So on Monday of this week I suffered the worst, most horrible, incredibly painful migraine I've ever experienced. While I had something of a prodrome all afternoon, I think my brain was holding out on me. About five minutes after I got home from work I crawled into bed and couldn't do much more than vomit for the rest of the evening. I tried to get up to help with dinner and bedtime but I wasn't really good for much and ended up sicker for having gotten up. It was really bad- like my head was splitting in half, with horrible nausea, and this overwhelming ringing in my ears which wouldn't go away. I've had bad migraines before, but nothing like that where I was so nauseous I couldn't move. The aftereffects lasted the rest of the week- nausea, a migraine-like pain every morning upon rising, and just general neurofunkiness. It basically took me out for most of the week.
I've had a long history of migraines, so it's not so much a surprise that I'm having migraines. Right now I get a pretty predictable week of headaches the week after my period. I don't take any medications for them other than a cup of coffee when I'm feeling one coming on. I'm still trying to figure that one out- I don't want to drink coffee for too many days consecutively because I don't want to become dependent on the caffeine, thus causing more headaches. The headache I had on Monday was the tail-end of the week of migraines, which is why i didn't really pay close attention to the prodrome during work. I didn't want to drink more caffeine that day after 4 or 5 days of coffee, and I thought if I could just get home I'd be okay. Not so much. I didn't have a headache yesterday, so hopefully things are mellowing out again, although I did wake up with a headache this morning. But the morning headaches seem to go away pretty quickly.
One thing that I keep wondering about is the cause of this headache. Was it anticipatory stress, since I had a pretty brutal schedule this week? Or was it a food trigger? I've been able to isolate certain foods which are definite triggers for me, including caffeine, sour flavoring (flavors sprite and other lemon-lime treats), and others. I used to think that MSG was a trigger, but that remains to be seen. I've yet to identify a clear relationship between MSG and migraines. I'm starting to think that maybe those foods I thought were triggers aren't after all, because the classic triggers don't really affect me (stinky cheeses, wines, etc. well, I get migraines from alcohol, but I haven't noticed much of a difference between wine and liquor).
So if food and eating habits were a major component of migraines, then does that mean there's a relationship between the worst migraine of my life and my new fancy vegan diet? Unfortunately, this is something for which more data is needed. Does that mean I have to endure more terrible no good migraines before I can conclusively deduce that no animal products = migraine city? Or do I need to tweak my diet to include some mysterious ingredient I'm not currently getting (B12?). I hate the idea of inviting more migraines in, but I'm also sort of disappointed that I'm even contemplating this whole thing.
I had hoped that this was the magical cure to all my life's problems. At first I thought my skin was better and I was losing weight like mad. In the past two weeks, my skin has broken out horribly, I'm suffering from head woes, and my weight is just not melting off like I had hoped.
And with the less than spectacular start of month two, I've been finding myself wondering if this isn't the right direction for me. I need to watch Food, Inc, or something equally critical of modern agribusiness to remind me of the other reasons for taking on this lifestyle. I'm still sticking to it, but I am getting mighty bored of the bean burrito only vegan option at all of New Mexico's delicious restaurants.