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Ode To A Migraine Headache
STATE OF PAIN
It began in my mid-twenties, the Classic Cluster Migraine Headache. The doctor at the headache clinic told me that it was odd that I was struck by this, because this particular type of headache usually strikes men, not women. I’ll try to explain the pain. It felt as though a giant spike was being drilled into the center of my right eye. When asked to pick a number between one and ten to describe the level of pain I was experiencing, I would say "ONE HUNDRED".
There were sleepless nights, there were drugs, there were shots, there were MRIs of my brain, there were acupuncture treatments, there were TENS machines, there were biofeedback therapy sessions, there were eight years of allergy shots, there were special diets. Some treatments did not help at all, some treatments helped a little.
For about ten years I suffered this pain in clusters that lasted one to two weeks. This occurred four or five times a year. I lived in fear that a re-occurrence could strike at any time. Then one day I realized that I hadn't had the migraine in a long time, and the headaches disappeared. The doctors claimed that the cessation was a result of a combination of all the things I had tried plus the fact that migraine headache medications had improved. I kept a bottle of pills available to me at all times, where ever I went, and if I felt an aura coming on, I took the medication and this prevented the attack. I'd also like to think the migraine stopped because my prayers were finally heard and answered.
Although it was difficult to work and raise my daughter during this period when I feared the return of horrendous pain, I learned to be stronger because of it. I learned that I must function, even if my eye was swollen shut. I learned to have patience with those who did not understand fully what I was going through. I learned to be brave and to know that whatever attacks us personally in life, we face alone. I learned to appreciate the good times, the peaceful times, so much more. We all tend to take our health for granted.
Today, when I feel the aches and pains that come with growing older, I remember the pain I used to endure in my youth and thank God for the little pains because it could be so much worse. One night many years ago, when I was going through a bout with the headache, I wrote down my thoughts and referred to these to write the following. This is how I used to feel then, when forced to experience that migraine.
THE STATE OF PAIN
The State of Pain is a futile state,
Where I must go alone.
Sympathy does not reside,
No relation here, no home.
I see no one, no one looks at me
I hear no one, no one says my name
I feel no one, no one touches me
I am solitary.
Dare I hope to feel less, the stabbing,
Dare I wish for normal days at last,
Dare I seek a light in all this darkness,
Dare I remember pleasures of the past.
No breaking from this holding rope
No easing or relief sustained
I try in vane, and yet no hope
Held captured in this State of Pain.