Migraine and migraine relief
I’m not sure if it’s the hotel, the training room were using or just a lack of caffeine, but since I’ve been on this course I seem to have been ill non-stop. This was capped last night with a full-on migraine.
I touched last week on the fact that the course is based in a training area in Dartford, and there isn’t one of my beloved Costa Coffee within walking distance. There’s a vague Starbucks offering at the hotel (and by vague I mean it’s pretty much a vending machine that is operated by a member of staff), but it doesn’t look great.
The day of training on Monday finished with an exercise that saw us pair up and go online to find out answers to various questions. There was also a handout printed on A3 paper which had tiny writing.
I think that a combination of the two brought on the headache which throbbed as I drove back to the hotel.
We’d finished early, thankfully, and so I was back in the hotel room by about 4.30pm. I’d necked a couple of paracetamol in the car before driving the twenty-minute journey, but they’d done nothing to abate the pain.
Hunting around my bag in the hotel room, I found some Migralieve at the bottom of my bag and greedily swallowed a couple of tablets down. It may sound like being on the verge of an overdose, but anyone who suffers migraines will know that you’d happily do anything to stem the onslaught of one.
I then tucked myself up into bed and quickly fell asleep. Plans to meet with colleagues for dinner at 6pm came and went, and I woke at 6.30pm to a couple of texts asking where I was.
Looking at the screen of my phone was enough to tell me that the tablets hadn’t kicked in yet. The overriding feeling of nausea washed over me, and I put the phone down without replying to the texts, quickly falling back to sleep.
I slept soundly for a couple of hours, waking again after 9pm, taking the last two migralieve tablets and crawling back into bed. The pain was as bad as it had ever been before, and although I was now out of Migralieve, I knew that there was no way I could get up and out to buy more. I settled instead on going back to sleep.
Once again, I slept for a couple of hours, this time having dreams about kittens, bizarrely.
I woke up briefly, replied to some texts and again went back to sleep. The mere sound of my own breathing was enough to make me want to cry, such was the pain in my head, and even laying in the dark seemed to hurt my eyes.
By the time midnight rolled around, things were no better. By this stage, I was seriously considering how I would justify not going to the training course the next day. Anyone that has suffered from migraines knows how debilitating they are, but those that have never experienced the horror thinks that they are merely “bad headaches” which is as far from the truth as could be.
I made the choice that I would get up and go and buy more drugs. I dressed and stumbled into the hallway. I momentarily thought I was going to be sick when the light hit my eyes, but I knew that I needed something to stop the pain.
I found my car in the car park, turned the aircon to the coldest setting, which seems to alleviate the pain a little, and turned the brightness down on my phone.
The only local supermarket that I know of is Sainsbury’s and a quick check of their website told me that they had shut at 9pm.
I drove gingerly up the road, towards the town. There was a Tesco Express that was attached to a petrol garage, and I figured that would be open.
The darkness of the night suited me, and before long I had pulled up outside and was wandering through the few small aisles that made up the store.
Sod’s law, there was nothing for migraine relief. Some Anadin and a few paracetamol were the only offering but didn’t improve on what I already had. I asked the man behind the counter whose face changed from seemingly judging the poor old fool stumbling around his shop as a drug addict or alcoholic, to softer features when I asked if he had any migraine tablets. He didn’t, of course, and wasn’t able to tell me anywhere that was open.
It’s only now - some time after the event, that it occurs to me that I should have found an all-night chemist. That’s something I’ll have to remember in the future.
I drove back to (and just past) the hotel, stopping this time at a Shell petrol station. That had the same offering, and so I slumped in my car, took two paracetamol and pondered how well calling in sick would be received the next day.
I drove the few hundred metres back to the hotel, parked up and got out. In pure desperation, I opened the boot and searched for something - anything - that would kill off a migraine.
I pulled out my coat, which had been thrown in the boot a few weeks before. I hunted through the pockets, all the while breathing in the cool night air deeply to try and quell the nausea that seems to go arm-in-arm with all the other symptoms.
In the inside pocket was a packet of tablets. I pulled them out, fully expecting them to be standard painkillers. I could have cried with relief when I saw that they were Migralieve. What’s more, there were several left, meaning I could take them through the night and the next morning two.
I greedily swallowed two down without water as I stood by the car, not caring that I had just had other tablets. I made my way back to my room, the bright hall lights once again feeling like being stabbed in the eyes.
I got to the door of my room, felt my pockets for the key card to gain entry, and then had to sheepishly go to reception and ask for another key as I’d locked mine in.
A few minutes later I was back in bed. Window open, cool breeze blowing through and the cool side of the pillow on my forehead. I drifted off, woke up around 4am, took more tablets and thankfully woke up migraine-free at 7am.
It took a day or two for the symptoms to wear off.
I always say it’s akin to a bad hangover recovery, where you no longer have a headache or want to be sick, but your body feels like it has been through the wars and you’re vowing never to get in that state again.