The alarm intrudes on my nightly peace and as I drift into consciousness the ever present pulsing in my brain increases in intensity until the only desire I have is to stay in bed. Forever.
Must sit up.
Standing and facing the morning has become the hardest part of my day. For some as-of-yet-undiscovered reason my migraines are at their worst in the morning. Once I get up and moving, they begin to ease a little, leaving some room for thought, emotion, and even a laugh or two. I remind myself of this as my temples experience another stab from an invisible ice pick.
Must put feet on floor.
The sound of the birds chirping outside is just this side of unpleasant, the musical notes sharp enough to set off my phonophobia. Breathe, drink water, find the ibuprofen next to the bed. I often wonder how long it will be before my liver is the one to protest.
Must stand and dress.
Okay. I’m up and dressed. Now it’s time to turn on the hideous and invasive light and wake up the children. There will be whining. The whining will penetrate my skull and rattle around inside my head. Don’t snap, don’t yell, just breathe.
It’s time to wake up dearest. It’s time to get on with our day.
The fuss and fretting associated with a school day morning distracts me from my throbby companion. I find socks, make lunches, sign forgotten forms, and answer the repeated incredulous questions about having to go to school today. I bundle them in the car, we leave. The bank of dark clouds on the horizon bodes ill for saying goodbye to the headache today. It seeks refuge from storms like these. Perhaps it is afraid of thunder.
At school there is hugging and snuggling and kisses goodbye. There are reminders about handing in forms and well wishes for a lovely day. As always they both hope I feel better soon. As always, I tell them I am sure I will and I smile.
By the time I return home the ibuprofen will have eased the headache some, the movement and motion will have done more. I have the chance to work, to chat with my parents and to live my life. I will work out for several hours today, intermittently. The only medication that seems to send the headache packing is my own exertion. By the time I go to sleep tonight, my legs will ache from the amount of time I have spent on the exercise bike.
Tomorrow I will do it all again.