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Friday, February 18, 2005

What is an Aura?

You hear migraneurs talk about having an aura before a migraine hits. It sounds like some sort of new age term, something flaky and not real, something weird. In fact an aura is a very real part of migraine and is jargon for the symptoms leading up to a full blown migraine attack.

My aura typically includes the following:
Nausea
Extreme Chill
Seeing flashing red spots
Seeing lightening bolts
Fatigue
Grouchiness (believe it or not, I'm not always a rageaholic, lol)
Difficulty concentrating
Desire to be alone (I'm a sociable person, so this is contrary to my usual personality)

I have an aura today, so I know that my migraine is going to get much worse. I won't be surprised if I end up in the ER over the weekend or, if I can hold out that long, in the doc's office by Monday morning.

The symptom I hate the most is the horrendous nausea that I get. I don't usually throw up. I wish I did, because I always think it would relieve some of the nausea. But, I take alot of medications for my IBS with constipation that push everything downwards, so I can never get anything to come up. I've even tried to make myself throw up and I can't. Unfortunately, I do get the dry heaves sometimes.

Oh, too graphic for you? Well, I'm glad. I want people to understand what migraneurs go through and it seems the only way to do that, the only way that you can possibly understand is if you can see it so poignantly that it is engraved in your mind until you can feel it yourself. So, don't turn a blind eye to the graphic descriptions. Memorize them. Open your mind and heart until you feel it in your own body, so that you may cultivate the compassion and empathy to understand our plight. Our plague.

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