Migraine is a concept I am just beginning to grasp. My second-hand experience of migraine is of a debilitating "bad headache" leaving the normally unshakeable patient pasty-green, vomiting, incapable of anything and even having to take the morning off work. I can remember nothing else that ever caused time off work.
Any headache that I might have paled into insignificance in comparision. But I can't deny that I get, very occasionally, really bad headaches. In the past I have avoided pain-killers, in the hope it would go away on its own. I have ignored the headache, as best I can, but no-one else would be able to because I would be in an impossibly bad mood and unwilling, or even unable, to do much.
It has come as something of a revelation to me to have it pointed out that these are migraines. Perhaps the fact that I would prefer to be lying down in a dark and silent room sleeping should have suggested it to me! Taking it seriously has helped: letting myself lie in the blissful dark; explaining to the children that, on a grand scale, I am fine but just now I have a very bad head and need some peace; cancelling my work so I could rest for a whole day, buying migraine specific pain-relief. I have spent two days in a bright, painful haze and woke this morning to find that I could think normally, interact with more than one person at a time, teach Physics and tolerate day-light comfortably.
All this has left me reflecting on taking my pain seriously: naming it for what it is and taking responsibility for looking after myself. I fear slipping into hypochondria, attention-seeking or plain sorry-for-myself-ness but I am learning that honesty about pain is important, and is the first step in healing.