A migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s an inability to move, an inability to lie still. It is a complete inability to function. Remaining still, I am trapped in my pain, trapped with swirling thoughts. How long can I endure this? Wrestling with the thoughts, I can not let them win, for as they do my heart rate increases, and the thumping intensifies in my head. The only option is to pass out. Reduce one’s self to a medically and sanity preserving trance. I imagine this to be a similar result Marie Laveau induced in her Voodoo ceremonies. Rendering me a human both awake and alert, yet detached from my own self - my own pain. If I’m lucky enough to escape away into this trance, I hope for the outside world not to bring me back. A buzzing text on my phone is enough to create both cognizance and utter pain in the same moment. The flash flood of pain pouring into my skull, necessitating the need to move - the very thing that will make it even worse. But with movement comes the chance at relief. A well stocked medicine drawer with prescribed options, and because those fail so many times out of ten, a well stocked alternative arsenal. Magnesium, electrolytes, peppermint oil, chamomile and mint teas, a still point inducer, ice packs, always ice packs. My freezer of ice packs rotating faster than a carnival, certain choices more comforting than others. I grab the one my Mom made, because she made it. Because it’s exactly what I need. Heavy, sumptuous, cool, calming, and enveloping. I tell my brain to tell my feet to walk back to bed. My feet lurch in a ridged pattern, one turned out, the other not bending in time. Hands thrust violently into walls to keep my fragile body from slamming into tables, the floor. I grasp my head, waiting for the momentary rush of symptoms to pass. The lightening storm in my skull, twisting both speech and eye site. Momentarily blind, I make it back to bed. I lie down to calm the worsened pain that standing caused. Stabbing pain settles in my eye sockets, my thumbs reflexively jab into pressure points. My eyes will be bruised tomorrow from the involuntary thrusts. There is both a freight train and eerie silence in my skull. The kind of silence that makes you wonder if YOU will ever return from this. Can not think about that now. Stress makes things worse. For now I think of my breath, the cool on my forehead. I focus on these and will myself into another trance, for next time I come to, the horror might be gone. A migraine is not just a bad headache, but a momentary destruction of your life. But, life is never sweeter than when it passes. And this, I remember when I am in the trenches.