Any sort of physical health issue isn’t good, but one that robs you of the pleasure of your favourite hobby? That will challenge in ways something else may not. Since the end of July, I have spent perhaps 10 hours gaming, not really out of choice, but due to frequent migraine attacks, far more persistent and severe than I have been used to before.
For those unfamiliar, according to Wiki “Migraine is a chronic neurological disease characterised by recurrent moderate to severe headaches often in association with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms.”
The last few months of my life have been spent having severe headaches, losing my sense of balance, being unable to focus/concentrate on anything for longer than 30minutes, feeling nauseous, tired, dizzy, and sensitive to light and sound. I’ve also at times, been unable to finish sentences, and had difficulty finding the words I want to say, or said something, only to be advised that I’ve said something completely different to what I thought that I had. It all sounds rather depressing and I really don’t like the vibe reading this may promote, but what I want to be clear is that migraine is so much more than the headache…in my case of late…the headache has been the symptom I have worried about the least.
When you’re 31, your face feels numb, and you can’t read the book you have in front of you, you may start to feel a little scared.
Thankfully after a lot of persistence, I have been referred to see a Neurologist, put on some preventative medication (jury is still out on this so far) and sent for a scan, which I’m waiting for. I’m doing OK, but it has limited me in some aspects of my life;
- I can’t drive for longer than 30 minutes, and not really at all in the dark.
- Gaming sessions are, for the most part, short and infrequent.
- Too much noise, or a busy environment means I have to step away from a situation.
- I’m spending a lot more time sleeping and resting.
However, more interestingly, my sense of smell has become heightened so much that I can tell you the leaves that make up the salad someone is eating on the other side of the room, I’m starting a trend of wearing sunglasses indoors, and I’m getting a lot of cross stitching done due to my inability to sit in front of screens gaming.
A couple of things that have been useful to me in this challenging time have been the Migraine Trust website – a wealth of information and fact-sheets, as well as summaries of research and various treatments. And for days when the migraines ease and I can bear to look at a screen f.lux software, which makes the colour of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Finally, a migraine diary for anyone who wants or needs to keep track of symptoms and possible triggers. Anyone with tips, experiences or resources, please do share via the comments box. Until I’m back to my healthy self, I’ve decided that my heightened sense of smell is simply a sign that I am becoming one of the X-Men, then things don’t seem so bad after all!