Life of a Migrainuer

Disclaimer:  I’ve dealt with migraine issues for most of my life.  Thankfully, though, migraine has never defined my life.  However, you’re going to see an unusual focus (starting with the title!) on migraine, due to the nature of this website.  If I were to give a general overview of my life, I would certainly use a different title and focus much less on migraine.  Though the emphasis may be different, the story itself is all true.

Part 1: Childhood of a Migraineur

Actually, I got off to a rather traumatic start.  First of all, I really didn’t want to leave the womb.  This resulted in hours and hours of labour for my poor Mom – and I blame it all on my own stubbornness.  Finally, the doctor just had to … well, to put it bluntly, open her up and take me out.  (Seriously, I’ve heard traumatic births can cause physical problems down the road)

I had a collapsed lung, which thankfully blew right up normally in no time.  But we won’t get into the other problems surrounding my birth.  My Dad’s car broke down that night, in the rain.  The mechanic later said he was lucky something hadn’t exploded in his face.  Soon after, someone at our house told my parents that the it was a miracle the furnace hadn’t blown up the house.  To top things off, when I finally was allowed to leave the hospital, a blizzard hit.

So my first month in the "real world" wasn’t dull.  Good thing I had lots of time to sleep it off.

I first lived with my parents in a very small town (maybe a couple hundred people?) in Ontario, Canada.  It was a beautiful area with lots of hills, lots of green trees in the summer, and snow up to the roof in the winter.

We moved further south to the town of Dunnville, Ontario before I was old enough for school.  Dunnville (home of the internationally locally famous Mudcat Festival) was a much bigger town – a few thousand people (wow – the big time!).  Here I started my academic career with preschool.

Both my parents were people of faith in the Bible.  Or, I should say the God of the Bible.  They introduced me to the Gentle Healer at a young age, and that faith has been with me ever since.

Throughout my childhood my Dad was a teacher and a pastor.  My Mom had been a nurse, but left nursing and was involved with my Dad’s work, while trying to control the wild kid at home.

All right, so I was a bit of a loud obnoxious kid.  But give me a break – I was an only child.

We moved again – this time just north of Toronto.  This is where I spent significant number of my growing up years.

Actually, I had a good family and a good childhood.  I enjoyed soccer (football), baseball, music, drama, and writing.  It was here my acting career began, when I impersonated Lou Costello in a performance of Who’s on First? (I was the skinniest Costello you’ll ever see)

Childhood of a migraineur

When did I have my first migraine attack?  That’s a difficult question.  I didn’t suddenly have an earth-shattering attack (I did have earth-shattering attacks, but later).  For me, it was a matter of sometimes not feeling well.  I couldn’t explain it, and really wasn’t entirely aware of what was happening (kinda hard to explain to your Mom why you can’t wash the dishes when you’re not even sure yourself what is wrong!).

They say that very young children – maybe even babies – have migraine attacks.  I was still a young boy in elementary school when I wrote this on my ruler during class:

It’s December 21
I’m at school taking up Math
I’ve got a headache
It’s 4 days ’till Christmas
It’s Fri, last day of school
I’m chewing gum
It’s 10:16
4 minutes to recess
I feel sick

So did I have migraine as a child?  I’ll probably never know.

But it was really as a young teenager that I first remember this sick feeling that I would later call a migraine attack.  This would have started when we still lived in Ontario.  But it wasn’t until the next phase of my life that a real live diagnosis would come.

Continue to Part 2: Diagnosis

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