Monday, January 25, 2010

Perfect day to be out of control

Although I try to pretend otherwise I think (and probably anyone who knows me agrees) that I am probably a bit of a control freak. I am happy for some things to just happen and can usually go with the flow, but in general I like to know what is happening, when and be a relatively central figure in organising it (although this weekend I am going to do the opposite and leave all the planning over to Katy for a great "girls weekend" away in Fukuoka - yoroshiku!). Today I had absolutely nothing that had to be done until I picked up the kids at 3pm to take them to piano, so I started to get organised for the rest of the busy week ahead. I planned classes for tomorrow and Wednesday, I thought about what I will cook at a cooking class in Oita on Thursday, I brought in loads of wood for the fire and I even started to make dinner at about 1pm - a delicious bacon, egg, potato and spinach pie. And then... the one thing that I really can't control struck me down. My family all seems prone to migraines and I am no exception. I know that all migraine sufferers have different symptoms, but for me it usually starts out with the weirdest feeling in my eyes - I can see some things clearly, but there are huge gaps in my vision - as in I was trying to read the recipe book, but could only see half the words. Next comes a tingling feeling in my fingers that results in complete uncoordination. I can't pick anything up, I can't sense hot and cold. Next the tingling feeling spreads to my mouth and I feel like I have been at the dentist and the anesthetic hasn't worn off. I can't put together a complete sentence because my mouth is numb and refuses to cooperate. I can't communicate what is happening to anyone... Finally the part I actually look forward to... a splitting headache. Pain I can cope with, the other side effects I can't! Anyway, today I tried my complete calming and chocolate coping routine. I downed some nurofen plus, I sat outside in the rain and breathed deeply, I went for a quiet walk, I ate some chocolate and then I shut the world out and slept for an hour or so. I recovered and because it was my "day off" I didn't have to cancel anything, put anyone out or try to deal with classes of screaming kids while trying to work out which part of the room they are actually standing in!
For me migraines usually strike after a relatively busy period when I finally have time to sit down and relax. For others they are triggered by different food groups. I haven't been that busy lately, but I did have a big slice of bread coated in recently made marmalade... one of my Mum's triggers. I guess I'll just keep that off the menu for the next year or so! Compared to my university days I don't get migraines anywhere near as often as I used to. In fact I think I would be lucky (or unlucky) to have more than one or two each year now... fingers crossed! The feeling of being out of control is not a great one, but at the same time it makes me sit really still for a few hours and focus on nothing else but silence and darkness. I would be interested in hearing from anyone else who suffers from migraines and who has good ways of coping with them - especially when they are not as perfectly timed as mine was today!


  1. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog.

    I know what you mean about the migraine. I used to get really debilitating migraines and I got the same vision thing as you, I felt as if I had an eye patch on one half of each eye, I just couldn't see what I was looking at. After that I would see bright holographic lights in front of my eyes and could see nothing else. It was just after that my head started to pound like hell and like you I would have to sleep it off for a couple of hours after taking some panadol. I really used to get them frequently and it would take me down for the whole day.

    I don't really get them anymore, but recently I noticed when I have been stressed out I will get one. The time I used to get them all the time was a very stressful period in my life so I can only say it was that.

    I really hate migraines. I found something called "migrastick" which is a kind of ball medicine you can rub on your temples and neck and it kind of takes the edge off the headache, and sometimes when I put it at my temples it stops one coming on. Not sure if you have ever tried it, but it has a peppermint smell.

    Do you find that food is a trigger for your migraines? After getting a migraine I also could not stand to hear any you ever experience that?

  2. Hey, hope you're OK. They sound absolutely shit.

    Pressure for the weekend. I hope I wasn't expected to organize dinner, cocktails and our own private screening of 'manpower'. Sorry to say the only thing sorted is the hotel. At least we have a place to sleep.

    Your in charge of bringing the chillybin though :) And your coscos members card of course!

  3. Oh, you poor thing!I do not suffer from migraines-I have other issues that involve pain and having to just stop-and sit-and wait. At times it is the only thing to do. I take life moment by moment. Sounds like you do too.

  4. Ouch! Hope you're over the worst of it.My migraines cluster in 3's!!
    and have changed over the years involving numb hands and side of face and feeling really cold.
    Very wierd things and never well timed like yours!! D

  5. Anonymous5:57 PM

    Kelly Azuma mentioned taking panadol for her migraines. I too take panadol for my headaches but I didn't know one can get panadol in Japan.

  6. Hey Anonymous...sorry to mislead you there, I'm in australia not Japan so that's why I said panadol. But possibly they have a very similar product in Japan?