I am kind of unsure why I was so insistent in the past that the headaches I regularly deal with couldn’t possibly meet the definition of a migraine. And I get asked that sort of question pretty regularly because I deal with debilitating headaches pretty regularly.
I guess I was getting hung up on some of the weirder symptoms that my doctor asked me about (auras, photophobia). But let’s look at what I do experience for a moment.
- They’re relatively frequent. Sometimes a few times a month.
- They’re universally relegated to one side of my head. Almost always the left side.
- They usually last a day or a few days.
- They very slowly pulse, ebbing in waves of pain for a moment before flowing into a momentary remission.
- I’m beginning to realize they are often triggered by stress and anxiety. I noticed one come on strong just after a stressful, depressing meeting the other day (smack dab in the middle of a relatively stressful week for me). On the other hand, during my December holiday break, I was completely headache-free.
- Most importantly, they’re pretty bad, and on some days, I just know I won’t be able to function well. Such as today, I’m taking off work unexpectedly to deal with it. (With all the appertaining guilt and anxiety about that fact.)
If Wikipedia is to be believed, I am pretty sure that I am in fact dealing with a true migraine (as much as the idea of “true” and “false” diagnoses bothers me).
I reckon it’s time to discuss this with my therapist or even my doctor, but I’m not looking forward to what I imagine and predict will be a struggle to be taken seriously and get some kind of medicinal help.