Migraines Are Not Headaches
By: Rev. Zach Winchester (Zach is my oldest Son)
The problem with a migraine is not that it’s a headache. The real problem with a migraine is that it goes way further than “just a headache.”
It’s a neurological event with many different potential causes, and goes beyond pain. It’s sensory processing, thought processing, and other functionality processing overload. It’s nausea, dizziness, visual and auditory hypersensitivity. Inability to focus on certain thought processes. Inability to have clear thoughts, as though you have a haze or fog in your brain. It’s numbness or tingling all over in random places. It’s thinking you hear, see, smell, taste, or feel odd sensations randomly that aren’t there. It’s synesthesia, amnesia, dyslexia, numeralexia, or resemblance thereof, anyway.
It’s any combination of the above, or could be all of the above, in varying degrees.
This is why one can’t just say “It’s just a headache, take an aspirin/Tylenol, you’ll be OK.” Migraines can be debilitating. Keep you from work, keep you from family, friends, activities. Keep you isolated not because you are “anti-social” but because you literally CAN’T be around any extra sensations.
I used to not have any idea about this. I used to not understand why when people said “I have a migraine…” It was such a big deal. I would suggest “Well, take some ibuprofen/Tylenol, you’ll be OK.” Little did I understand the sheer hell being unleashed inside their skull and moving through senses and physical body.
But now, I know. And ever since 2007-08 I have known. I found out suddenly, by a pain, searing light, and crescendo of cascading waves of crashing sounds roaring through my consciousness in Danvers, Illinois. I had to be helped to the bedroom, to the bed, no more than 20 feet from the front door.
So, for those who suffer migraines, I repented long ago of my lack of understanding, my lack of any empathy, for your condition.
For those who don’t suffer from migraines, pray you never experience them. But remember to have patience, compassion, and understanding for those who do.
Believe me, we ALL WISH it was “that easy” to solve a migraine with simple OTC meds. But it’s not.
© Zach Winchester
Aug. 16, 2019
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