminded to check for missing fingers because I ate so fast.  Good news!  I still have all ten.

I did need to eat it would seem.  Problem was, that wasn't the solution to the pain.  It just calmed the shakes and made me a little more steady on my feet.  Apparently, low blood sugar was my headaches minion that day.  Alright. Really now.  This is getting frustrating.

*light bulb*  Frustrating you say?  Hmmm...  I find myself harking back to my years of pain relief research.  Between that and my fascination with all aspects of human sexuality, it dawned on me.  The female orgasm releases Oxytocin, a powerful pain reliever.  And I'd been unattached for quite some time...  Perhaps two sources of frustration could be dealt with in one action. Where's the harm, right?  And I *do* have that new rabbit.  Hmmmm.  ...  Pardon me.  I um.  I need to uh.  My dog needs watering.


To note, science was right.  But, I doubled the dose, just to be sure.  Don't mind me, I'll just be in the dark, giggling.

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