I have suffered from migraines since I was about seven years old. In my case, they are extremely hereditary. My mother has them. Her grandmother Moore had them. So do my sister, her three children, and a few of my cousins. In my family they primarily effect women, but my nephew will get them, so will a male cousin.
There are stories that some people know when they are getting one. You hear tales about auras, sparks, changes in vision, different things for different people. About 25 years ago, I discovered in the morning, when I first woke up, I would have a touch of double vision, and a little difficulty focusing. This, for me, was an indicator that I would have a massive migraine before the end of the day. I also discovered I could pop 3 Advil and go back to bed, and basically sleep one off. (I am allergic to all forms of opiate based pain medication, acetaminophen and aspirin).
During the day, if I get double vision, I know one is coming. I grab a couple Advil and hope that is enough. I also discovered three Advil and a margarita would knock a bad one. So does Champagne. With the onset of menopause, I rarely have one.
My migraines would either come in the form of a knock-down drag-out nearly incapacitator or just miserable cluster headaches. Mine had a tendency to be cluster headaches, that would strike everyday at the same time. They were not bad enough to go home and knock myself out, but just enough to make me miserable.
Now, the only time I really get them is when I haven’t eaten all day.
I have seen my mother have them so badly she would need to be knocked out with a shot. The only reason she would not be hospitalized with them is because we had a family friend who was a physician. Either he or his nurse wife would come to the house and administer a shot for her. She would sleep for about 18 hours and be fine the next morning.
I have a friend who had a legendary one about 12 years or so ago. He was in Mexico visiting friends. He and his girlfriend had a huge fight, broke up. By the time he reached the border in El Paso, he was having one so violently it was as though he were drunk. He was losing his vision with it. Fortunately several of the Border Patrol agents knew him. One simply told him to park his Porsche. They put him in a BP truck and drove him over to a motel. He slept for nearly 24 hours.
My mother’s migraines began tapering off after she had a little TIA stroke. They were reaching the point that the precursor to one was almost like a stroke. We learned that a migraine is about the constriction of blood vessels in the brain, almost like a stroke. After a while the brain can’t handle it and the pain begins. (That’s an over simplification of the whole process). Once my mother went into heart failure and her pacemaker, along with blood thinners, she’s not had one in 6 years.
They are caused, quite often by a person’s inability to deal with the stress in their lives. That is my pop culture version of Migraines 101. Once you learn what the stress is, in your life, or what is causing them, you can deal, much easier, with them. I know one person who stopped having them after a divorce. Mine just about completely disappeared after I closed my business. When my mother would feel one coming on, I would mention the stress factor. “Deal with what ever it is.” My suggestion was often not well received, but it worked.
Migraines should not prevent a person from being President of the United States.
This said, when a woman is Michele Bachmann’s age, and is getting them, allegedly, on an almost weekly basis, that puts something in her life she is incapable of dealing with.
Regular migraines are either caused by some serious medical disorder or by stress. If it is not a medical disorder, this woman has something going on in her life she cannot deal with, emotionally. I’ve never met anyone who has migraines this seriously who did not.
Anyone who suffers from migraines the way Michele Bachmann does has my full sympathy. It makes my head hurt, just thinking about it. I have made no secret that I think she is the GOP version of Barack Obama, unqualified and getting a free pass from the right, the way Obama did the left. This said, having a problem with migraines is not a disqualifier. What it does say is this is a woman has something going on in her life that is putting such stress on her that she cannot cope any other way.
If this is how she handles stress, it is possible she may not be capable of handling the stress of the job. You can’t keep (allegedly) going to the hospital and basically being knocked out on a weekly basis. It just doesn’t look good. It makes women in politics look bad – and that has been my big complaint about her all along.
Now I do have a headache, just thinking about her! I’d better deal with it. I keep telling myself she cannot win the nomination, she cannot win the nomination. There…. I feel much better!