What do you do when you get sick? Do you tend to plough on, taking the minimum amount of time off (me!) or do you stop and only let yourself return to ‘normal’ when you’re 80, 90 or 100 per cent o.k. again?
I got two migraines in the space of five days earlier this month, and it was rough. After my first migraine, I returned to work the following day and tried to get back to regular life, however after I got the second one a few days later, I decided I needed to be a little more gentle on myself…
Most of my migraines are on the shorter side – around four to six hours, and normally they only rear their ugly head maybe two to three times a year. I find they normally strike early to mid morning and once the warning signs are there, (for me a sensitivity to light, sound, nausea, occasional vomiting, and that telltale temple throb) if I hightail it home and isolate myself in a quiet, dark room I can normally sleep the migraine off over an afternoon. If I get a good night’s sleep that evening as well, I’m usually back to feeling like myself the following day.
I’ve got it easy compared to some people. A dear friend of mine suffers from almost chronic migraines, and I can’t even begin to imagine what that must be like. I’m sure any sufferer will tell you though, they’re debilitating in pretty much any shape or form.
My first migraine followed its normal pattern, but during the second one I experienced tingling in my face and I could barely communicate. The following morning, while I was in the process of getting ready to go to work, I realised I still felt foggy and tired and really wasn’t ready either physically or mentally to be back in a busy office environment. So I stayed at home and instead of feeling guilty about taking time out, I decided I would embrace my decision to rest.
I had the house to myself and the quiet peace was blissful. I napped, drank tea, and then napped some more. My body just couldn’t seem to get enough sleep. It felt so good to just to let myself slowly emerge from the fuzz of the previous 24 hours.
It may sound really obvious, but I think the relief of migraine number one ending, gave me a false sense of ‘wellness’. I looked after myself when the pain was at its peak, but then probably didn’t care for myself during the recovery (or postdromol) period as I should have, leading to migraine number two.
It was a painful lesson in remembering that I need to be listening to my body a bit more. Giving it the rest it needs after being knocked around, rather than trying to rush back to ‘normal’ life, as soon as possible.
Any other migraine sufferers out there? What are your top tips with dealing with a painful head?
Have a wonderful week. x