One of the main reasons I started this blog was to dispel the plethora of myths and misconceptions surrounding migraine. I’ve ranted twice on this subject. A common misconception is that a person with migraine must be a middle-aged spinster who spends all her time with 12 cats. Before you read any further remember this is not true. It is not true I tell you. People with migraine can be under 35, cool, married, polygamous, and like dogs too. Just because they like cats and may be single and have migraines does not automatically um….
The point is I just got a kitten!
(If you’re vaguely interested he’s called Chipster after my favourite brand of French Crisps (for American readers that’s chips not French Fries) and my sister has a kitten called Scampi…)
A week ago today I had the second round of injections on my neck, which I’ll describe properly at some point. I’ve been building up to these injections for over 6 months now, they’re the main reason I’m on Topamax as we knew they were going to increase the migraines, even though the hope is they’ll decrease them in the long run. Anyway, this past weekend was pretty miserable and I cried so much I could tell Mum was feeling rather sorry for me. I seized the opportunity. Mum was sitting with me, trying to comfort me and between sobs I stammered, “Please… Mummy…please…can…I get…a kitten now, it will help”. Without even pausing she replied: “Of course you can my darling.”
Mwah ha ha ha. Can’t believe she fell for that! Anyway, I have discovered that cats are basically vibrating hot water bottles that you don’t need to reheat and are ideal when you feel unwell. I’m also pretty sure there is scientific evidence stating that people who have pets are less likely to die of hearts attacks. I read it in the Daily Mail once so it must be true. In all seriousness, when you have to spend hours alone in pain with a migraine I thought it just might be nice to have the company of a soothing pet.
I also had high hopes that my Migraine Buddy (the kitten) might be like those epilepsy dogs that alert their owners to attacks by barking. Maybe my new Migraine Buddy would meow, or fetch my Triptans a couple of hours before a migraine was coming? Would it even know the day before? Would it somehow usher me to bed knowing I needed rest to avert an attack? Cats are very intelligent creatures.
So, on Tuesday night Dad and I drove off to a dodgy suburb by Heathrow and got lost trying to find the house of a ‘breeder’ he’d heard about at a supermarket. I feared for our safety but by now I was getting an over-excited Tension Headache. I could tell it wasn’t a migraine as the pain was all over my head and radiating from both shoulders - migraines are characterized by their one sidedness (educational fact for you). However, seasoned migraineurs will know that any headache: sinus, hangovers, ice cream headaches, will most likely turn into a migraine if you’re prone to them. I knew the clock was ticking.
To cut a long story short, we found the ‘breeder’ (a guy with a pregnant cat) and I had to choose between two very cute fluffy ginger kittens. It was like Sophie’s Choice. I got a migraine.
And my dreams of a super intelligent Migraine Buddy who would magically fetch Triptans and sugary snacks from my handbag, and bring comfort and calm, have been replaced with sleepless nights and a complete state of anxiety. I don’t know how people have real life babies. I’ve had two left sided migraines and two right sided migraines since getting Chipster four night ago, mainly because he wants to sleep on my head, which is bad for my neck. My neck that is undergoing treatment which I’ve been preparing for over half a year!
Her photography skills are not renowned but don’t my nostrils look lovely?
I also paid for Chipster with my Virgin Atlantic American Express Credit Card, so now he will also have given me the gift of Airmiles.
Do you have a Migraine Buddy? Maybe a human one? I know migraineurs who have friends or relatives who can tell before they can when they’re going to get a migraine.