Saturday, May 6, 2017

Quick Thoughts of Bacon Vol. 8

I have suffered from migraines for years. I think I got my first one when I was twelve or thirteen. Since then, I’ve had them on and off, at least twice a month. A doctor once told me that they start to subside after forty. I’m over three years into that decade, and there hasn’t been much of easement on the headaches.

Migraines are a different kind of headache. People who have never gotten a migraine cannot possibly understand the intensity. Sinus infections are bad. Hangovers are too. But a full-blown migraine will knock you straight on your ass. Any ray of light is excruciatingly painful. Any sound above a whisper seems like it's going to burst your eardrums and pound into your brain. Speaking of the pounding of the brain, there are some points that you just want to pull the top of your head off just to relieve some of the pressure that builds and builds.

Sometimes, I’ve had such bad migraines that there have been moments where I could not see out of at least one eye. Other times, I’ve had floaties in my vision. There have been occasions where the pain from the migraine has been so great, that I’ve been sick to my stomach and thrown up. I’ve had headaches for so much of my life that I’ve learned to function with headaches that would put most people on their backs. If I’m hunkered down in a dark room with a headache, you can better your bippy that it’s a bad one.

Throughout my teenage years, I would get a migraine and stay home from school. My parents let me stay home, but I guarantee that they thought I was faking because I just didn’t want to go. I’ll be honest with you and tell you that there were some of those days. However, 99% of the time, I was in agony. I just needed darkness and silence.

Over the years, I’ve tried various pharmaceutical means to alleviate the pain associated with migraines. They all worked for a little while, but eventually couldn’t even touch the pain. I’ve tried holistic medicines. Some have worked. Some have not. The only medicine so far that has even touched the pain of the migraine was a free sample that my doctor once gave me. It was a mist that I had to spray into my nose. It was instant relief. The pain was gone. The problem was the drug was very expensive and our insurance refused to cover it. They said it was a vanity drug, not something vital.

So, what does work? Let me tell you, I have my own miracle cure that seems to be working well. And it has worked well for years. A greasy cheeseburger and a Dr. Pepper works wonders. Within half an hour, the pain is mostly gone. I can function again. There have been days where I’ve fired up the kitchen grill to cook myself a burger for breakfast. It’s not a great breakfast, but if I want to get anything done during the day, it’s what I have to do.

I’ve learned over the years that there are some things I just cannot eat. They are triggers for migraines. The two biggest things on the list that are guaranteed to bring on a migraine? Milk chocolate and ham. I love M&Ms, but unless they are dark chocolate, I cannot have very many of them. Cured ham is one of my favorite foods at the holidays, but whatever they cure it in puts me on the fast track to migraine-ville.

I have also discovered the more I exercise and the more weight I lose, the less frequent the headaches come. Sometimes I get on a roll and spend a lot of time exercising, but I always fall off the wagon. Then I get mad at myself as I suffered through repeated migraines. If I eat better, they don’t come as often, either. Sometimes, you have to do things you don’t like just to make sure you can love comfortably.

I hate migraines. I hate not eating what I like, too. There needs to be a balance. I need to get back into that balance so I don’t spend days in bed. While sometimes that can be fun, there is no fun when you’re suffering through a headache.

Some people think Craig Bacon is a headache. He begs to differ. Maybe you just need a cheeseburger and a Dr. Pepper.