Your First for the First
Today’s Prompt: Share the story of your first Migraine, what it was like, if you knew what it was, what you did, how you felt.
Just imagine getting your first migraine before you even start kindergarten.
I think I was too young to remember my first Migraine attack. What is seared in my memory is the first time someone reacted inappropriately to one of my attacks.
It was first grade with Miss Wilhite, a stern, elderly woman who took no grief from any student. She was not inclined to accept any behavior that interrupted her regimented routine. Apparently my Migraine Attack was just such an interruption. The class had formed a line in the hall outside the classroom when the attack hit me. Waves of pain and nausea crashed over me like ocean waves in a storm. The fluorescent lights seared my eyes. I had difficulty resisting the urge to curl up in a ball on the floor and scream in agony. Instead I raised my hand and walked to the front of the line when I was acknowledged. I quietly told Miss Wilhite that I had a headache and needed to see the nurse. She sternly refused my request and ordered me back to my place in line. When I returned, the girl next to me asked what was wrong. I started to quietly explain when I felt a sharp “thunk” on the top of my head send shooting sparks of pain through my head. Miss Wilhite had followed me and thumped me on the head with her fingers…a discipline she was known for that was encouraged to maintain order. My eyes filled with tears mostly from physical pain, but also from emotional pain that I had lost the favor of a teacher I had tried so hard to please.
The memory ends there. It is likely that I was eventually allowed to see the nurse and lay down in the dark. I may have even been allowed to go home. I have enough other memories to piece together what likely happened. As a child I was viewed as “fragile” and “weak” by those who loved me. Others saw my “headaches” as “attention-seeking” and frequently ignored me until I became so ill that I vomited on the floor in front of them. I was 24 years old before anyone would suggest that these Migraine Attacks were a chronic, incurable illness that could be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. 24 years of Migraine attacks before a single person would tell me that it wasn’t a character flaw or moral failing that caused the Migraines.
National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by www.FightingHeadacheDisorders.com.