So. Today is a migraine day.

Benjamin P. Taylor
4 min readJun 15, 2022

And it’s another one of those personal posts, I’m afraid.

Tudor Barker, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Is the lesson ‘feel sorry for me, for I am afflicted (and possibly sorry for myself)?’ or ‘don’t feel sorry for me, for I am strong and self-reliant — but obviously *especially* strong and self-reliant because I have this extra special thing’ — or is it just a general ‘I’m quite special’, or ‘everyone has something going on that you don’t know about’? Read on to find out…

Oh bloody hell, making the migraine-free period a ‘phase of migraine’ is a bit grim!

It started about aged eleven. I remember at a particularly sunny school sports day, glancing at the sun and getting a long-lasting white spot, which transitioned into a raging headache. Then, surprisingly regularly, I’d notice scary blind spots in my vision and sometimes flashing jagged bands of scintillating light and colour. Inevitably these ended with me being sent to the school nurse for aspirin. Which, to be honest, was a welcome relief from the classroom at times — a good reason to suspect psychological elements to my malady. It was the crushing headache which didn’t go away until the next day which got me.

Those were, you will have deduced, migraines. It’s a nasty condition with a cool name — the recognised name for sufferers is migraineur, donchaknow, and a tiny bit of cache because it’s stubbornly resisted being really pinned down and fixed.

Well, that’s fascinating

The bad part is that, usually twice a week, at some point in the morning I get the sense that it’s happening. If unchecked, subtle visual effects, a slight queasiness and slow-down of my stomach, sensitivity to light, the desire to sit all day under a cool shower, a sense of doom and misery, and a one-sided headache follow.

The great news is that I have medication. I pop a pill and within an hour or so, the sense of dread and misery subsides and I’m left with a different and entirely manageable set of symptoms.

I am a little bitter that it took until I was 19 to diagnose symptoms. Just like with a similar story about a ruptured anterior cruciate, to be told after eight years ‘ah, you have absolutely classic symptoms!’ was a mixed blessing. But I have it under control, as long as I have access to my medication, so it’s no longer a big deal.

Please don’t offer advice — I’ve tried 30% of everything, and given up on the journey. Yes, triggers include citrus, chocolate, marmite, cheese, alcohol, dehydration, coffee, too little sleep, too much sleep, extreme stress or guilt, relief of stress (one doctor said ‘hmmm, well one option is to maintain stress levels’, which I have taken to heart), flashing lights, and on and on and on. But, whatever I do, I get about two a week, usually on the weekend or days after big deadlines or the working week.

JoanDragonfly (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It was much much better when I followed an extreme, extremely healthy, diet and regime. And quite a lot better when I work long hours and take a coffee as soon as I wake up.

Hmm. I don’t want any of these things, thank you

But anyway. My point is the final one in my options above. Everyone is dealing with some stuff going on for them, and you never really know what it is — nor should you, necessarily.

Everyone’s trying to show up, do their thing, live their life — so whether you’re in #management, #humanresources, #technology or whatever — please remember that there’s a base load of stuff being dealt with — and try not to add to it unnecessarily 😊

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