Bipolar Migraines

Allegedly yesterday was the hottest day of the year.  I wouldn’t know about that because I spent the last 60-ish hours holed up with the worst migraine of the year.  I get at least three types of migraine.  There’s the ones where they start bad, then get worse and worse until the pain is unbelievable and I want to rip my own nose off (or punch it until it stops moving); they usually come with sensitivity to light but not sound.  Then there’s the ones which cause extreme sensitivity to light, sound and any other stimuli, where the headache is actually secondary to the sensitivity but they’re usually controlled the quickest by painkillers.  These are the ones I wear sunglasses in the house for, they’re most frequent and if they’re not kept in check they can develop into either of the other two.  Maybe this is actually a pre-migraine, I don’t know.  Lastly, the rarest ones, where the headache builds up and builds up and builds up from nothing until it’s impossible to think about anything or do anything then the vomiting starts.  This makes the head pain worse, then it fades a bit afterwards, then starts building and building again and so on until you wonder if there’s any point eating food because it’s a waste of money.

All three of them come with weird visual disturbances (I frequently get flashing blue lights) and fun illusions such as seeing black holes where there are none.

This week’s been characterized by the third type of migraine.  I took paracetamol (why do you call that acetaminophen in America?  Why?), it did nothing, I was going to move up to co-codamol but my husband convinced me it was time for an Imigran (sumatriptan).  I tried one, it seemed to clear it and I went to sleep.  In the morning, I woke up at 9am with the same migraine (or a very convincing impostor), but worse.  It doesn’t help that the sun is making it hotter than the fires of hell in our bedroom (HVAC isn’t really a thing in the UK except in fancy hotels and some offices) and so I felt like I was near a volcano until I could get into the bathroom.  Where I was stuck for the next four hours due to major vomiting.  After that came the muscle weakness and inability to hold things (the same one you get during/after an anxiety attack) which meant I was holed up on the sofa watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls. What a write-off of a day. It’s claiming to have cleared this morning (Wednesday) but it might be lying, since it clearly lied on Monday and came back Tuesday as soon as I was awake.  I’m going to take the day slowly, with many more episodes of Gilmore Girls, and investigate the possibility of food since all I could eat yesterday were weirdly tangy side dishes such as microwave rice (lime flavor), and a sandwich made of lettuce with a hint of mayo but I don’t know what to eat that won’t be wasted.

This morning I got up at 7:30 to make sure I wasn’t in our bedroom since it’s so hot in there after sunup (currently about 4 or 5am), and at first I felt cold, but within 30 seconds of being awake I could feel how hot the room was and I couldn’t believe my body would lie to me and tell me it was cool enough just to stay asleep!!!  I am never a morning person but I literally RAN to the shower this morning and I got straight in so the cold water would bring my temperature down.  This house has never been this weird on temperature before, usually it’s pretty good at not getting too hot.  Is this global warming?  The morning sun seems to be so much more intense than usual.

I suspect my meds may have been involved but I can’t pin anything onto them.

I’ve started to notice in the past year or so that these migraines seem to either cause, pre-empt or announce an underlying mood phase change.  I’ve been in a bit of a mixed state the past few weeks, characterized by severe agitation, which is why I re-started my medication.  It’ll take a couple of days at least before I know but I think that mixed state might have shifted.  That would be neat.  Maybe I can stop taking my meds again.  The pattern (such that it is, this is only the third time I’ve stopped/started them) seems to be take meds for 2-4 weeks, until severe migraines, then when enough severe migraines, brain is all better for now.  Two to four months later, lather rinse repeat.  Wash hair frequently in the meantime.

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Author: MsAdventure

I am a twentysomething travel, photography and beauty blogger who occasionally writes about other topics. Within travel, I tend to write mostly about Europe because all the other travel bloggers seem to write about South East Asia. As a writer, I have written articles that are published in Offbeat Bride and on Buzzfeed, and as a photographer, I have taken photographs that are published in local and national news outlets in the UK. I have a blog at www.delightandinspire.com

4 thoughts on “Bipolar Migraines”

  1. I know how you feel. Changing of weather usually gives me horrible migraines too. Luckily, I haven’t had them lately. Hasn’t happened after baby, but don’t want to jinx it. Perhaps try a cold pack on top of your head and acupuncture for migraine. My GP would give me migraine prevention meds and just say “best of luck” lol. Like, thanks doc. Luckily, science behind migraines is getting less murky. Read an article the other day about it. It said Botox was actually a new cure. Wrinkle removal and migraine removal? Sounds like an epic win to me. Best of luck and hope you don’t have another again soon xx

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    1. Thanks, that botox plan sounds genius, especially since co-codamol always makes my face look haggard for a day or two whenever I take it. I’m at an age where I want those wrinkles to go away for another few years!! Can anywhere do it or do they have to be specially licensed to do migraine botox? I did acupuncture for about 6 months last year to no avail. Unfortunately, since my migraines seem to be linked to my bipolar, it looks like I’m stuck with them (but I’m definitely going to try botox). I did also have acupuncture for the bipolar, it seemed to be working at first but then it made the mixed episode I was experiencing a lot worse so I ended up paying for a private psychiatrist who diagnosed me properly (the NHS were useless) and prescribed me Seroquel.

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      1. Ugh, I’m so sorry it’s a never ending battle for you 🙁 I know that even dentists can do Botox (they know where all the nerve endings are in the face) but I’d research big time before going to one. Alas, if only we were in California, there’s millions 😂 NHS is rubbish at times. I remember I went for an adjustment for sciatica pain when I was pregnant. The lady who was supposed to be a practitioner of some sort took two fingers and barely pressed on my hip and said “that should help!” 😒 Like no, you deluded cow, my foot in your face should help. Luckily I found an amazing osteopath. He may charge £45 per appointment but I can honestly attest to the fact that he’s saved my life.

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      2. That sounded like she didn’t even try! I do get along well with dentists, it’s like I pay them and they provide a service, everyone wins. Yeah people who move to Cali are sorted for face-fixing haha! 🙂 I wonder if that’s why Stephen Fry went….?!

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