In my experience, headaches come in two varieties. The first is a nebulous pain, accompanied by a need to lie down and go to sleep immediately; the second is a deeper, harder pain which wakes me up and makes returning to sleep difficult. They come with different auras, too: a nebulous-sleepy headache sometimes comes with a vaguely amorous feeling and a craving for carbohydrates; a hard-wakeful headache is preceded by hypersensitivity to sound, to light, and to touch -- everything is too much. Both are unpleasant. Mercifully, the easier headache (nebulous-sleepy) occurs more often than the hard-wakeful headache.
It can be difficult to distinguish the triggers for the two types of headache. Indulging in chocolate will often bring a nebulous-sleepy ache; consuming cheese will virtually always bring a hard-wakeful pain. Dust, weather -- often hard-wakeful but sometimes nebulous-sleepy. Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason. Hormones? Stress? A hidden ingredient in something I've eaten? Who can tell?
Migraines are a different beast entirely They are usually preceded by an increase in both types of headaches; the headaches appear alternately, and grow, appearing more frequently until they coalesce into a full-blown migraine. Migraine comes with nausea, sometimes vomiting, and worst of all, a dizziness that makes it impossible to move my head a fraction of a millimeter in any direction without dire consequences.
I had a migraine earlier this week. It was thoroughly awful.
After the worst has subsided, the migraine slowly ebbs away, and in the ebbing, my brain frequently gets stuck: stuck on a thought, a worry, some kind of obscure obsession that takes the forefront of all thought. Sometimes it is an ordinary thing: the taxes are due. Other times, it is a panicky sensation about something I did not do that I should have done, or something that I may have done that I should not have done. Why did I say that? Why did I not say that? Trying to deliberately focus on an alternate thought is unsuccessful. I have to wait it out. Ugh.
When in the throes of an impending headache (or an impending migraine), my temperament changes. I may be far more cranky than usual; or weepy; or despairing. I wish I could separate regular feelings from headache-feelings, but I cannot; perhaps, rather than differing in content from what feelings I might have normally, headache-feelings are merely a more extreme form of such ordinary feelings. It is all very strange sometimes.
The only silver lining to it all, is that on occasion, my brain will get stuck on love. Love. It is a fuzzy, yet intense, mysterious sensation, this headache-borne Love. It is rare, but welcome -- for to be able to feel love in its unbridled form, untainted by Ordinary Life, is most unusual.
Ah, Love. Even in the midst of pain, we find you. Or, perhaps, you find us.
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