My Stolen 37.25 Hours: A Chronic Headache Story

6:15 AM... Blackness... only because my eyelids are shut. Eyes are burning though, I can feel it through the darkness.

6:24... My husband's alarm goes off... no movement. It automatically snoozes. 

6:29... Goes off again. I'm frozen, don't want to move.

6:30... Baby moving in his crib next to me. 

6:32... Baby screams. Yep... it is go time.

I sit up, oh no, there it is, the slight pound in my head with each heartbeat. I wish I was a runner, then my head would only pound 60 times a minute instead of 90. 

Oh man, hmmmm... Did I sleep on my neck wrong? What did I eat yesterday? Is it cloudy? 

Baby still screaming... ok,ok. I reach over, lift him into bed, pull him close so he can nurse.

Head feels better... now that I'm laying back down.

7:30... My boys alarm goes off... it is REALLY  loud. I hear my oldest jump off his top bunk, run to the alarm and shut it off.

My 5 year old comes in. He crawls in bed beside the toddler, who has been there all night, the baby and I. I say my good mornings and rub each of their heads.

Baby is done, time to get up. I sit up, there is the pounding again. But, I have things to do, places to go.

The boys need breakfast. We have breakfast corn dogs they can warm up and rice milk to drink.  

I start my coffee water and fill a huge glass with water. Caffeine and hydration seem like a good starting point. 

Get the boys situated at the table, I put my breakfast in microwave. I need to go to the bathroom.

Head is slightly sore. Nothing water and Tylenol won't cure...

We continue the chaos that is our mornings. We finally get the big boys out the door to school. I need to pee again... oh no, this is a sign...

Time for more water and that Tylenol I mentioned. 

9:10... Medicine taken. I'm breastfeeding, so my medication options are limited.

Where is my peppermint oil? I need to sniff it. Oh wait, baby is ready to nurse. 

I turn on Sesame Street for the toddler, grab the boppy pillow and nurse. I love the Count, especially his "Number of the Day" song... but my eyes hurt looking at the screen, so I just listen.

9:40... Baby is done, toddler wants a snack. I need to put away dishes, start laundry, make beds. 

I need to pee again. 

10:15... Head aching, but it is tolerable, I can do this. 

11:00... Time to get my 5 year old from preschool. I change diapers, put snow clothes on and get them in the van.  Every time I bend down to lift them up it sends a shot of pain through my head. Sometimes I have to stop to let the "pounding" settle before I move again.  

The cold air burns my eyes, but surprisingly helps head pain, briefly.

The drive is hard, my eyes are still burning and my head keeps time to my heart beat. 

Oh no... here comes the Sparkly Snow. They call it an Aura... I call it sparkly snow.

11:30... I walk into preschool. It is a dreary day, the bright lights send a sudden shot of pain through my head. The teachers are talking to me about how great my little guy did, I smile and nod, trying not to show my pain. 

Drive home, with the sparkly snow surrounding me. 

11:45... I need to feed my preschooler and toddler lunch. I need to eat and drink more water.

12:15 PM... Finally... quiet time! I change diapers, argue with preschooler, tell toddler to lay down, put on his blanky... 500 times... grab the baby, and sit down to nurse in nursing chair.

1:00 pm... After 45 minutes of soothing, coaxing and some grumpiness on my part, all three are down. Pain is starting to increase. 

But... I need to clean up the table, fold some laundry, work on my blog, schedule an appointment for the baby, pay a few bills, make sure swimming suits are clean for lessons later.

1:30... Screw it... gotta lay down. I take another dose of Tylenol and drink more water. I grab a bag of frozen peas and crank on the heat pad. Can't decide on heat or cold... ok, I'll do both. 

I get my lavender and peppermint oil and put it on my temples and neck. 

Laying there thinking to myself, while my head is pounding, "What did I eat? Hmmmmm, I'm going to take some allergy medicine... just in case this is an allergy headache."

3:00 Alarm goes off... ooops, I was just going to "rest" my eyes. Time to get 8 year old from school. 

I sit up... and my head isn't pounding! 

I wake the boys up, change diapers, put on snow clothes, and get them in the van. 

On the drive the sparkly snow returns, and the pounding comes back ever so slightly. 

My 8 year old gets in the van, I ask him about his day, we drive home. 

The boys need a snack, and the baby wants to nurse.

5:00... Everyone is fed and happy again.

5:30... Head is pounding again. I need more water. Now the exhaustion from the pain is setting in. But, I still have homework to help with and dinner to make.

6:00... Making dinner. Head is pounding now, loud enough I can hear my heart beating... Hubby just got home. We eat dinner and do a quick cleanup.

6:45... I just want to collapse. I lay down, oh no, here it is, the wave... the nausea is here. I quickly go get my bucket... just in case.

7:00... Hubby comes in to see if I'm ok. I tell him my head hurts. He is used to this, sighs heavily and walks out. I rest in my room for half an hour to prepare for the bedtime battle ahead. 

7:30 to 10:00... Trying to put kids to bed, it is such a process in our house. Arguing with an 8 year old who suffers from his own sleep problems (basically, he doesn't need to sleep... ever) is hard anyway, but when in pain, it is 100 times worse. While bending down to get the little boys dressed for bed, my head pain increases again. I have to stop and let it "settle" before moving on. 

10:00... I take more Tylenol, drink more water and go to bed. Hoping a good nights sleep will get rid of it. 

During the night I have super intense dreams. Mostly bad scenes from bad memories. I wake up a few times from my dreams and my head is pounding violently. I sit up, and breathe deeply for a while to calm down.

I finally get back to sleep. 

2:00 AM... My baby cries, wants to nurse. I pull him up. I can't go to sleep while he nurses though, too worried I'll squish him.

2:30... Put him back in bed.

Sleep finally comes.

4:30... Baby cries... time to nurse again. I need to pee anyway.

6:24... Husband's alarm goes off. I begin to sit up... ugh, my head literally feels like it just exploded, I lay back down and grab the nearest pillow to squeeze because the pain is so intense. 

Yep... I'm out for the count.

Husband gets boys up and ready. Comes in to ask if I need him to stay around.

I hate this part... no, I don't want him to miss work to help me. I hate being out of commission to the point I can't function. I hate that my head hurts so bad I need him to lift the baby to me to nurse, I hate that my toddler is going to watch way too much TV today and that Mommy won't be playing with him much.  I hate that when my preschooler gets home I will be able to ask how his day went and then have to go back to bed. I hate that I won't get to pick up my grade schooler and be the first to see how his day went. 

But, the reality is, I've got a migraine headache. I pushed through yesterday and I'm wiped today.

9:00 AM to 7:09 PM... I have to get prepared to GET RID OF THIS... THING. I get my bag of frozen peas, and turn on my heat pad. I make a mixture of peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus oil and rub it on my temples, forehead and back of my neck. I fill up the humidifier and turn it on high. I take a Compazine (yep, finally going to take a Rx medication) and a dose of Tylenol.  

I try to sleep. I get up occasionally to go to the bathroom, my hubby brings me food twice and brings the baby in to nurse every 3 hours. 

Those weird intense dreams happen again. 

Finally... at some point the pounding fades. I get quality sleep... in between nursing sessions.

I sleep, and sleep.

By about 7:00 that night I feel somewhat improved, I'm still hazy and a bit out of it, but, better. 

I stay up to talk with everyone, so they know I'm alive. We are all back to bed by 10, except the 8 year old, but that is another story entirely.

I sleep another night and wake up the next day pretty... ok... but I'll have a slow day until I fully recover.

And in a few days... I'll do it all again. 

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