I got hit with a migraine today, but not a bad one.
In addition to migraines, I also get severe tension headaches. Pain relievers work for both conditions, but the Imitrex nasal spray only works on the migraines. I tend to stick with the analgesics because of that – the Imitrex only works about half the time.
I don’t get auras. (I did once get one. It looked like a pink and powder-blue paisley pattern.) My migraines normally start off feeling just like a tension or caffeine headache. It’s only once the nausea and pounding kick in that I can diagnose a migraine.
My self-treatment usually starts with upwards of 500 mg of ibuprofen (I use a generic, but most people call this Advil). If that doesn’t help, I move on to the narcotics. I used to have a prescription to Percocet, but I had to take more and more to soothe the pain, so my doctor moved me to Dilaudid.
Percocet contains a powerful narcotic, oxycodone, that runs the risk of addiction, as Rush Limbaugh could tell you. To me, it’s just another pill. I’ve never felt the slightest inclination to take one except for pain relief. Then again, the pills don’t affect me the same way they do most people. One of my roommates also suffered from migraines, and took a Percocet. The pill made his arms numb. The Percocet only makes the inside of my nose itch, physically, and behaviourally, it loosens my tongue. I’m a quiet guy, but on Percocet, I jabber like a parrot. I rarely feel high on the pills – I need to take them on an empty stomach for that to happen.
The Percocet use got to the point where I’d take four or five, spread over two-pill allotments an hour apart, to get rid of a headache. One time last year, I was up to seven over two and half hours without relieving the pain. I went to a hospital ER, where they put me on an IV of something and helped me out.
Today, I started with 400 mg ibuprofen and a cup of coffee. An hour later, I took another 600 mg, and after that, one Percocet.
Now, three hours after the first pill, I can finally get back to correcting student work. I still have some head pain, but I’ll grind through it.