Migraines suck.  I went through a period in my mid-20s where I had them often — sometimes once or twice a month.  They were debilitating.  I had nausea, extreme light and temperature sensitivity, visual “auras”, tunnel vision, numbness, tingling and sometimes trouble hearing properly.  If I recognized that one was coming and could take the medicine quickly enough (and keep it down) I could sometimes minimize the effects, but usually I was in for at least a half day of uselessness — laying in bed or on the floor and just waiting for it to pass.

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had fewer migraines in my 30s, and only a couple since Benjamin was born, over 5 years ago.  I don’t think I’d had a real, proper migraine since we’ve been in Vienna.  Not until yesterday.

They’re as bad as I remembered (this one had no nausea, though, for which I feel very fortunate).  It started with seeing spots.  At first I thought I’d looked at an overly bright light, but I couldn’t remember having done so.  After a minute, when I noticed that the spots were spinning, and multiplying, I figured out what was happening.  I was out of the house though, and didn’t have any medicine with me (I used to carry it with me, but they’ve become so rare that I stopped).  There was nothing to do but get home, but by then, it was too late.  I had a migraine, and there was nothing to be done.

I hate migraines.  They make it impossible for me to do anything at all.  I can’t bathe the kids or read stories, I can’t play a game or watch tv.  I have trouble sleeping.  There’s nothing to do but lay in the dark and wait.

It’s good for contemplation, though, and what I thought about while I laid in my dark room yesterday evening, listening to bath time, story time and bed time happen without me, was how grateful I am (and I also thought a little about how miserable I was).  I am grateful that Dan is here and available and willing to take over the entire evening with the boys, grateful that 99.9% of the time I feel great and I get to do all of those things, grateful that it wasn’t hot yesterday, grateful that my health is good and that my migraines are so rare.  (I also whined and complained a bit in my own head about how much I hate lying in the dark in pain, because, you know, I do REALLY hate it.)

Today, I feel mostly better (although I find I’m slightly more forgetful and less articulate for a day or so after the migraine).  I’m hoping that this will be my one and only Austrian migraine.  That would be fantastic.