When I in 5th grade, in PE, I had the wierdest sensation that half of my body was going numb. At first I thought it was just weird, but when half of my tongue, nose, and face "fell asleep" I was a little tripped out. Needless to say, I went to the nurse, who called my dad (who was teaching at the same school), who called my mom, who came and picked me up and took me back to her work (a day care center) until I could get into the Dr. I felt fine, for the most part, minus the half of me that felt like it was asleep, so I went outside to play some tetherball to pass the time until we headed to the Dr. My mom was not pleased with me. And, I spose, I looked like a bona fide faker hitting the yellow ball around and around the pole instead of writhing in pain on the day care center's nap mat.
Once at the Dr., a prompt evaluation led to this conversation with my mom and Dr. (sorta like this as I was eleven and the details are a little fuzzy):
Dr: I think we need to admit her to the hospital. There's a chance she may have had a stroke and we need to do more testing.
Mom: Oh, [tears] Sarah, I am sorry I guess you weren't faking.
Me: [In my head] Holy cow this is more serious than I thought; hospital? I wonder if I'll get a new nightgown like Erin did when she drowned??
SO, I was admitted to the lovely pediatrics unit at UMC for a few days and had some MRIs and scans and specialists' visits, etc. Bottom line, I was diagnosed with migraine headaches at the tender age of 11. We went to a special neuro-doctor for several years who was pretty educational and this is what I determined, after the first ten years, about my migraines. #1. They're debilitating #2. Most of mine are hormonally driven #3. I DO have a migraine "allergic" reaction to jalepeno peppers and strobe lights. Now, I come by headaches by way of my father, who has suffered for many years, and it runs in my family cuz some of my siblings get doosies. Imagine my suprise when I married Tyler and he told me he'd never really had a headache!! What a freak of nature that I fell in love with! (He's since had a couple bad headaches since we've been married . . . what does that tell you?)
Saturday morning, since Tyler was gone I decided I'd take the kids to breakfast and get donuts. We ended up at Dunkin' Donuts and as soon as we sat down I got my first symptom of a BAD headache coming on. OF course, I start to freak out because I know I will not be able to cope with my day and my kids if this headache hits as hard as it was indicating it was gonna hit! I was a little panicky cuz Tyler was gone, I couldn't take anything TOO serious being pregnant and all, and I still had to be mom for the day. As I was urging the kids to eat their donuts I was trying to figure out if I could see well enough to drive home (since one of the first symptoms is a light aura that blocks my vision) when Caylee said, "Mom, you don't look so well." AGH! I wasn't. I won't bore you with all the gruesome details of the day, because it was mostly PAIN nonstop, but thanks to my wonderful in-laws who took my boys for 7 hours, my GREAT girls who played so nicely together the whole day to the point that I barely knew they were home, my mom who came and rubbed my aching skull for an hour, three ice packs, and a couple Percocet to help me sleep off the worst of it, I made it through the day, BARELY. I am sure Tyler was thinking, "GREEEAAATTT, just what I want to come home to after a great weekend of fishing!" but he didn't complain once. In fact, he went and filled my gas tank up and got a few groceries before the Sabbath found us busting out the food storage dry milk and us walking to church.
And I'm working on the rebound from the migraine aftermath. I like to call it my hangover headache, that headache that feels like my swollen brain has shrunk back to size and now rattles around in my head any time I move too quickly or there's too much noise. I do take issue with people who throw around having a migraine like it's a cope-able, still run your life, normal headache, but I also know a lot of people know my pain. So a little "holla" to those who's brains are as abnormal as mine . . . one more migraine survived. Yay Hoo.