Sunday, September 16, 2012

Waiting to spout fangs

Saturday morning, a miracle happened.  After three and a half months of grueling Texas heat, a cold front blew through, bringing rain and temperatures cool enough for us to give our AC a much needed rest and open up the windows.

As the cool air blew through the house, the kids played in the back yard squealing with delight, and I could almost taste fall. 

Right up until that invisible hammer grabbed what I can only assume was a tent stake or railroad tie and jammed it under my right eyelid and directly up into my brain.

And just like that, my perfect Saturday became a migraine Saturday.  But unlike most migraine days, this one came with an amazing revelation.  As a quickly wrapped a blanket around my head and ran for the back bedroom to shield my eyes from the hideous light of the day star I was all of the sudden struck with the similarities between people suffering from chronic migraines and vampires.

I realize comparison may seem like a stretch for some of you, so cut me some slack and hear me out.  If you have never experienced a migraine or aren't closely related to someone with chronic migraines, this post probably isn't worth the next five minutes of your time.  But, if you are like me and have 3-5 migraines a week, or if you are like my husband and have to live with someone with chronic migraines, keep reading.  If you have seen as many doctors as I have,  you've probably heard stranger diagnoses.

Chronic Migraineurs Vs. Vampires
A completely non-scientific study completed while lying in a dark room after taking migraine medicine in the middle of a migraine. Results should in no way be substituted for actual advice from real doctors or real vampires.

Sleeping Habits
Both migraineurs and vampires prefer to sleep in dark, cold, quiet places. On most days, both creatures will shield their eyes from the sunlight at all costs.  While they are sleeping, they prefer not to be disturbed.  In fact, disturbing either a migraineur or a vampire while they have retreated to their dark, cold quiet place could very well unleash an unpleasant monster on the unsuspecting victim.

Social  Habits
Both migraineurs and vampires tend to feel most at ease when they are around their own kind.  I believe this to be true because it prevents them from having to make excuses for or lie about who they are. And every one around them understands that they may look fine at one minute and at the next they may disappear completely.  Also, among their own kind, it isn't considered rude to back out of a commitment at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sensitivities While the two creatures do not display sensitivities to the same items, both creatures can be completely disarmed by items that one would find quite simple to make or acquire.  For instance, vampires are thought to be sensitive to garlic, holy water, crosses, and wooden stakes. Migraineurs, on the other hand, can be taken out of commission by the scent of  perfume or a candle. Caffeine, chocolate, weather changes, artificial sweeteners, and the big one, red wine will also completely knock out a migraineur for as long as 48 hours.

Vampires are frozen at the age in which they were created, so some get to keep the good looks of the prime of their lives while others are stuck in a pre-pubesent body and still others would have been ready for the retirement home.  But their bodies become perfect specimens of whatever their age.

I can only speak for myself, but I have had chronic migraines for 8 years and I look like I've aged about 20 years during that time. Many days I could pass for one of the undead - although probably more in the zombie than vampire category.  So chalk one up for the vampires in the win column in this particular category.

If recent teen movies and Ann Rice books are to be believed, vampires have the option of leading a rather long and normal life (now that Abraham Lincoln is no longer tracking them).  They do, however, have to continue the nasty habit of drinking blood in order to survive.  And I am both ashamed and proud to admit I have not seen all of the Twilight movies, but I think they may have some type of werewolf issue to work out. 

Migraines, on the other hand, are not life threatening, although they are, I content, life altering.  This is especially true when they are chronic, which means you get more than a few headaches a week and your headaches prevent you from normal function.  So, we too must partake in our own nasty habits, including regular doctor visits, trying new medications, as they are continually releasing new preventative and abortive medicines for migraine sufferers.  There are also plenty holistic options out there including acupuncture (kinda vampiric), neuro-massage, and herbal therapy.  Make sure you let your doctor know any new treatments that you start.

Going back
There are a few books I've read and movies I've seen where the vampire wants to become mortal again. I've never met a migraineur who doesn't want to give up his or her migraines. And like their undead friends, most migraineurs will pay almost any price to get there.  That is why we try any new drug, any new treatment, this herb that helped our cousin's hairdresser's friend, yoga, green tea, etc.

And if I ever meet some clear skinned, shiny eyed man who promises me my migraines will go away if I just drink a spoonful of a thick red substance, you better believe I would think twice about it*.  And after you've had a tent stake pounded into your eye for 13 days, throwing up until your stomach is so raw you have nothing left to throw up, so you just lie on the bathroom floor waiting to die, you would think twice about it too.

Because getting rid of the migraines would be amazing.

But having fangs.  Now that would be epic.
*Before all of my sweet Christian friends get angry, know that this post was written in good fun.  I don't actually believe in vampires.  I don't desire to become a vampire, and I am not teaching my children that they should wish that vampires would come make mommy's head feel better.  This is my sense of humor, otherwise known as my coping mechanism.  I think when God allows us a time of suffering, he also allows us a time of laughter.  I've been sad long enough.  Time to laugh.


  1. Ah, my migraine twin! I like that we now have a name for our breed -- the migraineur. It makes it sound so much more classy than those flaky, grumpy, whiney headache people. Sounds like we might hang around in cafes and drink absinthe -- which I sooo would if I thought it would help the headaches...

  2. We should definitely do more hanging around in cafes. I seem to recall both of us having far fewer headaches during the days we spent on the roof of Cool Beans. Coincidence? I think not.