I have thought of a topic I have never before talked about on this blog!
For most of my life, I have gotten headaches. Generally, they have always been confined to allergy season. As I have gotten older they have gotten more frequent and intense. But to be perfectly honest, they only started to become a real problem for me right around the time I was getting married. Coincidentally, that is the same time that everything started to fall apart in terms of my mental health.
For the record, I don’t think they are related, but interesting still.
They leveled off though, for years there wasn’t anything new about them. And then I had ECT.
I have discussed the process of ECT before, so I won’t get into that again. But I will say that when I woke up from the first seizure, my head hurt like never before.
This was explained to me that they didn’t give me enough medication. They also didn’t give me enough medication to put me under, or to stop my muscles from convulsing during the procedure. I have a whole essay about this, but suffice it to say, my body needs a big dose of medicine for it to affect me.
But the thing is, they never got the headache medication correct. Every time I woke up I had a terrible headache. It got a little better, maybe. Or maybe I just grew to expect it, I dunno. But what I do know is that they never figured it out.
And it had lasting effect. I started having bad headaches pretty consistently after the ECT was done. And I was given Fioricet as a script. Fioricet is basically like beefed up Tylenol, or Excedrin. It is acetaminophen and caffeine, used to treat tension or muscle stress headaches. And for what I was having, it worked just fine.
But the headaches kept coming, and eventually I started to notice a dramatic shift in the kind of headache. Normally, we all experience headaches that are from dull to intense, but are both sides of the brain. And they are more of a nuisance than anything, sleep or Tylenol can easily end them. Sometimes we have more sever forms of these, but they have the same profile. These are tension headaches.
But then sometimes the pain is very intense and starts right in our temples or behind our eyes. Sometimes it can mess with how we see, or can make our hearing sensitive. And nothing really seems to make them better. These are migraines. Migraines are caused by the temporal artery enlarging.
I had limited experience with this type of headache until last summer. And since then, I have been getting them at least once a month, to the point where it is difficult to drive for at least a little while. My sister has always dealt with these, and now I wish I could go back in time to every time she had one and just tell myself to shut up for awhile.
As you might imagine, the Fioricet does nothing for migraines. Taking Excedrin Migraine is more effective. So I no longer get that script. But I have to wonder at what point do I start talking to my doctor about these migraines? How controllable can they be?
Today was a day that I stayed home all day trying to rid myself of a migraine. But this day was unique to everything I’ve written above because today my migraine came with an unexpected side-effect: visions. I stop short of calling them delusions or psychosis, but I was seeing things, all day long, a couple dozen things.
Almost all of these things were dark shapes just on the periphery of my sight. I would think something was there and turn my head and see nothing. Twice I thought I saw my cat laying in a pile of laundry, but neither time was true. I saw something in every room of the house I was in, and outside.
Now, I have no idea what this means. And frankly, my headache is still too strong for me to look up if this is common or not. So, if you are reading this and want to do me a favor, look this up and comment below. These visions or whatever weren’t unsettling, in the ways that my psychosis has been in the past. It is more annoying than anything. But it is still a new experience and therefore confusing.
I guess I’ll go sleep it off.