Weekly Update: Migraine on the Train

Yesterday, I got up at about half 5, having not slept much, to get a few trains back to St Andrews. I got to Euston no problem. Then I got to Kings Cross no problem, although it was a rather long walk from the underground to the railway station. And I was disappointed that I didn’t have time to go find platform 9 and three quarters (it is at King’s Cross, right?). And I had a ditsy moment looking for Coach A because my ticket said ‘Seat 56 A’ and my thumb was over the ‘Coach E’. (I asked a guy in Coach B where it was, seeing as I’d run out of train, and he said there ‘usually’ isn’t one because trains ‘usually’ end with Coach B. By ‘usually’ I’m sure he meant ‘always’ but was too polite to point out the fact that I was being an idiot.) Coach B was the quiet coach so that all worked out for the best because two hours later a migraine hit.

I sensed it before I actually saw anything but I thought I might have been imagining it and finished my chapter. It took a while for the aura to appear. Then it wasn’t the usual blurry ‘C’ but a sort of blurry line. But I knew a migraine blur when I saw one, no-matter what shape. I had a brainwave. A doctor once told me I couldn’t go on the pill because I have migraines with aura and the aura has something to do with thick blood passing through the brain and a possible side-effect of the pill is the thickening of the blood so me + pill might = stroke. Back to the brainwave. I decided I’d try to thin out my blood and downed my whole bottle of water. Sounds a bit crazy now I’m writing it down but when you’ve got the migraine blur all you’re thinking is: ‘how can I stop this from happening?’ and you will try anything. I’ve tried keeping my eyes closed for the entire period – not that that does anything – you can still see the blur – but I’d try it again. You never know.

I waited until the headache settled in before taking some paracetamol, which hasn’t worked since I was 18 but again, you never know. It didn’t work. The migraine got worse. All I could do was try to sleep and hope it would pass quickly. Preferably before I had to change trains because how could I haul my suitcase and rucksack around without vomiting, otherwise? Even shifting position made me want to vomit. I had to run to the toilet and retch a bit at one stage.

The migraine was at its worst about twenty minutes before my train got to Edinburgh. Somehow I managed to ignore it and get to the next train. I even managed to get an earlier train than I’d expected. About half-way along that journey I started to feel better. Somewhere far away I was hungry and the nausea lifted. By the time I was on the bus, my head no longer felt like it was being crushed. It still ached but the pressure wasn’t there. Or rather, it was more like I was being stood on or someone was pressing my head down, which is an improvement. I didn’t feel 100% right until this morning, despite having a nap when I got in. And I had a book to read for today’s seminar. I’m sure you can imagine how much fun that was with a migraine hangover.

So that’s why I didn’t blog yesterday.

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