I tried a new migraine medicine last night ’cause I could feel a migraine brewing and I didn’t want it to last all through today, which is a thing that happens to me sometimes because 1 day of pain, nausea and sensory overload isn’t enough, clearly. I tried Axert. It’s in a class of drugs called triptans, of which I’ve tried 5 others: Zomig, Maxalt, Relpax, Frova and Treximent/Imitrex. Triptans work by shrinking the bloated blood vessels in your head that are causing the migraine. They also have like the worst motherfucking side effects of pretty much any drug I’ve ever taken (with the exception of that time I had an ear infection when I was 4 and my doctor prescribed the wrong dose of antibiotics and then we went to Virginia for Thanksgiving and I had diarrhea all over one of the dining room chairs and a few hours later was rushed to the hospital because I was screaming in pain and my mom said my distended belly looked like I swallowed a basketball. That was most certainly worse).
But triptans give me joint pain, a constricted feeling in my chest, a tingly and sensitive scalp, mild nausea depending on the drug, severe lethargy, feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and sensitivity to heat and cold. Also (fun) if I take one before I go to bed so I can sleep through the side effects, I get stress dreams. Good stuff.
There’s a supposed link between migraines and mental illness. I would actually go like look up some hard facts for you because this stuff is pretty interesting, but I’m so goddamned tired and I super don’t feel like it, so go do it yourself. Or don’t. But, migraines tend to afflict people with mental health issues more than the general population because LIFE IS TOTALLY FUCKING FAIR. When I was in the hospital a few years ago for bipolar shit, most of the professionals I talked to were really interested in my migraines and I didn’t know why until a while after I got out. But I had to give my medical history to like 2 or 3 different people every day and when they asked about other maladies I have (see LBD: comorbidity) I’d say “migraines” and they’d “ahh!” with a knowing nod and then not tell me shit about why my answer made them react. Hospital people tend to assume you’re an idiot.
I’ve been getting migraines since I was 9 which was roughly when I hit puberty (like I started growing pre-boobs and leg hair around then which seems early, but really isn’t, or so I’m told, because of dairy or chicken or whatever people feed children that has too much or too little of something in it, I don’t know, I don’t have kids and I’m rarely tasked with feeding them so I’m the wrong person to ask about the hormones in your kid’s poultry). I wasn’t treated for migraines until I was 15 because my dumbass pediatrician diagnosed me with “allergy headaches” despite the facts that a) I’m demonstrably not allergic to anything but bee stings and b) my migraines are so completely textbook, I can’t believe that dude has an actual job as an actual doctor for actual kids. He prescribed me an ineffectual plethora of allergy medications (most of which are now over-the-counter because this was 18 years ago) and most of which listed “headache” as a side effect, so I spent 6 years medicating my migraines with medication that made my migraines worse until my parents took me to a headache specialist when I was 15. It took my migraine doctor – who I still see like 3 times a year – about 40 seconds to diagnose me with what were VERY OBVIOUSLY GARDEN VARIETY MIGRAINES.
So he gave me Zomig and Zomig aborted my migraines when I needed it to. But after 3 or 4 years of crappy side-effects coupled with grueling prep school and topped with inadequate sleep and respite, I ditched the Zomig and – honestly, to this day, I don’t know how – I powered through ~6 years of migraines with coffee and ibuprofen and naps. I hate naps. I fucking hate naps. Naps are traps. So, fed up, I started shuffling through all these migraine pills trying to find the one that would be maximally effective and minimally uncomfortable to use. Fun thing: the meds that work the best for me (Zomig, Relpax, Treximet/Imitrex) give me the worst side effects. The drugs that are less effective (Maxalt, Frova) are easier to tolerate re: side effects. At the end of the day, I’m gonna feel like shit no matter what I do. Most people don’t have this problem as severely as I do and can take their migraine medicine and still function. I seem to be particularly sensitive to medication side effects, as was my dad (thanks, Dad) so that’s the reason I’ve been on the medication carrousel with these drugs for so long.
Last night, I just thought, what the hell, I’ll try the Axert and smoke some weed to dull the aches and hopefully I won’t have a migraine tomorrow. It’s tomorrow and I don’t have a migraine, but I still feel the Axert. I feel like crap. I’m exhausted – either from Axert induced lethargy or from 9 hours of the frantic-ass stress dreams I got instead of quality sleep last night – and I’m having mild pain in my joints and muscles. I’m also itchy. That one’s new. But the worst of it is twofold: I can’t think straight and I feel bummed out. How I managed 900 words so far is a little beyond me because my brain feels like gutter slush and I keep stopping what I’m doing to stare at nothing for like 15 seconds at a time. Also, I’m sad. Not genuinely sad, more just listless and bummed. I don’t wanna do anything, which is Ok because I have nothing I absolutely need to do today (but I have plenty of stuff I’d like to do today), BUT this brings me, at long last, to my dilemma:
Do I have a shower and some coffee and try to power through the discomfort and do something useful or do I throw in the towel, have a cup of THC laced hot cocoa and spend the day in bed watching Hoarders on my laptop?
I could go either way, really. I feel like there’s a “should” implied here, but it’s not a very convincing one because, seriously, there are like zero negative consequences to me accomplishing a heaping pile of nothing today. I have the option of accompanying my husband on the drive downtown to pick up his newly fixed up bass. If I did that, I’d get to chat with a friend of ours who works at the shop where Nameless Bass (my husband doesn’t name his instruments like I do) is being restored. But I don’t have a lot to say, ’cause, like I mentioned, my mind is running at a snail’s pace today and I’d be like, “Hi, Friend. How’s things? Good? Good. Me too. Kinda. Yeah. How’s your girlfriend? Any headway on those Grateful Dead 50th anniversary tix yet? That’s gonna be a shitshow. My sister’s gonna move Heaven and Earth to be there, she’s really persistent…” And then I’d be talking about the Grateful Dead which is basically the same thing as talking about nothing and the whole while I’d be like mining the sloppiest tar pits of my brain trying to string together the words to form a cogent sentence, which would invariably result in many pregnant pauses and OH MY GOD I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT. And seriously, why am I so itchy??
So that zero negative consequences thing isn’t 100% true because when I do nothing all day, I feel shitty about myself and I don’t wanna pile more shitty on top of the the shitty I already feel due to the meds. But I’m pretty sure I could forgive myself for one wasted day – after I got done berating myself for having wasted a whole day. Damned if I anything. Good for me.
Even after all this writing, I don’t feel much closer to a decision. My husband is making lunch downstairs and I can smell it and I totally don’t wanna eat it. It smells salty. I want ice cream. We don’t have any. Why don’t we have any? I think this post is devolving into unbridled whining. Whatever. I did a lot yesterday. Let’s go with cocoa and Hoarders.