1. Is the sky suddenly blurry? Have I been looking at my phone too long? Is that all this is? No. It's the fucking aura, which is basically my warning to get my ass home because soon I'll be unable to drive.
  2. No pain while I have the aura; just the impending doom of what's to come. I don't dare go anywhere without some rizatriptan on me, so I pop one.
  3. The pain begins on one side and takes over very quickly. All of a sudden I can't even keep my eyes open. Everything is too bright. Everything is too loud. Sensory overload! Shoot me now.
  4. The pain comes on so fast and hard that I'm battling the urge to throw up.
  5. People check on me, bring me a cold face cloth, and I can't even string together a sentence. Seriously. It's just mumbling. I'm totally incoherent. It takes all my brain power to say thank you.
  6. I toss a Gravol or Ativan in the mix so that I can get some help sleeping. You're screwed if you can't fall asleep.
  7. I can't think of anything but how badly I need to fall asleep so that I can get a break from the pounding. My head feels like it's in a vise. I've been rendered completely useless.
  8. I wake up a few hours later with the residual effects of the migraine. The best way to explain those effects is I feel like someone bashed me in the head with a bat repeatedly. It hurts to laugh, to cough, to sneeze, to bend down, but at least the pounding isn't as severe. I can form words now.
  9. Slowly these symptoms lessen over time, but it takes at least 24 hours before I feel normal again.
  10. Sometimes if I'm really lucky, I can't kick the migraine myself and wake up every morning with another migraine so that I have to go to the hospital to get an IV so they can pump me full of drugs.
  11. I'm never given any warning that I'm going to have a migraine until it's too late, so it's hard not to be paranoid that one is lurking around the corner.
  12. Because of this, I don't drink red wine or coffee, I get eight hours of sleep, and don't stay out in the sun for too long out of fear that I'll trigger one.
  13. This is why I have resentment when I hear other people call a headache a "migraine." I get headaches regularly. Pop an extra strength ibuprofen and in half an hour you'll be fine. Headaches are annoying. They're not debilitating.
  14. So if you have a migraine, I know you won't be on your computer or phone telling people you hate migraines because if you had a migraine, there's no way you could stand to look at the screen or write anything intelligible.
  15. I've learned that many people only get headaches a couple times a year (that blew my mind!) so they don't know the true experience of having headaches regularly versus migraine attacks. That's why the word "migraine" gets tossed around like it does.
  16. But let me tell you how maddening it is for migraine sufferers like myself to hear people with headaches relating their experiences to what we're going through and thinking we are exaggerating.
  17. I just ask that you understand the difference.
  19. Kind regards. 😜