My First Migraine

Yesterday afternoon, I was at my desk working away, and then I observed a strange sensation I had never experienced before. A big bright spot appeared in front of my eyes, making it impossible for me to read my paperwork or see my computer screen. Then about a half hour later, the big bright spot disappeared, and a headache in the front of my forehead came on.

Now that I could see my computer screen again, I did a quick internet search, and the “aura” followed by a headache were telltale signs of a textbook migraine. I found that naproxen sodium was supposed to be helpful, so I took a couple of Aleve and called the doctor’s office to make an appointment for the next day (fortunately my off-Friday from work). Thankfully my headache wasn’t as strong as other migraine sufferers have reported, so I was able to finish off the work day.

My quiet bike commute home, partially in sunlight through the suburbia, with the latter half through the darkness in the canyon, provided some relief. But I was feeling worse again after I returned home. Clearly I was having some sensitivity to artificial light.

This morning I went to the doctor’s office. The doctor was fully booked, so my appointment was with the young nurse practitioner.  (Well, at least younger than me, and I am in my early 40s.) That concerned me at first, but I felt better when I found out she was a migraine sufferer herself.  She did a bunch of tests that resembled sobriety tests, such as following her finger with my eyes and touching my nose with my finger. It was comforting to know I didn’t have any other symptoms such as loss of peripheral vision.

The nurse practitioner suggested I start a log of my headaches and come back to the office if they kept recurring. I was surprised to find a list of iPhone apps for headache and other chronic pain logging. I installed Headache Relief Diary, we’ll see how that works out. I like how there’s an option to email the headache log. I also downloaded a few other recommended medical reference apps from that list.

I was also due for my annual eye exam and needed to order new glasses, so today I took advantage of a last minute cancellation and squeezed in an afternoon appointment with my ophthalmologist.  I told him about the migraine, and he suggested that eye strain could be a trigger, given that I have a lot of computer time at work and that I’m at the age where the eyes start to change. He may be on to something if I’m getting my first migraine in my early 40s.

I still feel blessed with excellent health, not taking any regular medications, good weight, good cholesterol, etc. But, oh, to have a medical annoyance to deal with! We’ll see if this is a one time fluke or a recurring problem to deal with.