I was about fourteen when I had my very first migraine, I still remember the exact place and details. I was in McDonalds on Kensington High St with my best friend, Greg. I looked up at the menu and couldn't read a section of it, it was as if I'd just stared at a very bright light and then suddenly looked at something of normal brightness.
But this blind spot didn't clear, it just got bigger, like an expanding doughnut, until it kind of enlarged itself out of my eye. Then the mother of all headaches hit me.
This pattern continued for several years. I'd get one every few months and there was almost nothing I could do about it except, at the first glimpse of one of these "blind spots" I'd take some painkillers, rush home and get to bed so I could sleep. Almost every time I was struck I'd sleep and wake the next morning with the headache almost completely gone, feeling just a little bit groggy as if I'd been drinking the night before.
As I got
older more mature the format changed a little bit and they became less frequent. Then, when I had laser surgery on my eyes, they became more frequent but without the blind spots as a precursor. The Doctor told me it was because there was more strain on my eyes than I'd been used to with contact lenses, which is probably irony.
Once I had the second bout of laser surgery on my eyes and ended up with the better than twenty twenty vision that I now possess they died down. I'm currently in a position where I get migraines once every couple of months or so. There's no blind spot and I usually wake up with THE headache, with it getting worse as the day goes on, until it peaks and then slowly dissipates.
The actual headaches aren't as bad as they used to be, though that might be because I've got more used to them as well, and I try my utmost to just get on with my stuff, literally putting the pain to the back of my mind.
On Sunday morning I woke up in the early hours, I reckon it must have been about six, and I had that familiar and frustrating groggy feeling. I knew that there was a good chance of sleeping it off, if I could get several hours' worth of good quality zeds in.
I also knew that that was impossible as I had to get up about nine at the latest to go for an important family conference thing that I just had to be at. I did just that. I got up, strolled over to my parents' place and did my thing, all the while with a headache that made my head feel as though it was about to explode and, when it did, it would be a relief.
After some time I went home and jumped straight into bed, fully saronged up and only interrupted by the need for a quick poo. I knew that a few hours of sleep would see me on the mend and that I'd be okay for that evening's band practice.
Three hours of sleep saw me up and about, loading the drums into the car and setting off to that night's band practice. It's a new band that's been put together for a one off gig by a friend and it's a huge bastard of a thing, ten of us in all. So the logistics of getting ten musicians together have been a bit of a nightmare and my attendance was much needed, even if I say it myself.
One of the issues about being a drummer is that we're the butt of all the jokes, we take all the crap all the time, we turn up for rehearsals in which the band is missing a singer or a guitarist or a bassist but, lo and behold, if we can't make it, the whole thing gets cancelled and we become the bad guy. Which I know is actually far more than just one issue, but whatever.
And there I was, setting up my kit and bashing about a bit when it hit me. The headache was still there, quite a lot, but it was on its downward curve. The drums are anything but quiet. Even when one plays quietly it's pretty loud. And this is a ten piece band, which means that there's a lot of noise to deal with.
I must be totally mental.
The band practice was fantastic. But my head hurt afterwards. A good night's sleep did me the world of good and now, as I write this I'm as right as rain.
The burning question, that's been bothering me for so many years is this; how exactly should I say it. Is it pronounced "meegraine" or "mygrain".
Answers on a comment please.