Well, 3.35am and my latest migraine is now ‘just’ a bad headache.
I had one last night too. In fact they are so regular, I do not think I have gone a whole week without one since my illness started around June 2016.
It nearly always starts the same way. I am asleep, I wake up and need to pee (please excuse my crude language but I do have a very bad headache) and at this stage I feel alright, in that I do not have a headache. Then I get out of bed and it hits me, hard, usually on one side of my head.
This causes me to stumble and crash into the walls, furniture, basically everything, when I am trying very hard not to wake my wife (fail!). She gets up at 3.30am for work so she needs her sleep. This makes me feel guilty and my headache responds by pounding the side of my head even harder. It is the right side today (just in case the suspense of not knowing was too much for you).
So, I go and get the ‘beans’. We always have two packets of beans in the freezer, wrapped in tea towels so I can rest my head on them. Yes, two packets, as some of my migraines last for quite a while.
So now I am at the point (this point arises, at some time, with every migraine) of deciding whether to take a Maxalt, which is a tablet specifically for migraines. I place one tablet on my tongue and let it dissolve. The reason I hesitate is because they used to cost just over $6 a tablet, which quickly adds up when you have several migraines in a week.
Fortunately now I have qualified for the Disability Support Pension and with that comes cheap medication. So, now they cost me just over $2 each.
So why am I waiting, you ask?
Just take the tablet and get rid of the pain? Well, you see, if I took a tablet for every headache (as all my headaches can turn into a migraine within seconds, literally) then I’d be taking around 4-6 tablets a week, or between $468 and $624 a year.
My illness already costs me enough in Doctor and Specialist visits and all the other medication I have to take.
So I hold off on taking them until the pain is so great, and has been with me so long that I cannot stand it anymore.
I know that many people with ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia experience these same headaches, which I take some weird comfort in. So thank you, but I hope your headaches leave you for good.
And now the time has come. I cannot stand this any longer so I am going to crack open the piggy bank and take some drugs.
I really hope they work! They do most of the time, but sometimes…well, I better not think about that.
My fellow sufferers of broken sleep and agonising pain, may your headaches be mild and your painkillers cheap!