The first migraine I ever had was at age 40 in June 2005.

I was driving home and started experiencing something like light flashing in my peripheral vision. It got worse to the point I couldn’t really see. Half my face and my fingers started going numb. Of course, I thought I was having a stroke. As I got home, the pain started in my head. I called my sister, who is a paramedic and lived across the street from me. She checked all the signs of a stroke and sent me to the hospital. They ran tests, including a brain scan, and found nothing. The diagnosis was migraine! What, I went to the hospital for a migraine? They gave me pain killers and sent me home. I was embarrassed, but I had never had a migraine and did not realize how painful they really are. My first migraine lasted four days. I missed two days of work and a volunteer function that I participate in annually.

Recently (June 2009), I had my second migraine. The first one was so traumatic for me that I remember distinctly how it started – with an aura. So, when I had it again, I knew I was about to have another migraine. I took OTC pain medication and went to bed. I slept for 4 hours and woke up with throbbing in my right temple behind my eye. Later, I took some more medication. The next day, it was not so bad.

For those of you who suffer regularly, I understand now. Before, I just thought, oh, you just have a headache. But this is not just a headache! [Tweet this.]