I used to get migraines a lot when I was in middle school. Something about changing hormones and going through puberty was the culprit I think. After that I would have them sporadically here and there. I remember having one when I was on a trip to Europe and I ended up staying in the bus all day while my traveling companions went and explored Monaco that day. I had a friend take pictures for me so I could have some memory of it.
I had a couple of migraines in college, and again during my first pregnancy. The latest one was at the end of last year when I was administering the state tests to the students at school. Good thing they were quiet and occupied. I begged painkillers from fellow teachers and sat at the desk all day glaring at the students and trying to breathe. Then I had one yesterday; my first experience having a migraine while taking care of my children.
For me, a migraine comes on in stages. First, my body will usually give me some type of warning sign when I''m about to get one. Some random part of my body will go numb, like a fingertip, or my big toe, or my bottom lip. It's weird. That's my first signal to get some drugs in my body as soon as possible before the next stage of the migraine hits.
After something goes numb, my vision starts to go. I can't focus on anything and I have a hard time seeing anything clearly. It's like I've looked at the sun, or had my picture taken with a bunch of super bright flashes. If I look at a clock or a phone, I can't see the numbers. Once in middle school I had a migraine and went to the office to call home. They handed me the phone and I had to have one of the office staff dial for me because I couldn't see to do it.
After the vision goes, I get really loopy. My brain gets fuzzy and I just can't think. I look at an object and forget the name of it. I can't form complete sentences or speak coherently. I remember one episode where I was trying to remember the Yankee Doodle song and couldn't for the life of me remember what the words were. It's like I'm on some mind numbing drug.
Then comes the pain. My head just pounds and pounds and it hurts so bad I get nauseous and just want to crawl into bed with all the lights off and fall asleep so the pain goes away.
Eventually it will end, although the amount of time the pain lasts will vary. Usually I've pumped myself full of some type of painkiller to make it end sooner.
Yesterday I didn't feel the first warning sign like I usually do. Maybe I was too distracted trying to keep Baby from smothering Baby2. Or too sleep deprived. Whatever the case, I noticed I was starting to lose my focus when I tried to look at things. Then it just went downhill from there. I dug through the medicine cabinet and found some Excedrin Migraine (Husband keeps it on hand. I was looking for ibuprofin, which I normally take, but saw the Excedrin first. I've never taken it before, but it seemed like a good choice at the time. I mean, it says "Migraine" on it) and took a few capsules. I tried to read the directions, but couldn't see them, so I took a guess (two tablets is the norm, right?). I was hopeful it would kick in soon.
Then I started to get loopy.
Baby kept asking me to do things with her and for her and I couldn't focus to help her. I remember trying to tell her she needed to finish her waffle, but I couldn't remember the word "waffle." She made a mess on the floor and I looked at the vacuum, but couldn't remember what it was called. In my head I was trying to put sounds together but it just didn't work.
Blindly I texted a few people to see if they could come get Baby so I could try to rest and hope the Excedrin kicked in soon.
Then Baby2 had a nice blowout in her diaper. I was worried I would trip when I picked her up, but I was okay. Instead, I had a hard time wiping her bottom because I couldn't see it. I was asking Baby if she thought I got it all, and she was somewhat helpful.
I think the Excedrin made me jittery as well, due to the caffeine. I haven't had caffeine in who knows how long due to pregnancy and breastfeeding. I made an exception today. Anyway, instead of laying down, I felt like I needed to do something, so I tried to straighten up what I could see in the house, while my head started to pound. I gave Baby whatever she asked for so I wouldn't have to try to think and form coherent sentences while my head was pounding.
Then the toilet in the hallway bathroom decided to overflow. Like, seriously. It came over the top, flooded the floor of the entire bathroom, made it's way into the hallway, and across the hallway and into Baby2's room. Of course. I grabbed whatever towels I could find and laid them out everywhere, while Baby followed on my heels saying, "I'll help you Mommy!"
Eventually my dad replied and said he could come take Baby for me. By that time my vision was starting to return, but the pounding was still there. Oh, and nausea too. I didn't want to throw up into the other toilet for fear it would overflow too, so my plan was the sink or garbage can. Luckily I didn't need either one this time.
Baby went with her Papa while Baby2 took a nap and tried to eat something and drink a ton of water.
Then I decided to consult Dr. Google to see if taking Excedrin Migraine was a good idea while breastfeeding. I probably shouldn't have done that. Apparently it is bad. It contains three main ingredients: acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine. Acetaminophen is ok in small doses, as is caffeine. Aspirin is a huge no-no. Apparently it's linked to Reye's Syndrome, some terrible disease that can be fatal. Nice.
I looked up the time that aspirin gets into my milk, and of course every website had a different opinion. Some said immediately, others said it peaked at three hours. Another website said it peaked at six hours. Another site said around nine hours. Then I tried to look up dosage amounts and if I only took it once what the possible side effects would be on the baby. Most sites weren't very helpful. They basically said to avoid it while breastfeeding.
So now I'm a tad bit paranoid and hoping I didn't break my baby. I'm scrutinizing her for any rash or any indication that she is having an adverse reaction. And praying. I'm probably overreacting and she'll be fine, but that's what you when you're a mom.