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Monday, February 13, 2012

Brain-Thudding Thoughtvomit

For the past few years, I've gotten these intense, disabling headaches at fairly random intervals, without notice or warning, that can last anywhere from forty minutes to nine hours. My very sweet and concerned mother insisted that I get a check-up (nothing) and then a visit to a migraine specialist (nope) and then an optometrist appointment (my flinchy phobia of all things ocular made that exciting, but still nothing) and then an MRI, all of which led to the diagnosis: Uh, hmm, well. Looks like you just get headaches. That sucks.

There were pills for a while, but they were huge and chalky and they never seemed to do much anyway, so I eventually threw my hands in the air and resigned myself to an extremely easy and luxurious and blessed life with the occasional bout of cranial misery. I'm a healthy person, I'm a happy person, I'm a lucky person. But the pressure and pounding in my forehead is making me effing insane right now.

Maybe if I sift out some of my thoughts and dump them here, there will be more room in my brain? While I'm not sure if these pains are directly related to stress, having a lot to worry about definitely doesn't make them any more pleasant. What I'm basically getting at, Blog, is that you get to be my medicine tonight. Or, rather, you're my external hard drive. Below are some of the thoughts-- in no particular order-- that I don't currently have room for in the main cabin of my head.

--The harder I work on homework and various projects, the more disastrous my room becomes. My sheet is a crumpled ball at the end of my bed, there are two teal teacups positioned about, my floor is scattered with headphones and pieces of embroidery floss and a single dollar bill and those horrible cardstock inserts from magazines that always fall in the bathtub. Cleaning would be an easy solution to this-- and would probably calm me down-- but movement hurts so shut up.

--I don't think I've spoken to a human being all day. I answered two phone calls (both from family members and both shorter than five minutes) and have otherwise done a spectacular job of playing Hermit Recluse Apparition Hobo for the twelve hours I've been awake. That's... not healthy. I need to get out of Ohio.

--I have to get my car fixed and schedule classes for spring and write a paper for tomorrow and get through this editing stage before Thursday and also wash this mop that was once my hair before an army of flies surrounds me like the kid from Charlie Brown.

--Did I eat anything that grew out of the ground today? At all?

And on a final, less pessimistic note:

--I really feel like I've found my calling in life with this job-- editing/writing for the book, making videos, connecting with people online-- and I'm so, so grateful that I get the opportunity to create things that mean something (whatever that is) to people (however many). There isn't a "but" to this, either. I just had to say it one more time.

...I'm not gonna lie; that really did make me feel a little bit better. My headache is by no means cured, but it's devolved from Volcano of Eye-Squinting Pain all the way down to Irish-Dancer-Bouncing-on-My-Brain. I apologize for being a disjointed mess tonight, but as always, thank you so much for being here to catch my thoughtvomit. I don't know where I'd be without you. <3


P.S. New Answerly video today! I had computer trouble and had to edit the damn thing TWICE in the span of eight hours so, like, I hope you like it.

50 comments:

elfarmy17 said...

(Really enjoyed the Valentine's day answer video, btw)
Hey, what happened to Presence? I enjoyed it so much.

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nate said...

Migraines are not fun, I have them, medical professionals haven’t been able to successfully treat them, and every time I tell someone I have migraines they go down a list of things I can do to make them “disappear”. I’VE BEEN TO SPECIALISTS, are YOU a specialist, NO? That’s what I thought. Do people think I just like sitting here in pain, I would gladly accept a sympathetic “I’m sorry” as opposed to your medical condescension. I tend to get pretty heated about the whole subject because I hate my migraines with a burning and fiery passion.

With all of that aside, HUZZAH for blog entries, book writing/editing, video production, and connection making. We’re all so proud (you know, in that weird, “I’m not your mother, or you friend, but I’m going out on a limb here and guessing that I’m not the only fanboy/fangirl or borderline internet stalker that feels this way.” Way). I hope your stresses are alleviated or somewhat masked soon. Know this, you change lives (stay with me here), you don’t even meet or see half of us, but you entertain and inspire others. You offer up your ideas hoping they make a difference in some way, and they most certainly do. Just keep doing what you have been doing, and we’ll all be here to support you in some way, shape or form.

Maggie said...

im sorry you feel like crap :( but thank you for giving me a reason to stop working on my misrable tom sawyer project.

cait said...

oh hayley, you human being. <3 just keep on doing what you're doing you lovely person.
best wishes for your migraines. they run in my family and i haven't had many yet but i know they how they suck.
happy valentine's

Kristen said...

hayley, your disjointed blogs are the blogs that make me feel better, because you make my feelings more human. i feel your 'chronic pain' pain as i have the same issue but with my stomach. oh and your answerly video... well i really liked it :D
feel better and best wishes going out to your paper tonight

Stefan said...

I hope you make it out of ohio. being of the nyc area let me say that nyc is the place to be for book type people. or so I hear. I mean I work at internet startups so what do I know.

sterff1face said...

As usual, your word-vomit is more interesting to me than many people's on purpose/thought out words. :P

Louise (@KayleyHydeArmy) said...

Hayley it's ok- the headaches are just the people in your brain having a party. All's good.

Seriously, though I hope it gets sorted out somehow. *Hugs* <3

Ariel said...

I've been struggling with those headaches soon and I finally went to a witch doctor about a month ago and I haven't had one since. I really suggest it!

Lydia said...

I go through fazes where I constantly get really intensely painful headaches too. It really does suck. The only answer I've been given is that I do it to myself by stressing about everything. I don't know whether that is always the case. I might try blogging about it next time anyway, in case it helps.

Feel better x

Anna said...

I'm in a similar position with headaches. They got so bad a few years ago I went to my GP and the first thing he said to me after examining me was "Well, the good news is you don't have a brain tumour!"
I was like... what?! I, um, never thought I did have! I never considered THAT!
But at the end he essentially said "There's nothing I can do."

AmyK7 said...

Absolutely no need to apologise for being a disjointed mess, it is always great to read a blog post from you anyway. I'm really happy for you, that you're doing so well with something you can call your career. :) That sucks about the headaches, I'm really sorry, Hayley. I'm sure you can always get through them though, and whenever you're feeling crappy just remind yourself that you are a Gryffindor, or something. That generally makes me feel somewhat better. :)

AmyK7 said...

Oh, and I forgot to say - I love your Answerly videos! I'm still in secondary school so they're obviously not aimed at me, but I always find them entertaining and beneficial. I promise all the editing you had to do did not go to waste and your hard work is appreciated. :)

Sara said...

I had been having similar headaches for the last year and I went through the same things- multiple doctors, migraine specialists, neurological tests, an MRI, and no one could tell me anything helpful. Until my doctor prescribed me a low dose anti-depressant. I still don't know if they are tension headaches, migraines, or something else but the amytriptylene has really been helping. It basically tricks my pain receptors into not making me feel pain. I don't know if it will help your headaches like it did for mine, but I figured it was worth letting you know! I know when I had my weekend-long headaches, I was desperate for any type of solution! I hope your headaches get better. Love your blog! (I've been reading for years but I've neve commented). And happy Anna Howard Shaw Day :)

Nicci Weasley said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughtvomit. As with any other kind of vomit, it always helps to get it out. (Believe me, I'm an expert on the vomiting. I even made a video about this weekend. Yep, seriously)
About the headaches: Have you tried a second migraine specialist? I mean, as I understand it, migraines are very individual, and it does sound very much like migraines!
Also, how about your sight? I don't know if you do wear contacts/glasses or what, but I've suffered from extreme headaches for long periods of time, and once I got glasses, it got SO MUCH better. I mean, I still get them sometimes but nowhere near as frequently as I used to.
Last thing: have you tried regular physiotherapy? That has also helped me.

Remember, you are ALWAYS welcome to spill out your thoughtvomit here.
<3

Rosanna said...

Hayley those migraines sound awful. I used to get horrible migraines that made me lose all vision and balance, have terrible head pain and randomly throw up. The doctors had no idea what it was and just sent me home with a box of pills too. Thankfully mine just disappeared after a little while, hopefully yours will calm down and go away.
It makes me so happy to hear that you love creating stuff/book editing, hopefully that means we can look forward to many lovely things from you in the future (and forever because you better keep blogging forever :D)

EJ said...

I can definitely relate to the frustration of going to see a bunch of doctors with no real result. It's frustrating beyond belief. Clearly though, you're making the best of a lousy situation. Never had more than one migraine myself, but my mom had them all the time when I was a kid so I know they're shit. I hope you're feeling better today.

Also, a Happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to you!

PS: very glad to see that you're blogging more these days. Always nice to read a post from you, it brightens my day. Best wishes!

Cindy Yin said...

I used to get incapacitating migraines that would really mess with my vision. I went to tons of doctors who could not find a rhyme to reason. I started physical therapy for playing-related injuries and the doctor theorized that my migraines were related to the severe neck and shoulder tension. My migraines have not come back since I started therapy!

Jen N. said...

Have you looked into trying a Naturopathic doctor? I know it sounds a bit wacky but I've been having similar problems and recently saw a doctor who specialized in naturopathy. Her methods were a little unconventional compared to what most of us north americans are used to but after my session with her she gave me several different vitamin and mineral supplements. I've already seen improvements not only in my headaches but in my overall health as well. So I don't know it's just a thought I wanted to suggest :)

Beth and Erick said...

I went to a neurologist for my headaches, and he gave me Topiramate to prevent them. I still had headaches after taking it, but previously I had been having headaches almost every day, so it was a MAJOR improvement. Sadly, I have to deal with them right now, cause I am pregnant and can't take ANY sort of medication to help with the stupid things.

Frankie Lynn said...

do you think maybe your headaches have to do with that thing you said you had before? you mentioned it after you made the video about your brain.

Bridget said...

Oh man. Yeah, I get headaches pretty frequently - although I know mine are purely stress-related and generally don't become migraines. But even so I've googled (can I use that as a verb?) different things I can do to fix them, but unfortunately there just really isn't much out there when it comes to a full-blown migraine. If it makes you feel any better I was going to celebrate Valentine's Day by watching Pride and Prejudice, but the DVD is scratched. Guess I'll just spend my time mindlessly playing facebook games... By the way, you should clean your room and take a shower as soon as the pain goes away - I always feel refreshed and ready to take on the world after I've vacuumed. :)

Brianna said...

I do hope your headache left rather quickly and hasn't made a return since!

It makes me really excited that you love what you do because I also love what you do and if you didn't do it all, then I would be sad. I'm so excited to see what's going to happen in your future! DFTBA, Hayley <3

Cynthia said...

I get debilitating migraines every now and then too. The only thing that works for me is Excedrin Migraine and a soak in the bath with the lights off.

Katie said...

Think of us as your good friends who hold back your metaphorical hair as you spew metaphorical barfs during your metaphorical sick days. And here, have some hypothetical chicken soup to feel better! ;)

Afton said...

Awe, Hayley I'm sorry. Lack of a diagnosis always stinks. First of all you can't fix the problem if you don't know what's wrong. Second telling people you just randomly have pain and there is nothing you can do to fix it almost always results in them telling you what you should do (and their helpful advice never works)

Alexis said...

Aww, Hayley. No amount of kind words can stop your brain from thudding, but hugs and love and rainbows and umm... Harry Potter and puppies...

Heather Toothman said...

I know I'm probably too late for the uptake on this but I used to get regular, excruciating, unbelievable headaches on a regular untimed basis. They went on similar to yours for about 3 years or so. I finally found a doctor who took me off my BC and that helped, A LOT. But the main reason they didn't work for me (caused the headaches) was because I have a high level for stroke although I have normal blood pressure. Why you might ask do I have a high stroke level. It might be genes but what it all boils down to is I FINALLY (just this past summer, in fact) got diagnosed with PCOS.
I know it's a long shot but I suggest you go to your OB/GYN for further study because headaches are a sign of so many different things that could be going on with your body. (It might also be the reason why your eyebrows are unruly as you've stated in a video). Now it might not be PCOS exactly but some other medical phenomenon. I thought you, and anyone else who suffers like you do, deserved to know.

Christina said...

I feel your pain on the headache thing. That pun wasn't intended, but I guess I mean that in the more literal sense, anyway. I've always been prone to headaches (since I was a kid) for a laundry list of reason and they got pretty severe last semester. They mostly cleared up, but I'm home for a semester anyhow.
It really sucks to not have an answer for them, though, so that must be tough for you, or something...I don't know. I suck at advice-ing but since I was trying to fix headaches/migraines for a couple months recently.
Also, not to try to be a doctor, but it might be worth it to see a chiropractor if you haven't.

kira902k said...

I'm sorry about the migraines. This was still a fun post to read though.
Hope things are going well.

Alex

scott said...

I think if you get a lot of people trying to diagnose you, it's not because they think they're medical geniuses. It's probably because they care for you, and they're just hoping they can help you out if there was some option you over looked.

I have a few suggestions myself, but I don't want to be another one of those people, so I'll just say: hope you get it figured out and feel better.

Anonymous said...

Those headaches sound awful!

A friend of mine was getting really bad headaches a while back. They were so bad she couldn't even get out of bed to go to work. She got diagnosed with 'cluster headaches' and she was prescribed some sort of injection thing which she inserts into her nose when she feels one coming on. It seems to have helped her.

Julia Rose said...

That's horrible! I get pain-related headaches and nausea that just add to the pain! I just feel like all around crap when I get a headache. But Chronic Headaches? That really does SUCK(for lack of a better word)! I hope you feel better and that these nasty headaches become a bit less nasty.

Julia Rose said...

What happened to Prescence? Was it just too much to handle? I really liked that blog. It would be amazing if it was resurrected!

FEEL BETTER!

Julia Rose said...

What happened to Prescence? Was it just too much to handle? I really liked that blog. It would be amazing if it was resurrected!

FEEL BETTER!

Stefan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

Hope you feel better, your thoughtvomit was lovely to read. Not kidding.:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Hayley. I promise this isn't spam. I guess I am just a concerned blog reader, long time admirer of your work. You should check out bestdoctors.com. Maybe they can help you with your headache problem. All the best!

Anonymous said...

I get chronic periodic migraines (genetics suck) but they diminished practically to none, when I tried a gluten free diet. I went to many neurologists, but they never figured out that I was allergic to gluten. you might want to give it a try.

Best of luck :)

Anonymous said...

I get chronic periodic migraines (genetics suck) but they diminished practically to none, when I tried a gluten free diet. I went to many neurologists, but they never figured out that I was allergic to gluten. you might want to give it a try.

Best of luck :)

Catherine said...

Hi, I get migraines too! I get blurred vision for 20 minutes and then the most ouchy headache known to man. They really suck - remember to take breaks from working on your laptop a lot as I think mine are caused by eye strain from using laptops for too long. Also reducing the brightness setting on the screen could help. Hope they dont get any worse. Also, im new to your blogs/youtube videos but they make me smile a lot :)
x

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