Cat pee and watered down lemonade

No, they don't taste the same. I don't think so, anyway. But I bet the title caught your attention.

I get migraines. I know, lots of us do. I used to get only ocular ones. They were cool; my eyes would go wonky on me and I'd see zig zags of white or squiggles or see blank patches in my field of vision. No head pain, or anything, just a couple hours of weird vision that made it challenging to do things, but then things went back to normal. No major inconvenience.

About five years ago, the migraines moved from solely ocular to classic migraines, and lots of them. Few of them put me in my bed and completely ruined my day, although some did. Most just made my day more difficult to wade through because of the pain, nausea and bathroom trips. And then fluorescents became a trigger, and I wore for a couple years visors or ball caps and sun glasses whenever I was under the lights. We went through all the classes of preventative meds, though not all of the possible drugs, to curb the migraines, but either the meds didn't help, seriously hurt (we had a summer trying to figure out why my heart rate and blood pressure kept tanking -- bye bye beta blockers), or had significant enough side effects that I ended up resorting to B2, CoQ-10, and Magnesium, which helped some.

A year ago, though, my doctor and I tried one more preventative, a low dose buspar, and it was the right thing. It works well enough without any significant side effects that fluorescents aren't a problem, and I was able to shed the glasses and hats, which made teaching so much more satisfying. And my migraines went from 2 to 3 times a week over the last year to once or twice a month. They no longer dominate my life. They are minor inconveniences and once again occasionally intellectually challenging trips on the wonders of the mind.

A couple years ago, my aura also switched from just ocular to olfactory. I've had migraines where everything tasted like scrambled eggs, or smelled like shrimp. Yesterday's migraine was primarily olfactory. Minor pain, relatively, just everything smelled and tasted weird.

Half the morning I spent asking my kids and husband if they smelled cat pee. I smelled it everywhere. After returning home from a visit to a friend and her son at the hospital, I finally realized what was making the house smell like cat pee to me. I had lit a sandalwood candle in the morning (my favorite scent and one that doesn't smell like cat pee at all), and when I walked in the door, I smelled cat pee. I went and sniffed the candle. Cat pee. Ahhh. At this point, I was four hours into the migraine. Fortunately, the pain never got significant. But hour six into it and the perfectly good unflavored bottled water I was drinking took on a vaguely sweet and lemony taste, which my husband tasted and assured me was good old water with no taste.

So, there you have it, cat pee and watered down lemonade.


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