Stories of someone with chronic migraine

The sun is bright and high in the sky. The beer is cold in your hand. You're already starting to feel the dizziness caused by the alcohol that also comes with a smile and a feeling of relaxation. You're floating with the waves as the boat goes slowly down the river. The music is loud and you feel like dancing. Your friends are talking and you jump from group to group, getting in and out of random conversations. You're happy and you smile, there's nothing to worry about. It's what you call a perfect summer day.

The sun is bright and high in the sky. The beer is cold in your hand. You're already starting to feel the dizziness caused by the alcohol that also comes with a smile and a feeling of relaxation. You're floating with the waves as the boat goes slowly down the river. The music is loud and you feel like dancing. Your friends are talking and you jump from group to group, getting in and out of random conversations. You're happy and you smile, there's nothing to worry about. It's what you call a perfect summer day.

Except, you're actually sitting in your desk, in front of you computer, in a room with bright blue lights. You're trying to focus, but you hear everyone talking in the background, you hear the cars on the street and the music of you colleague that likes to be loud. You put your headphones on your ears, trying to turn down the environment volume. It feels super tight in you head.

You read the text in you screen 3 or 4 times before you actually understand it. The fonts are extremely small and the computer seems to be far away. Your eyes are scratching, you blink, once, twice, three times and nothing. You blame the dry weather. You put eye drops on.

You look trough the window, it's so bright outside. The sun reflects on the white walls and seems to come right at your desk. You move your screen, and you change the contrast of your monitor. It doesn't help. Then you put your sunglasses on.

It feels like you're floating, as if you were a little bit drunk. But you're not. You feel weird, but it's hard to explain. You turn your head and for half a second it feels like you're falling. Everything seemed to be turning over. You're afraid to get up.

You also feel a bit nauseated. You're hungry, and at the same time you feel like you can't eat anything. You leave the room, it's too much noise, too much brightness and you can't do anything. You go make yourself a cup of camomile tea. What you truly want is coffee, but you know shouldn't.

While the water is heating you go to the restroom. You leave the lights off. You stretch your arms and back. Your neck is stiff and your head feels heavier than yourself. But it's just a few minutes of quiet relief. You need to go back. You just need to keep working.

A few minutes later someone calls you and starts talking. It's a technical topic that sounds super complex and you can't keep up. You feel stupid because simple things suddenly become super hard for your brain to process. You nod, you agree and you pretend to understand everything. You don't feel like explaining your brain is 'half working' at that moment. And you definitely don't want to say, again, that you're going trough another crisis.

You just keep going until the day is over. You go home and you rest hoping in the next morning life doesn't play repeat.

Except, you're actually sitting in your desk, in front of you computer, in a room with bright blue lights. You're trying to focus, but you hear everyone talking in the background, you hear the cars on the street and the music of you colleague that likes to be loud. You put your headphones on your ears, trying to turn down the environment volume. It feels tight in you head.

You read the text in you screen 3 or 4 times before you actually understand it. The fonts are extremely small and the computer seems to be far away. Your eyes are scratching, you blink, once, twice, three times and nothing. You blame the dry weather. You put eye drops on.

You look trough the window, it's so bright outside. The sun reflects on the white walls and seems to come right at your desk. You move your screen, and you change the contrast of your monitor. It doesn't help. You put your sunglasses on.

It feels like you're floating, as if you were a little bit drunk. But you're not. You feel weird, but it's hard to explain. You turn your head and for half a second it feels like you're falling. Everything seemed to be turning over. You're afraid to get up.

You also feel a bit nauseated. You're hungry, and at the same time you feel like you can't eat anything. You leave the room, it's too much noise, too much brightness and you can't do anything. You go make yourself a cup of tea. What you truly want is coffee, but you know shouldn't.

While the water is heating you go to the restroom. You leave the lights off. You stretch your arms and back. Your neck is stiff and your head feels heavier than yourself. But it's just a few minutes of quiet relief. You need to go back. You just need to keep working.

A few minutes later someone calls you and start talking. It's a technical topic that sounds super complex and you can't keep up. You feel stupid because simple things suddenly become super hard for your brain to process. You nod, you agree and you pretend to understand everything. You don't feel like explaining your brain is 'half working' at that moment. And you definitely don't want to say, again, that you're going trough another crisis.

. . .

The day was long and you're finally going to meet your friends at your favorite bar. You had a nice dinner in the Japanese restaurant at the corner and you're ready for some drinks. It's Friday, it was a long week and all you want is to chill a bit. You talk, you laugh and you make plans for the next trip to the mountains. After the second beer you're already getting happier. The talks get louder and the topics funnier. It's your kind of happy-hour. You go home feeling dizzy, but you also feel happy.

The day was long and you're finally going to meet your friends at your favorite bar. You had a nice dinner in the Japanese restaurant at the corner and you're ready for some drinks. It's Friday, it was a long week and all you want is to chill a bit. You talk, you laugh and you make plans for the next trip to the mountains. After the second beer you're already getting happier. The talks get louder and the topics funnier. It's your favorite kind of happy-hour. You go home feeling dizzy, but you also feel happy.

Except that's not how it happened. The week was indeed long and all you wanted was to have fun and relax. You meet your friends, but you don't drink. You shouldn't and you know it.

The music is super loud and it seems to be a thousand people talking right next to your ears. You can't concentrate on what your friends are saying. You try to focus and not think about how you feel. It doesn't work.

You ask for a glass of water, the owner of the bar, who is an old acquaintance, looks at you and says "congratulations". After all 'there's only one reason' that makes women don't drink, but no, that's not why you're not drinking. It's also not why you're feeling sick. You actually wish it was. Would be simpler to explain.

You're dizzy and lightheaded. You keep feeling like you're in a boat, even tough you're standing in hard and solid ground. You also haven't set foot in a long flight in a while. But it feels exactly like jet-leg. You're afraid of facing the stairs on the way to the toilet. More afraid than all the other times you were there and was indeed drunk.

All you wanted was to enjoy the evening with your friends, but your body claims for you to leave. You tell your boyfriend you want to go home. You feel bad for shortening his night as well. But you're afraid of going on your own.

As soon as you set foot outside it is a big relief. The noise of the cars in the street is not as exhausting as of the sound of many simultaneous people talking. Walking is also nice, it makes you feel less dizzy and concentrating on the way to the subway helps you keep focus. You feel tired. All you want is to sit quietly in your sofa with the lights off.

On the next day you wake up with your head pounding. It feels exactly like a hangover, but it isn't. Your neck also hurts, and it's not from sleeping badly.

You just rest all day. Thank God it's Saturday.

Except that's not how it happened. The week was indeed long and all you wanted was to have fun and relax. You meet your friends, but you don't drink. You can't and you know it.

The music is super loud and it seems to be a thousand people talking right next to your ears. You can't concentrate on what your friends are saying. You try to focus and not think about how you feel. It doesn't work.

You ask for a glass of water, the owner of the bar, who is an old acquaintance, looks at you and says "congratulations". No, that's not why you're not drinking. It's also not why you're feeling sick. You wish it was. Would be simpler to explain.

You're dizzy and lightheaded. You keep feeling like you're in a boat, even tough you're standing in hard and solid ground. You also haven't set foot in a long flight in a while. But it feels exactly like jet-leg. You're afraid of facing the stairs on the way to the toilet. More afraid than all the other times you were there and was actually drunk.

All you wanted was to enjoy the evening with your friends, but you body claims for you to leave. You tell your boyfriend you want to go home. You feel bad for shortening his night as well. But you're afraid of going on you own.

As soon as you set foot outside it is a big relief. The noise of the cars in the street are not as exhausting as of the sound of many simultaneous people talking. Walking is also nice, it makes you feel less dizzy and concentrating on the way to the subway helps you keep focus. You feel tired. All you want is to sit quietly in your sofa with the light off.

On the next day you wake up with your head pounding. It feels exactly like a hangover, but it isn't. Your neck also hurts, and it's not from sleeping badly.

You just rest all day. Thank God it's Saturday.


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