I’ve awoken without a headache. Phew. It’s been two or three days of severe pain in my head that has been almost unbearable, at times. As difficult as that has been, what many people, who do not experience migraines, will not know is that the recovery process is also gruelling and takes sometimes several days.

To clarify, I have been awake since 6am. It took me around twenty minutes to get myself out of bed, as my body hurts. Before I have my Parkinson’s medication, I am experiencing the rigidity and slowness that the disease causes. In addition, I have spent the past few days of migraine; triggered by dystonia that comes with my Parkinson’s, in very contorted positions; my body tight and tense while in severe pain. I awoke this morning having pulled a muscle around my left shoulder blade and lower back. Unless I remain in a weird position, the torn muscle rips and hurts like hell in a spasm that hits like a sudden wave of pain. Eventually, I manouvre myself to several steps of becoming upright and I get out of bed, leaning over to one side to minimise the worst of the back pain.

With Parkinson’s, the symptoms are worse when you are at rest, so we are encouraged to keep moving. This is why I rarely spend an evening simply sat on the sofa, like most people, in front of the tv. I’ll watch an hour or two of a tv show and then have to go and do something else, that keeps me active and moving. When a migraine hits, you can do little other than sit in various contorted positions of agony as you try hard to cope with the explosion happening in hour head. That’s two or three days of my body in tension, in hunched over agony and discomfort. All of the daily stretching I do and the movement of walking and doing daily tasks have stopped, as I react to migraine.

This leaves Parkinson’s symptoms free to do their worst. Rigidity of the muscles excells itself and becomes the number one Parkinson’s symptom that takes the lead. Now, here in the aftermath of my migraine, my body feels as I imagine it might after having received a good kicking. I cannot straighten my body yet, for the rigidity is too severe. I have a lot of extra physiotherapy to do, now, to just get myself out of this tense state and back to free flowing movement; at least to a degree that is normal for me.

I am sat, at my computer, with my coffee and my upper body is twisted to the left, my hands cannot fully open even though I am typing (with a couple of fingers) and I am breathing only shallow breaths for I cannot even expand my lungs for a full breath, yet. Twinges of head pain occur and this gives me a sense of trepidation that the onslaught of violent head pain may not be over; though I think it is done. That is just fear.

I am gently trying to move and stretch, every few minutes and the pain is intense. Imagine having sat in a cramped and tense position for hours and then you move for the first time. You know that feeling, when your body has to be teased to gently get going again, That is like this, but this is amplified and far slower to recover from.

I am not yet able to speak fully. This will return to me as my face and mouth regain their comfort and ability to move; speeded up by the Parkinson’s medication. I anticipate that it will be sometime this evening that I will be functioning with less of a battle and less pain. I imagine that it will be evening that will see me more comfortably able to speak without causing jaw pain.

Provided that I get a good sleep overnight, tonight; which requires my REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder symptom of Parkinson’s to behave, then tomorrow should see me awaken to feel like my usual Parkinson’s self, without much of the effect from migraine continuing. This was not a ‘bad’ migraine, in that it lasted just two or three days. The migraines that last for a week are the ones I dread. All going well, this one has done with me and I can now progress the experience of recovery over the course of today and maybe tomorrow. The part that takes the longest to recover from is the exhaustion I am left with. It will be three or four days before I start to feel the exhaustion wain into tiredness and then simply back to my usual level of sleep deprivation.

What next? I will finish this blog entry and attempt to turn in my chair and stretch out my hands, arms and legs and will begin the repetitive process of stretching until change happens. Bit by bit, I will build on this through my day and hopefully I will get a nap here and there, to catch up on the deep, restorative sleep I need. I will try to get on my exercise bike this evening and hope to sing a song, in order to get my voice back; which is weakened from lack of use these past few days.

I chuckle, for I know I will be moving around in zombie-like ways until the agility returns to me. My dogs have already given me looks of concern and curiosity as I made my way down to them earlier this morning. They have been unsettled by my agonsising groans during my headache and by my sunglasses being attached to my face, while indoors. Bless them.

Onwards, What does come with this reprieve from migraine is a massive rush of optimism, motivation and keenness to crack on with life. So, I’ll close here as I need to get the body working in order for me to carry on with my daily life! A big thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support, while I have writte about, posted about and made photographic art representations of migraine, these past few days in my breaks from pain. I hope to increase public awareness of Parkinson’s Disease.

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