Tag Archives: migraine

I Have Covid [Day 8]

So I have had exactly eight days of Covid symptoms. It began on Day 1 Wednesday 16th February when I woke up with a sore throat. Jack, my young son, had Covid at that time – it was his Day 6 – so I know exactly where I got it from. It seems schools are an absolute caldron of infection with the children passing infections around like sweets. And those sweets always end up with the parents of course. If ever there’s a more deadly version of Covid I’m taking my kids out of school immediately. It’s where all our illnesses come from.

Yesterday I had a raging, awful migraine. It was so frightening because of how rapidly it hit. I’d say it was about half an hour from feeling okay to feeling in a lot of pain. They don’t normally come on so quickly. A few weeks ago I had a private consultation with headache specialist Dr. Shazia Afridi, after a disappointing and very unpleasant NHS appointment with my (male) GP who sneered and shouted at me for daring to ask questions about migraine treatment. During the course of our excellent 45 minute discussion Dr. Afridi told me that Covid makes migraine worse. I was so glad to have had that talk with her and to know this about Covid because I’ve had two migraines in six days, which is frequent even for me. Six days prior to testing positive for Covid I had also had a migraine so in total that’s three migraines in two weeks, which has been truly awful. It’s difficult to distinguish a real proper migraine from the normal Covid headache at first because pain is everywhere in your body, but when it starts to morph into agony just above the eyebrow you suddenly realise what it is and rush to swallow a triptan. Sadly by then it’s a bit too late and the stomach is already in gastrostasis meaning the tablet won’t get absorbed quickly because the stomach’s not digesting effectively any more. It means longer in agony and longer to battle the rising panic before pain relief slowly ebbs in.

After taking the triptan yesterday, getting to bed early and sleeping long and well, today my Covid symptoms have dramatically lessened! I can say that right now, 9:30am, I only have mild tinnitus, congestion and a cough. The congestion is all in my head stuck solid, but there is loose congestion in my chest which I cough up regularly. But that’s it for now. No other symptoms. In the old days I’d easily go to work or the gym with just congestion, but I’m still in self-isolation. I tested positive on my LFT this morning and it’s my legal duty – until tomorrow!

Yes that’s right, self-isolation laws for Covid come to an end tomorrow, my Day 9. I will still be coughing and will almost certainly still test positive. Today’s test was strong and immediate so I doubt it will suddenly be completely gone tomorrow, but legally speaking I can go out and mingle again – get my shopping, go to hospital, visit my parents… But of course I won’t be doing any of that. Just because there’s no law against it doesn’t mean to say I’m doing it. I wouldn’t dream of going near my elderly parents and I’m going to continue to stay at home, go nowhere, do nothing. It’s boring now, after eight days, but my infection was so strong that I would be very concerned about giving it to someone else if I treated tomorrow as my ‘Freedom Day.’

At least the most awful suffering part of the illness has passed and my appetite has returned. I’m convalescing. It’s curious that I never got the fatigue that a lot of people complain of. That wasn’t part of my experience – just the predictable tiredness from lack of sleep.

So that’s my dispatch for today. I may wait a few days and file my last report about my Covid when I feel my symptoms are over so that there’s a record of exactly how long it went on for and how long I continued to test positive. If there’s any relapse or anything bad happens I’ll write about it when it happens. In the meantime, I’ll go back to my ironing and watching ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race Versus The World’ – the ideal antidote to dreary Covid isolation days.

Ocular Migraine

I think I’ve just had an ocular migraine for the first time in my life. Here’s what happened:

A small smear appeared in my vision, like a tiny thumb-print on a pane of glass, which then started slowly expanding. Wherever I looked, it was there to the left side of my vision, but I had the impression it originated in the centre (and moved away every time I tried to look at it). Then it developed flashing rainbow edges, very bright and jagged, which expanded outwards more and more, until, after about 10 or 15 minutes it disappeared. I got the impression it expanded so far that it went outside my field of vision.

It was terrifying. I thought I might be about to have a stroke! But later, when I texted my friend and happened to mention it, she was able to tell me what it was straight away. It’s migraine with aura. And this is the aura. Migraines I’ve had for years and years, but this vision disturbance is brand new to me.

My friend also told me I shouldn’t be on oestrogen HRT if I have aura because there is an increased risk of stroke. All I can say is thank God I’m already almost weaned off the HRT. I’m just doing half a pump of Estradiol gel now (and taking progesterone tablets to protect my womb). I can’t wait to be off all this artificial hormone stuff and go back to my natural state. Hot flushes are far preferable to strokes.

One of Those Weeks

It’s been one of those weeks. I’m plagued by migraines and battling with trying not to take too many triptans. Because OF COURSE, the medication to prevent the pain of a migraine causes severe headaches as a side effect. I mean, any other side effect in the entire world would be fine, but headaches as your punishment for trying to prevent headaches? Well that’s just stupid!

I had to have an MRI on my lower back and pelvis and my claustrophobia took over. I did warn the radiographers about the possibility I might freak out but they didn’t put me in the wide bore machine (I didn’t know there was such a thing until they told me AFTERWARDS). The tube I needed to be put into was so narrow and long that I cried and panicked and had to stop the procedure. In the end I did manage to get the scan done in entirety but it was touch and go and such a lot of drama and sweating and worry. And I got a migraine of course.

When I got home there was ANOTHER speeding fine waiting for me. I had been snapped doing 39 in a 30 on a lonely country road where they had inexplicably put up permanent average speed cameras. I had never driven that road in my life before (the satnav failed and I couldn’t see because I need glasses for the screen but no glasses for driving. It was a nightmare with the glasses going on and off every few seconds). I’m especially short of money this week, I’m not sure I even have enough to pay the rent. A speeding fine was the last thing I wanted. And I already have six points on my license.

Then I got an appointment through with the date I need to have a mole removed from my back: exactly the same day and time as my son is booked in to the dentist to get his mouth measured for braces. What can a single mother do? It’s LOCKDOWN but I can’t be in these two places at once, and changing appointments is not something you do these days. Appointments are like gold dust. If you cancel there won’t be another one for MONTHS. So I’ve had to ask my ex-husband to take our son, even though it mixes our two households. But I don’t have a choice. Single mothers rely on help from family and friends merely to get by and have a normal life.

The weather is awful. It’s dingy and GLOOMY and very windy and rainy all day long. Day light arrives reluctantly and vanishes as soon as possible. It’s 10:00 o’clock in the morning and yet we need the lights on inside the house. I need to do something to buoy me up so I might rifle through the garage to see if I have any fairy lights I can put up. Fairy lights are sparkly, cheery mood enhancers. And I’ve decided to put the Christmas tree up at the end of November. We need to do everything we can to keep our spirits up.