Moving Through Migraine Intensity

There are migraines and there are Migraines. By that I mean migraines vary in intensity. On the standard pain scale they are said to vary from a 7-9 without treatment. However, pain is very subjective and we begin to nuance those migraines the more we have them. There are always those migraines though that seem to surpass all other migraines. Epic migraines. The 10 migraine.

Now I have a very specific type of migraine that is a 10 migraine. The first time it occurred was in my 20’s. I woke up with it and I swear if someone had given me a drill I would been able to drill a hole in my head and pinpointed exactly where it was… and drilled it right out of there. At first though, it is a migraine full of throbbing intensity with this extra specific intensity in one specific spot. A very specific knot of pain I feel I could literally point out. The moment I moved my head it became something else entirely as that ‘spot’ arched out in electrical pain through my skull. Even the slightest of movements was agony. Also at this time in my life migraines came with a lot of nausea and vomiting, so I didn’t stay in bed long. It led to a long period of cyclical vomiting I could not control. Which caused movement in my head raising the pain level to such I level I had never, ever experienced before. Finally when I was able to lie down I had to lay perfectly still, but by then all that movement had raised the pain to a 10 but any movement would arch the pain through my skull. So no movement. And there I lay all day. Not even able to move to get help or go to the ER.

All migraines are motion sensitive and movement is not our friend, but these are on another level. I call these the mega movement migraines due to their specific motion sensitivity and extreme pain. When I get them the migraine itself seems to last only around 8 hours but a few times it has been longer. I have no clue what triggers them. I do know they are not responsive to treatment because I generally wake up with them so I miss the triptan window. No painkiller yet has made much of a dent in them either. I know they are extremely aggressive and I will be laid out that day. More movement more pain. So the best that I can do is immediately restrict movement. Take something for nausea, grab a bag of ice and hit the couch. I will not be going anywhere.

There will be days like this where the pain is beyond all other pain and we reach that horrific 10. At these times we just have to hunker down and get through the pain. Functioning is not possible. Work is not possible. There can be no guilt over what cannot be done because this is so beyond the level of having the capacity to function no one could feel guilty for being consumed by it. It is a pain that defines your existence for a time. You just have to breathe through it. Knowing that it will eventually pass. I will utilize my ice pack and migraine balms but they generally do not make much of an impact at this stage. What helps more than anything is relaxation breathing. I am unable to meditate with that level of pain but just calm, even relaxation breathing helps get through it. It is a waiting game.