The problem with chronic daily migraines is not just the pain. Well, clearly the pain is a substantial insane issue of its own that I could rant about for quite some time. There is another problem. A large significant problem being that a migraine attack is composed of Four stages not just that pain stage that many of us know so well. And those other three stages have numerous symptoms. Many neurological symptoms. So you are in this constant flux of brain chaos. I was recently discussing some of the strangest symptoms with some migraineur associates of mine and we all had some similar ones… perhaps that means many of us do and we really never talk about how bizarre some of our symptoms can get. I am not just talking about brain fog, fatigue, nausea, photosensitivity, phonosensitivity, numbness, tingling and neck pain here. I am talking about tinnitus, hearing loss, muffled hearing, assorted visual auras, Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (some with many symptoms in this class, some with specific symptoms, some with assorted symptoms) and problems with vertigo of various kinds and strengths. And I have not even touched the surface of the complexity of these symptoms or others we can get. Or even the more rare ones. The point is it can be quite the endless assault on our senses, our perceived reality, our ability to move, to function and then the pain, and then following that can be fatigue and more symptoms. And then all over again.
This is not even counting the fact that studies have shown we can have migraine like symptoms or activity. One common one was photosensitvity which hardly surprised me.
And some of us develop other symptoms that are clearly occurring between attacks. This is very commonly seen in vestibular migraines… in other words vertigo. Other less common ones would be with persistent migraine auras, most commonly visual but occasionally seen in other auras, such as tingling and numbness.
I have persistent migraine auras, vestibular migraines (I seriously preferred the old name migraine associated vertigo because it made more sense, since it literally occurs whenever it pleases) and daily migraines. And it seems like a migraine vortex of doom. Like my brain is stuck in this permanent migraine event that I cannot get out of. All this ‘phenomena’ occurring constantly that is distorting my reality.
I think we all feel like that most of the time though… because of all the migraine stages and the symptoms in them… leading right to the next, to the next, and the next. Caught in the neurological symptom vortex of chaos.
What has been driving me nuts about this the last few weeks is that the constant vertigo not only makes me unstable and unable to functionally do anything, or leave the house, or stand too much… it also makes it hard to focus on things and concentrate. My visual auras also are very… warpy lately and combined with the vertigo it makes it doubly hard to look at things. My concentration is shot. So I cannot seem to do anything mental either. I want to. I have tried several times. I sit here right now in a chair that is literally feeling like it is constantly dipping down into the floor. I feel like I must lay down again soon. My head feels woozy and I have just not been able to think straight. Vertigo is horrible for this. And the perception of motion in my visual aura… not helping. So the vortex of doom has sucked me down into it and I just keep trying to find a way to surface from it. But… I really just have to wait until the vertigo ends so I can get control of that one piece again.
And that is what it is to have chronic migraines that people do not ‘get’. We are constantly dealing with the flux of these symptoms, ones they do not even know exist for migraines, some that dramatically decrease our ability to function, others making it difficult to function, others just compromising our ability to communicate or remember or think… along with the pain. Like the pain is easy to deal with, which clearly it is not.