The Vampire Within


migraine awareness month 2014

June 2, 2014 prompt: Read the poem “A Bed of Clouds” by Ashley L. May. Ponder, react, and respond to it. The following is an excerpt from the poem…

“I dream of happiness, a life without pain,
Some people say I’m stuck in this place,
And I’ll never go anywhere,
But in my dreams I’ve already been there,
I know some day I’ll have to wake up,
But I feel the real world is more like a nightmare…”

While sleep is most certainly a refuge for many Migraine Warriors, it can also be a cruel mistress, eluding us when we need it most. The term “painsomnia” comes to mind: insomnia caused and/or worsened by pain. Often, my migraines make it too painful for me to sleep. Additionally, many medications used to treat migraines contain caffeine and/or steroids, both of which are notorious for amping people up rather than calming them down. I have the added bonus of having adverse reactions to many medications often used in the treatment of migraines and nausea associated with migraines. It almost seems like a cruel trick. It is at this point that distraction becomes my only option; tossing and turning creates nothing but anxiety and frustration.

People often wonder how migraineurs (a fancy word for people who have migraines) are able to be on social media during a migraine attack. The answer is simple: a dim screen on a tiny phone in an otherwise pitch black room helps us to feel less isolated. We are often conversing with others going through the same situation, providing comfort, empathy, compassion, and friendship. Just as you cannot truly understand what it feels like to give birth until you have done so, one cannot truly understand what it is to endure a migraine until he/she has suffered through one. Rule of thumb: If you are unsure as to whether you’ve had a migraine, you haven’t had one. If you “think” you “might” have had a migraine, you haven’t had one. Migraines are not subtle in revealing themselves.

I was inspired to write my own poem as a result of today’s prompt.

“The Vampire Within” by Michelle Tracy

Flashing lights before my eyes

Squinting up at stormy skies

Raindrops sound like tenor drums

Ears explode from gentle hums

Stomachs dip and twist and sway

Nausea can’t be kept at bay

Dizzy swirls and pricking shots

My head feels like it’s tied in knots

Heartbeats fast and throbbing now

A tear rolls down, I whisper “How?”

How will I make it through this day

I’m fighting demons, come as they may

The dark and cold, they beckon me

I’m hiding from the world, you see

Migraines are a lonely place

Obscuring even the brightest face

We all have dreams, what could have been

Were it not for the Vampire Within


3 thoughts on “The Vampire Within

  1. ctracy

    I never really understand how much you suffer until I read something like this. I wish I could take away your pain, but I can’t, but I can try to be more comforting and understanding. I love you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely brilliant post and beautiful poem! I can identify with everything you wrote.

    Love what you said about the computer screen. When my hubby comes home and finds me in bed in the dark (80% of the time I’m like that), he asks if he can open all the windows and blinds or sometimes just does it. He does so out of love cause depression is linked to low levels of vitamin D, I’m becoming more and more depressed as the years go by and I get very little sunlight. I’m gonna show him this post.

    Anyhoo, to the point. He doesn’t understand why the light stays off and the blinds and windows are shut, but I’m on the computer lol :). And I tell him the same thing, I turn the brightness down. And say if I have to lay here waiting for these meds to kick in I’m going to go out of my mind. When I have a #10 however (my number ten is a headache so bad I don’t think, but I hope I will die and I’m vomiting in intervals), I can’t do anything not even sleep until the pain subsides a bit.

    Again thanks for sharing. Beautifully done. I look forward to the rest of your posts for this challenge.

    – Skylar


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