Migraine has been something I’ve lived with for a long time. Though at university I didn’t realise that migraines were happening to me, and I just felt periodically like a panicking waste of space, now I recognise the pattern that they bring to the way I live.
There is a day of listlessness – and a loose, unfocused anxiety, now more and more often accompanied by nausea. This day is usually followed by an early night, and a deep sleep which is then interrupted in the early hours by a deep scraping grinding pain in the bones over my left eye. This pain drifts down my face and a tight weight sits on my chest.
The choice is then whether to take a triptans or not. If I take it at the right time the migraine can be caught, stopped at source. Too late, and the pain intensifies, becomes a narrow, sucking, draining hole into which the contents of my head are slowly drawn.
All the next day I will forget nouns, especially people’s names, and time seems to lose its connection to the world. Minutes might take hours or an hour can pass in a second, without any sense of sleep to explain its speed. It will be spent sitting on a codeine bubble, in which the silent-painful noise of the migraine buzzes, trapped. I drag myself to work on the bus, if I’m teaching, or sit and try to mark or read if I’m able to work from home. Now, sitting in the evening, a dull self-loathing born of a wasted couple of days slowly drips down the back of my throat.