This one does not equal that one

comments 22

I’ve not posted much about anything going on in my every day life recently. Mostly, because it’s the same day in and day out. Thrilling, huh!

Though something came up and I feel the need to unload. See, I have an issue. An issue with people who misuse the word migraine. You see, I’m a migraine sufferer unfortunately. I don’t get them as often as I used to. Which I’m grateful for. But they’re still a charming occurence in my life. Friday morning I woke up with one mother of a migraine, which has crept into my weekend. Which I am of course, eternally grateful for. (You get the sarcasm there, right? It’s so hard to get sarcasm across on the Interwebs!)

Thing is I hear the word migraine thrown around so much. If you can sit at a bloody computer or watch TV and complain about having a migraine, you haven’t got a migraine, you’ve just got a very bad headache! Which I can sympathise with, but it’s not a bloody migraine.

Migraines for me consist of crushing, throbbing pain on the entire right side of my head. Not just the top of my head, but around my eye socked, jaw, nose, the lot. It hurts. Then I also get the fantastic ability of being unable to move my head without making the entire world spin and shift about causing whatever I ate wanting to make a quick, sharp exit from my mouth. It’s charming. Then there’s my eyes. My usual perfect vision is all gone and I’m left feeling like Mr. Magoo. Only less funny. More angry. Like if you cross The Hulk and Mr. Magoo.

All I’m left with is lying flat on my back, in my bedroom just waiting for everything to subside to a point where I feel more human. It does, but like I said with my latest one, it sticks with me for a few days. I feel drained and it’s just not a very nice experience at all.

I always find it hard to tell work that it’s a migraine that’s stopping me from getting to work. Or letting friends know that I just can’t go out with them. I’m scared that people just won’t understand. Unless they’ve experienced one too. I’m not saying we’re in a secret club, but don’t be dismissive when someone says they have a migraine. Also, don’t just use the word migraine when that’s not actually what you have.

I guess this could go in my “rant” folder or maybe even “public service announcement”. If you have a bad headache, you have just that. Migraines are NOT bad headaches. That’s just one of their symptoms! So please people, remember this. I’ll be eternally grateful! And so will all the other migraine sufferers out there.


  1. Sounds horrific. Never had one, never said I’ve had one and really, really hope I never have one. And therefore never have to say I’ve got one. That make sense? For good measure, I hope you never have another one.

    • Makes perfect sense… though makes me feel a little dizzy making sense of it!

      I wouldn’t wish one on my worst enemy. Well… maybe my worst… but not anyone else!

      Now I need to find a worst enemy.

  2. Gosh Jaina, I hope they subside for you as you’re such a positive person, I hate to see anything drain you. Wishing you good vibes and no more migraines!

  3. Hope you are feeling better and won’t be getting another one. I have had migraine only a couple of times, thanks goodness, but know what it’s like.

    I am also annoyed when people say they have flu, when they just have a cold. If they can log on to Facebook and say they have flu, they haven’t, since flu is a highly debilitating infection.

    It’s good to have a rant. I do it quite often.

    • It’s exactly that same thing! Flu isn’t a bit of a cough and a cold.

      Sadly, I know I’ll get another migraine. It might not be next month, or the month after, but they’re never far off in my future. But, I know a couple of things now to help me get through them.

      Ranting is therapeutic. Otherwise things just fester.

  4. I hear you on this one. I’m prone to cluster headaches and since they’re less-known than migraines, it’s doubly hard to get people to understand that no, I can’t just take a pill and be fine. Had a particularly nasty one (roughly three months) my junior year in college and was about ready to throttle people when I got back… really got an idea of how whiny some people can be. “Oh, I have a headache”… Dude, if you’re upright and able to use both eyes, you’re really not all that badly off. I don’t mean to be dismissive of the pain of a sinus headache or a tension headache or any of the other “bad” headaches; they’re unpleasant, sure. But it’s an unpleasantness that can be worked through, unlike a migraine or a cluster headache. Those take a person out of commission until it finally subsides for good.

    Glad to see you’re feeling better. Hope the remission period is a long one.

    • Ouch! I know about cluster headaches and lucky to have never suffered from one.

      Three months?! JEBUS! That is rough. How on earth did you get through it?

      I’m really sick of people complaining on twitter or facebook or wherever that they’ve got a migraine. If you can bitch about it online you really don’t have a migraine. Gets me so annoyed because it makes people think less of the issue of serious migraines and cluster headaches.

      I remember I was once asked what a migraine feels like by someone who’s never had one. When I explained they then said, “ahhh, so it’s like being hung over”. Ugh.

      • Yeah, that term was pretty much a loss. Just tried to do what I could in between the spikes, and buried my head the rest of the time. That was the worst cluster I’ve had, hopefully the worst I will have. From what I’ve been told, some sufferers have episodes that last a year or more. I’m comparatively “lucky” in that most of mine don’t last more than a week.

        I can understand someone complaining online that they think they’re getting a migraine during the early stages if they’re one of the lucky ones that have warning signs… though I’m still half inclined to think “So get off the computer already, it’s only going to make it worse.” But once it starts, yeah, I don’t see how someone with a true migraine could stay on the computer during that. A cluster, someone could use a computer in between spikes if they aren’t too wiped out, but my understanding is that most migraines are essentially constant until they subside (if I’m wrong, let me know). But still all the general whining about things just makes people who aren’t prone to serious headaches think that the ones who are are just being over-sensitive.

        Basic problem with medical issues, I guess. If people haven’t experienced it for themselves, it’s really hard for them to get the full picture. Heck, I’ve never been hung over (non-drinker), so I don’t know what that actually feels like. πŸ˜›

        • Year or more!? Ok, my often times 4 day migraines are looking light compared to these bad boys!

          Yep, if you feel a migraine coming on and you’re watching TV or sitting at a computer – STOP! It’s what I do.

          I think migraines differ from person to person, but yep, they’re constant until they just go away. Mine usually work their way into a mild headache after a day or two, which sticks with me for another few days. But that I can cope with.

          See, I think I’m a bit mean. I have no sympathy for people with hangovers – they bring it on themselves! (I’m a drinker, but never been heavy enough to have a hang over!)

          • Yeah, I’m pretty sure the nastier types of headaches are different for everyone (the milder ones probably are too, for that matter). For me, the clusters usually just start and stop without any other kind of headache leading into them or leading out. Every once in a while I’ll get an “optical migraine” before a cluster — basically the aura symptom of a migraine without the other aspects — but mostly I’ll just be minding my own business when half my head explodes. And when the pain stops, I don’t really have any way of knowing whether the whole cluster is done, or if I’m just between spikes, other than just guessing based on the timing.

            I’m with you on the hangovers. If people want to drink, fine, but if they make themselves sick, that’s their doing, and their problem to deal with. I gather it’s pretty miserable, but it’s a misery they chose so it’s hard to drum up much sympathy for them.

  5. A-GREED!

    I also end up suffering from migraines that knock me out for a day at the least! and when I hear people talk about having a migraine and being at work, or updating their facebook page, it bugs me too.

    from seeing “snow” in my field of vision, to just lying there with a cold wet washcloth on my forehead as my brain, which will not shut up or stop thinking, keeps me from sleeping. And not being able to take medicine until a few hrs later when I know it is safe to do so, only because by then I have brought up any of the contents in my stomach and won’t repeat it so I know the medicine will have a chance to work in my system.

    “bad headaches” are nowhere near qualifiers for the “fakegraine” complainers!

    haha. I loved this rant and I hope that you feel better. I feel for you.

    • It’s been a rant that’s been bubbling under the surface for a good long while. It just erupted!

      Snowy field of vision? Oh dears πŸ™ I’m grateful that I’ve never felt that. My vision just blurs insanely and I can’t focus.

      You know it’s funny. I thought this rant of mine would have gone un-noticed and archived away in the “Jaina is a crazy” folder. I don’t feel so crazy anymore!

  6. I had a headache the other day that was probably about 1/100th of a migraine but that was bad enough (whole right side of my face in agony, feeling like I was being stabbed in the eye and back of head which went on for a couple of days despite taking all the painkillers I could) but at least I could keep going with it. I have a lot of sympathy for migraine sufferers, especially as I’m also a sufferer of one of those other ‘invisible’ conditions that non-sufferers don’t understand… no, having CFS doesn’t mean you’re ‘just a little bit tired’!

    Hope you have a long old stretch between this and your next one.

    • Just a little bit tired? Dear me! So hard to get just an ounce of understanding sometimes.

      Very, very occasionally I can feel a migraine coming on and successfully get it deflected. My mum’s given me some tips and hints and just all out telling me what to do in case i can feel it coming on. But 99% of the time, it knocks me out.

      Bloody stupid human bodies!

  7. I know exactly what you talk about. Luckily I don’t have them often, but when I do it’s horrible. They usually start out with me seeing a blind spot (usually while I’m at work), which means I have to try and rush home before it fully sets in. Then it’s straight into bed and hoping I fall asleep as quickly as possible so I don’t feel it. With me it’s only during that day and at the end of the evening it has gone. Like you say, it’s definitely not the same as a headache.

  8. Oh you poor thing! I hope today is better Jaina, migraine is no fun. But hey, hopefully ranting about it helps a little πŸ™‚

  9. I empathise. I get migraines and I also get bad headaches. Migraines are on one side of my head only, usually include nausea and freaky vision occurrences. They start with a blind spot, which is nice in that I know what’s coming before the really nasty stuff and act accordingly. Then there’s the jagged lines. Then the pain and nausea. Afterwards, I can feel washed out and my vision is wonky for days. But bad headaches can be equally persistent, and include nausea, just not one-sided and no vision problems. Both are lousy!

    • I sometimes think/wish if migraines weren’t so one sides, maybe it’d help balance things out and not be so bad!

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