Migraine Art: The Migraine Experience from Within
I’m someone who suffers from migraines. I’ve probably visited the hospital emergency room at least ten times since the age of twelve when I first started to get them. The last time it happened I was puking, snot was running down my face and I was crying. They gave me, I was told, something like ten IV doses of Fentanyl—that’s enough to stop William Burroughs or Keith Richards in their tracks—and it didn’t even put a dent in what I was feeling (nor was it even in the least little bit fun). For the lucky people who’ve never experienced a migraine, these are not your average really terrible headaches. They’re much worse than that. A headache is a “one” and a migraine headache is a “seven” on up. Imagine the pain of an ice pick gouging out your eye for several hours or a jackhammer beating your brain non-stop until you want to explode. Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen does nothing to relieve it. The pain is something else, definitely in its own category and incredibly difficult to put into words. That’s why I find these artists depictions of what a migraine feels like so spot-on. You don’t need words. You just look at them and you get it.
They’re lovely in their own way, and yet as a migraine sufferer, I find them kinda discomforting, too. Trust me, I can relate to each and every one of these.
I do take medication that helps me when I feel one coming on. But if you miss that window of opportunity—meaning, it’s in pill form and you might vomit up the pill before it takes effect—you’ll have to ride it out. It can take hours or even days for the excruciating pain to go away.
Artist: Michael Bolls
Below, Migraines: Not Just Another Headache: