Autoblography Part 29: The Headache

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Oct 18, 2011

Filed under: Personal 112 comments

This is a really bad headache. The pain was unbelievable in CAD class at the start of the day, and it’s only gotten worse since then. Sometimes I try to tough it out and endure the day when I get these things, but this one is overwhelming. The school is too loud and too bright. I have to get out of here.

This means going to the nurse’s office. I do the math: She will make me lay around for twenty minutes to see if my migraine will magically go away for no reason. She will also take my temperature for no reason, because that’s what she always does. After that she’ll cave and call somebody to come get me. This might take some time, depending on how many of my relatives she needs to call. They probably won’t dash out of the house the moment they hang up the phone. It will probably take them forty-five minutes to get here. Then half an hour to get home. That part of the process will be rough. I’ll be in a moving car in stop-and-go traffic, with the sun beating me in the face. That will bring me to one of those moments where I wish I could just throw up instead of enduring the nausea. Once I get home, it will take me a couple of minutes to down some ineffectual painkillers, get an ice pack, and tumble into my bed with the lights off and the ice on my face.

So, if I go to the nurse right now, it will be two more hours of noise and pain before I can escape the unwanted sensory input and simply enjoy the headache at the baseline level of agony. Dark, quiet, ice on face, excruciating pain. That’s the goal.

I wish I’d gone earlier in the day. This is worst headache I’ve ever had, and I’m actually getting scared at how bad it is. I didn’t know it was possible for a headache to hurt at this magnitude. Can a headache get so bad it hurts you? Can you die from a headache?

The nurse greets me with a heavy sigh, clearly annoyed that I’m interrupting her busy day of caring for a room of empty cots. She’s a barrel-shaped woman in her early fifties, with a face that seems to default to a disapproving scowl. She takes my temperature. She does not let me lay down for twenty minutes. She ignores everything I tell her, and boots me back out as soon as possible. She scolds me for wasting her time, and sends me back to class. I can’t argue because I can barely communicate. I can’t think. I can’t speak. Usually my headaches appear behind one eye or the other, but this headache is mercilessly ambidextrous.

I’m having some sort of strange auditory hallucination where everything sounds like a third-generation echo. I can’t understand things people are saying to me. This is the worst headache of my life.

I stagger through the final hours of the day. I walk with my head down, eyes peeking at the floor directly in front of me. I try putting my hands over my ears, but that doesn’t really help with the auditory distortion. Whatever is going on, it’s happening inside my brain. I put my head down in every class and people seem to understand not to mess with me. Lots of people can tell I’m suffering just by the look on my face. I endure a couple of classes, a study hall, and the long bus ride home. I curse the newly-installed speed bumps in the parking lot, which are so steep they cause the entire bus to a experience a tooth-loosening shudder, even at crawling speed. (Interestingly, the speed bumps have a gap around either side so that speeding teens can drive their nimble little cars around the bump. The speed bumps are apparently only here to shake the joints of the bus riders and destroy the suspensions of the school district’s own busses.)

The bus is naturally a rougher, louder, and less direct means home. I don’t have a watch, but I think the trip lasts somewhere in the ballpark of ten thousand years.

The bus drops me off and I stagger to the front door, only to discover that I forgot my key this morning. Mom isn’t home. Pat is visiting friends. I lean into the door, face-first, if only to get the sun out of my eyes for a few seconds. Inside, just on the other side of the door, is the comfort I’ve been working towards for the last four or five hours.

I drag myself around the house and climb up onto the deck. I can only hope the door from the kitchen to the deck is unlocked, or I’m doomed. The climb involves doing a chin-up, then stepping up using a window sill, then pulling myself up over the railing. It’s only a mild challenge under normal circumstances, but it turns out to be kind of dicey when I’m dizzy, muddle-brained, and half-blind. The door is unlocked.

I get my ice and collapse into bed.

The next day the headache is gone, and I am enraged. I see my ordeal as a long expanse of completely needless suffering. I’m eighteen. Even if I had been playing sick as she suspected, I am old enough to be making decisions for myself at this point. If I had some means of getting home, I’d have simply cut school for the rest of the day and accepted whatever pointless punishment they cared to throw at me. She’s a nurse, not a babysitter, and there was no reason to refuse to send me home.

Mom drives me to school and has a meeting with the nurse. Her goal is to let this woman know that if I show up with any more headaches, I should be sent home immediately.

“Oh!”, the nurse says as soon as Mom brings up the day of the headache, “You know, he was the last thing I needed that day.”

I’m standing right here, so this is a pretty rude thing to say. Also: Is she somehow trying to make us feel sorry for her?

“Yes, but Shamus gets very serious headaches…” Mom tries to explain.

“Oh I know, I get headaches too,” she says in a dismissive voice.

Mom continues to try, but I can tell this conversation is over. This nurse is too stupid to handle the various intricacies of interpersonal communication, human behavior, or nursing, and so she has secured a job where she does no nursing, administers no medicine, and cares for no patients. Her only concerns are using the thermometer and the telephone, when she can be bothered.

I have been terrified of graduation for a long time, but my fear of the future is slowly being eroded by my absolute white-hot hatred for the incompetence, foolishness, ignorance, stupidity, and mindless bureaucracy of this system which has now devoured thirteen years of my life.

This is a shame, since I seem to have inadvertently failed a course required for graduation. I’m going to be here for a little while longer.

 


From The Archives:
 

112 thoughts on “Autoblography Part 29: The Headache

  1. CrushU says:

    “This is a shame, since I seem to have inadvertently failed a course required for graduation. I'm going to be here for a little while longer.”

    I feel your pain. This happened to me the final semester of college. Luckily my prof. was Awesome and let me take the course again over the summer as independent study.

    1. Velkrin says:

      I had a similar problem when I was graduating high school. Apparently they were missing some information about an English elective that I took in 11th grade. They figured this out and gave me a call about it the night before graduation.

      Thankfully it got sorted out.

  2. X2-Eliah says:

    Umm. Didn’t they know of migraine back then? I mean, from this text its pretty blindingly obvious what it is, and even if you had never told anyone exactly what pain it is, it would be obvious to determine when ice-packs, dark & quiet environments are seeked..

    1. Sumanai says:

      I don’t think it matters when the nurse clearly doesn’t give a damn. All she saw was someone who was trying to make her do her job and therefore deserved no pity.

      1. MrWhales says:

        I think this is how all nurses in schools work. If I remember correctly talking to one nursing college out of interest into the matter, to be a school nurse, you don’t even need to be a nurse. You can just have slight first aid knowledge.

      2. Volatar says:

        The only time I ever got a school nurse to do anything was when I hit my head on the playground in 4th grade and was literally bleeding all over the floor.

        I used up all the gauze they had in the school.

    2. Hitch says:

      The thing is a migraine has no outward symptoms. The sufferer is just in extreme pain, and looks to an uncaring bureaucrat like someone faking to get out of school. Obviously, it didn’t occur to Shamus to just give vent to his nausea the minute he walked into the room. She would have probably called someone to get him home immediately lest he do it again.

      1. BeardedDork says:

        Having spent a week or so at the medic station, while training to be an EMT in the army, it’s actually pretty easy to determine if somebody is “faking” a migraine. Give them access to a quite dark room, for 10-15 minutes long enough to relax a bit, or as long as it takes to do something more important, then “forget” that they are in there and turn on the light, maybe slam the door for good measure. Someone who actually has a migraine will react instantly, write them a note and send them to the barracks, someone faking it will take a half second or so to remember that this should be painful and react, write them a note and return them to duty.

        1. TJ says:

          Not so true. There are different types of migraines. I’ve suffered from migraines for about 35 years. I probably would not react to your test, but I’m still incapacitated by the pain. Rarely do I get to the point that light or sound are huge issues, I just don’t have that kind of migraine. However, if I don’t lay down in a dark quiet room, the migraines will just get worse. If you tried that test on me, it would just guarantee that I’d be down longer and in more pain.

          I inherited my migraines from my dad, who missed a whole year of grade school because of them. My sister also gets them. Hers are very different from mine. Your test would probably work on her, but again it’s unnecessary cruelty. A better test would be to ask if they had been medically diagnosed with a migraine, and what they were taking for them. But there are other kinds of severe headaches, like cluster headaches or even more severe things like brain tumors. Just aggravating someone’s headache for no reason is cruel at best, and likely does more harm than good.

          1. Newbie says:

            WELCOME TO BOOT CAMP!

          2. BeardedDork says:

            Context has bearing on how unnecessary the cruelty is. This is the Army I’m talking about not high-school. Malingering can cost lives. The above test is extremely uncomfortable for any body I’ve seen presenting with symptoms of a migraine, but no meaningful harm can possibly come from it.

            1. According to what I’ve read, many types of migraines are caused by food allergies. My dad gets migraines when he drinks red wine. Chocolate, coffee, and tea can also be triggers.

              Fortunately for me, I’m not prone to headaches, severe or otherwise. Also fortunately for everybody else, because severe pain throws me into a murderous rage.

            2. decius says:

              How, exactly, do you suspect that malingering costs lives? If he or she is willing to fake a migraine to be given RIQ for a day, I don’t want them in ANY position where their performance is critical.

              If they get migraines repeatedly, medical discharge. If they fake migraines repeatedly, NJP followed by discharge.

              1. BeardedDork says:

                The Army doesn’t have any positions that aren’t critical, whether you want them there or not.

                Any thing that doesn’t get done increases the burden on others, just like at any job. So if lives are on the line, that necessarily means that anybody not shouldering their own share increases the risk to others.

          3. Soylent Dave says:

            I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that if you’re having a migraine without an aura or a sensitivity to light or sound, then what you’re having is a bad headache.

            Being as they’re the defining characteristics of a migraine and all.

            1. Warbright says:

              About a quarter of migraines have an aura, so that alone isn’t a good test. It’s a clinical judgement based on the nature of the pain, how it presents, what makes it better or worse, etc. I agree with TJ that Beard’s test is not good for whether or not you’re faking a migraine, however it probably is good for establishing whether or not you can accomplish something of use despite it (as long as ‘something of use’ doesn’t require you to make any kind of important, reasoned decision. I think the ironic version of ‘good enough for government work’ fits well here). I’m a resident doctor if that gives me any more credibility, I often see people with headaches not fitting classic descriptions, and often see people who are malingering for secondary gain. I don’t know if I’ve ever said, “This is the last thing I need,” to anyone though, even malingerers have some kind of problem that needs to be addressed. She clearly wasn’t good at establishg a ‘therapeutic relationship.’ Sorry, man. :)

              P.S. My wife has migraine’s with visual auras and confusion, forgets words essential to communication. Strikes her a few times a year, scares the crap out of our co-workers.

  3. Rick says:

    “This is no ordinary headache”.

    1. bit says:

      I feel needlessly proud of myself for immediately getting that reference.

      1. Bryan says:

        No, no, no.

        This is NO ORDINARY HEADACHE!

        There, I fixed it. :-P

  4. SyrusRayne says:

    Oh, wow. I can totally feel your pain regarding the nurse. I hate people like that, so much.

  5. littlefinger says:

    “I never asked for this!”

  6. Dan says:

    As a fellow migraine sufferer, I sympathize. Mine never get so bad as you describe them, more of an incessant buzz in the back of my head that lasts for a few days, but I know the pain of being forced to sit through class with one of them.

    That nurse should be fired. There is no way that an 18 year old with a known history of migraines should not be able to get out of an afternoon of classes. Even if you WERE faking it to cut class, you should still have the benefit of the doubt with that kind of affliction.

  7. danman says:

    Wow, I never realized that you had to repeat a grade. That makes it even worse. I appear to have hated school as much as you did, I just didn’t realize it at the time. I was, however, able to breeze through schoolwork and it never cut into my own fun time, so I never had that problem

  8. Mephane says:

    Am I the only one who automatically read the last sentence with GlaDOS’ voice in my head?

    1. noahpocalypse says:

      Like.

    2. GM says:

      only after ,you mention it. :)

      1. swenson says:

        Same here. I went back and reread it, and yeah, now I definitely can hear her say it!

  9. noahpocalypse says:

    I feel your pain (more or less). (Actually less.) I get migraines similar to what you described, but I’ve never had one that bad happen to me under such horrible circumstances. (Then again, I’m only 15! Plenty of time left for that!) And yeah, it always goes away after a good night’s sleep. If it doesn’t, I really am sick with something.

    My mother shares this problem, but she knows her causes- when it gets humid outside, her head hurts. The more humid, the worse the pain is. I definitely differ from her in this, because I love the rain and the way it feels before and after (and during) a good storm. Being unconscious for several hours with a migraine when you’ve got 4 kids in the house (as well as one at college)- a college dropout, an overworked sophomore, a six-year-old male destructoid, and a nine-year-old Barbie girl- that’s an absolute recipe for disaster.

    How about you, Shamus? Is your cause weather, stress (like mine), or something else?

    1. Shamus says:

      I have never found a cause, despite considerable efforts. It’s not temperature, or humidity, or barometric pressure. It’s not caused by flashing lights, lack of sleep, medication, foods, exercise, loud noises, caffeine, or stress. They follow no pattern with regards to time of day, monthly cycles, or change of seasons. It might be some combination of these factors, but none of them are a direct, universal cause.

      Sometimes I’ll get three in a month. Sometimes I’ll go for over half a year without one. Sometimes they last just a few hours. My longest went on for almost three days. Most last about twelve. Sometimes medicine seems to help. Sometimes it does nothing.

      A strange thing, these headaches. I hope to understand the cause of them someday, even if we don’t find a cure. I really am curious what can cause so much pain for no apparent reason.

      1. Joel D says:

        There’s no reliable cause for migraines, and no reliable treatment (besides lots of time in the dark) either. Much to my dismay.

      2. Ruthie says:

        I have never found the cause of mine either. I thought it was caffeine for a bit. But then after depriving myself of my favorite beverage, and still getting a major headache, I ruled that out.
        I suspect it’s a combination of too much caffeine, motion sickness, and perhaps dehydration that brings on my massive headaches. I usually get them on the weekends, when I drink more coffee, ride around with Michael instead of driving myself, and forget to drink water.
        When they are really bad [which is rare] even the sound of my own voice hurts. I remembered your ice technique and tried that, but the hard and heavy icepack hurt my head… it felt like I had a giant bruise.
        yuck. these things suck.

        1. Shamus says:

          The composition of the ice pack is crucial. Yes, those “brick” ice packs are basically useless for this job. The old-timey “hot water bottle” things – which were just rubber sacks – are ideal. Before I moved out on my own, we used to have one with a wide mouth, so that ice would fit into it. Half ice, half water, all good. I also used bread bags for this, although those are a little flimsy and tend to leak after a while. The goal is to have it spread out onto your face evenly, and not put any weight on any one spot.

          The gel packs you get in the drugstore aren’t very good. When cold, they’re stiff like a hunk of leather. It’s like holding a cold wallet against your face. They get softer, but by the time they’re supple they’re also room temperature, which sort of defeats the purpose.

          I doubt the ice has any real medicinal value. I think the big thing it does is send a crapload of sensory input into your brain. It’s like turning on a fan when the neighbors are blasting crappy music: You’ll drown it out, a bit, and take the edge off.

          1. noahpocalypse says:

            Wow. Sounds like everyone else sticks the icepack on their face. I prefer it on my forehead; I hate it in my eyes. We have a fabric bag with grains of cold somethings inside it that molds to whatever you set it on. I bet it has more friction than a brick of ice, so it stays on better. It also holds itself by the molding-to-the-face. You should try to find one of those- I can ask my mother what they’re called. They work really great.

            1. Meredith says:

              I like it on my forehead as well, or sometimes the back of my neck. The gel ones from the drug store are okay to use like that.

            2. Methermeneus says:

              Oddly enough, I tend to need ice specifically on my eyes sometimes. I get horrible allergies, particularly in my right eye, and sometimes the irritation gets so bad that the conjunctivae actually swell noticeably, and thus irritate my eyes even more unless I ice it to quell the swelling. (No migraines, though, thank god. My mother used to get them every few months, and I’m delighted that’s one medical problem I didn’t inherit from her. Unlike my screwy knees.) The first summer my allergies were that bad, I wound up having to miss nearly a month of work because I, my employers, and the first doctor I went to all thought I had the standard bacterially-induced conjunctivitis, and I worked in food service, which made it doubly important that I not go to work when sick.

              If you want a good ice pack, while ice water in a relatively stiff container like a hot watter bottle isn’t a bad idea, if you find a reputable chiropractor (difficult, I know), they can usually hook you up with gel packs that remain pliant enough to use on your face even at their coldest. That’s where I got mine, and my eyes thank me for it. For some reason, I’ve never been a fan of the beanbag-style packs for cold, although they do work well as hot packs.

          2. Mephane says:

            At least when it comes to muscles etc., I think ice has an actual effect, it is applied regularly in hospitals, for example (worked at one for almost a year), especially in cases where patients had undergone operations on bones or joints, and is used to reduce swelling, because the blood vessels contract as a reaction to cold. Maybe something along the lines happens in case of headache, too?

            And since there seem to be multiple causes, maybe some of them are blood stream/pressure related, and can thus be softened by applying cold, while those with other direct causes cannot?

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              What I allways suspected is that headache is caused by too much blood pressure around head is putting pressure on nerves there. (why head hurts when you have high temperature, blood (or better said water) expands and puts strain on blood vessels. And since in the head there is less place to give, it hurts.

              1. Pickly says:

                Water doesn’t expand that much between “normal” days, and “hot” days. (The blood vessels in skin would, which helps release heat, but I don’t know about any further in.)

                Though in general I have heard this idea as well, also as an explanation for how Caffeine can help with headaches (By constricting the vessels), and when hearing about serious head injuries.

              2. Methermeneus says:

                Standard headaches are generally due either to swelling of the blood vessels in the head (in which case a cold pack to the head would help), often due to stress or blood pressure issues; or tightening of the muscles in the neck (in which case, a hot pack to the shoulders is actually preferable), also generally due to stress. Unfortunately, as little as we know about migraines, it can be stated with fair certainty that they are a neurological condition, so treating causes like swelling doesn’t do any good. Ice helps by interfering with the nervous signals, both by adding white noise as Shamus suggested, and by numbing some of the pain receptors that are firing for no good reason.

                <pseudoscience type=”I’m making it up on the spot”>This is also why caffeine can increase migraine incidences in some people: Like pretty much all drugs, it screws with your brain chemistry. Worse, unlike alcohol (which I seem to recall has no documented effect on migraine sufferers, although someone could easily prove me wrong on that count), caffeine increases brain activity, which increases the chance of something firing when it shouldn’t, starting the cascade effect known as a migraine.</pseudoscience>

                1. Danny White says:

                  migraine sufferer here, and alcohol can have an effect on my migraines. One of my triggers seems to be dehydration, and alcohol has a tendency to dehydrate you. This may vary from person to person, but if I’m going out drinking, I have to remember to drink lots of water. This does, however, have a nice side effect of almost completely stopping the hangover the next morning.

                  1. Methermeneus says:

                    Whelp, there’s my pseudoscience shot down. And, yes, drinking plenty of water will stave off all kinds of headaches, hangover headaches most notably.

          3. PinkCoder says:

            You also might try a bag of frozen peas. This is what my family often used to ‘ice’ down a twisted ankle or other injury in the house. Because the peas are small, the bag is easily malleable to whatever body part you need to put it on. Plus, this makes it light and easy to hold in place so it might not crush your sensitive face.

            1. ccesarano says:

              My family tends to use a bag of rice, but that never seems to reach the ideal cold temperatures. It also seems to lose cold very quickly, but it doesn’t take long to make them cold again either. But you’re still constantly switching them, which makes it sound less than ideal for someone wanting to just lay down in the dark and go to sleep.

            2. Deoxy says:

              I was just going to suggest that exact thing.

              In fact, it’s what they suggest you place in a certain sensitive area for a day or two after a certain sensitive procedure to impair reproductive capability (and the procedure failed – pain for no reason is fun!).

              If it can work for something THAT sensitive, I suspect it will be awesome for the face.

              1. Mrs. Peel says:

                After delivery, as I lay there woozy from the pain medication and blood loss, the nurse asked me if I would like a surgical glove full of ice applied directly to the affected area.

                It felt wonderful.

          4. SemInt says:

            As far as I know, the ice simply works because of the cold temperature, which has a direct influence on the veins in your head. Just like your skin gets red (extra blood in capillary veins) when your body has to get rid of excess heat, bloodflow gets restricted when heat needs to be preserved.
            My migraine is very clearly pulsating with intense moments of pain and moments of minor pain, much like a sinus function, which should correspond with the expansion and shrinking of the veins. The expanding vein puts pressure on the nerves, causing the pain. The medicine works in a similar way, by limiting the expansion of the veins (as far as I know). I’ve heard of other people who use a cold shower to cool their head.

            The oversensitivity to sensory input is a side-effect of the migraine. My “bad attacks” started with neurological disruptions, where I’d lose a part of my sight (like a massive blind spot, also called “aura”). The worst attack I had left me literally unable to talk, where I could only say something between yes and no (not very helpful when you’re trying to communicate). Also excessive vomiting and excruciating pain.

            I never was able to pinpoint a cause either, I just got one approximately every 6 months. Since a couple of years, I haven’t had any bad ones, some minors ones that aren’t really different from normal headaches except for the pulsating nature and some mild oversensitivity.

            1. Methermeneus says:

              Concerning ice for migraines vs. other kinds of headaches, see my above posts. Your comparison to sinus headaches is apt, however: The vast majority of what people think of as sinus headaches are, in fact, minor migraines. The amount of pressure in your sinuses required to actually give you a headache directly is not really achievable without a sinus infection on a level requiring hospitalization. (I’ve had both; believe me, when you have that kind of sinus infection, the headache is the last thing on your mind.) You’re far more likely to get a regular headache from the strain sniffling, sneezing, and coughing puts on your neck and shoulder muscles.

              1. Atarlost says:

                Maybe if your doctor has malpractice paranoia, but I’ve had a sinus infection driven headache and the infection was treated on an outpatient basis.

                Bad headache that, but localized. Not behind an eye like the eyestrain headaches I got before I got glasses, an area the size of a banty egg behind the middle of my forehead.

                1. Methermeneus says:

                  I admit I was exaggerating somewhat to get my point across, that most people haven’t actually had the level of sinus pressure to actually induce a headache. I wasn’t actually hospitalized for the aforementioned sinus infection either, but when it got bad enough to give me headache-style pain in the front of my head, I barely noticed because of the pain in the back of my head from, as I said, sneezing and sniffling and general tightening of my muscles.

              2. SemInt says:

                I was referring to the pain as a mathemathical sinus function, or a cosinus function, not the nasal sinuses. :P
                The pain is pounding, I mean.

                My doctor and most medical sources do mention vascular swelling, (which you could minimize with cold, I’d imagine) but you’re right that there’s relatively little known about migraine. ^^

                1. McNutcase says:

                  Allow me a guess: you’re not English, Canadian, or American. The usual names for those functions in English are sine and cosine. Using sinus/cosinus will confuse most native speakers of English you’re likely to encounter on the web!

                  1. Jarenth says:

                    If your education system insists on referring to a perfectly good sinus as a sine, you kind of have the confusion coming.

          5. Brandon Walker says:

            You are going to think this is silly, but I recommend keeping a bag of frozen peas or frozen corn in the freezer clearly marked for the purpose of using as an ice pack. If they chunk up just smack them and they go back to conforming to contours. Great for heads, ankles, knees, and whatever else needs cold. The wrap nicely in hand towels to reduce the intensity of the cold quite effectively.

            Make sure they are marked and identifiable, however. They will have been partially thawed and refrozen enough that nobody should try to eat them.

            My mom used to get headaches like this and she eventually got a new dentist and some critical dental work actually cleared most of it up. Her major problems with the headaches are gone. I guess that means in her case they weren’t proper migraines, I suppose, but they affected her just as strongly.

          6. Kacky Snorgle says:

            Okay, I’m thinking I must’ve missed a memo at some point…you people put *cold* things on your heads/faces to treat a headache?! We’ve always used a washcloth soaked in water just shy of scalding, applied to the forehead/eyelid area. Is this just yet another way in which my family’s crazy?

            1. Shamus says:

              I’ve tried both. Oddly, my preferred approach is a hot shower, followed by ice on face. As I said elsewhere in this thread, I think the appeal is generating a ton of sensory input, and hot showers and ice-face both accomplish that.

        2. Mari says:

          The caffeine can be tricky. Your body can become physically addicted to caffeine so that when you try to go off it you spend a period in “DTs” where you continue to have headaches but for a different reason. You may need to give it a good six to eight weeks off the sauce before you say for sure that caffeine has been truly ruled out. If you can survive six to eight weeks of relentless pain with no caffeine to relieve it.

      3. I’m almost positive that mine are caused by ambient light
        The longer I stay outdoors or in a well lit room, the more the headache builds until it hits full migraine
        Bright lights in my peripheral vision are like being stabbed in the temple
        I wear protective glasses that block out most of the light, with leather blinders on the sides, and they can get me through the day well enough most of the time
        The glasses are quite distinctive and I’m often asked if they are steampunk…which never occurs to me until they say it, but they do resemble a poor mans steampunk goggles
        I’m also suspecting another trigger is…don’t laugh…Commercials!?!
        I don’t know if it’s the fast cuts, lights and colors changing too fast, and the increased volume
        But whenever the ads start up I have to leave the room or by the 3rd ad my migraine will have started to build

        I can sympathize with you Shamus, while my migraines do not give me nausea, I have gone blind and deaf on several occasions
        My best solution is much like yours, minimize the discomfort and just wait it out

        P.S.
        I’ve tried to explain my migraines to medical personnel and when they tell me “Oh, I get headaches too” I respond “I’ve had mine for 13 years”
        I don’t know if they can comprehend that, but at least they never mention it again

        1. Methermeneus says:

          I would believe commercials inducing migraines. A lot of them are already treading a dangerous line with epileptic seizures. I’ll hazard a guess that you can’t watch modern action movies without blinding pain either. (I can’t either, but that’s more an emotional pain. ;p)

          1. hmmm…I hadn’t thought of that
            Maybe that’s why I enjoy the early Die Hard movies and pre-insane Mel Gibson movies
            With more recent movies, after a while I feel the need to move around and look away from time to time, but I had assumed the movie was just not holding my interest
            I wonder if I’ve conditioned myself now whenever I see fast editing and jump cuts
            I just can’t sit through most of the more recent movies, they DO SEEM to be edited like commercials

      4. Zehavn says:

        Dude, check your diet. Start writing down everything you eat.

        Z

      5. Unbeliever says:

        Listen to me carefully, Shamus.

        Get. Yourself. A. Prescription. For. MAXALT.

        If your regular doctor won’t prescribe it, find yourself one who will.

        You only take it when you feel a migraine coming on. And that migraine, rushing toward you like a freight train… speeds right on past, never pausing to clobber you.

        You will literally be stunned. “That was IT?!?”

        Yes. It really works, that fast.

        Seriously, do this. Thank me later…

        [As for “Nurse” lady, you were clearly too incapacitated at the time — but the NEXT DAY, when she started dropping lines like that… I am the most nonviolent person you are likely to meet, but it would have taken three men to pry me away from bashing her head against the wall and screaming, “How’s it feel NOW? How’s it feel *NOW*?!?”]

  10. Jjkaybomb says:

    My mom gets migraines, and she gets blind spots when they happen. I am so, so very happy I didnt inherent those headache, since she is an absolute wreck when they happen >.>

    One time she had to drive three hours with a migraine… I think it was the second most nerve-wracking drive in my life.

  11. SolkaTruesilver says:

    This is no headache..

    It’s a space station!

  12. rayen says:

    i know that kind of headache. I had it happen a number of times but if i lay down in a dark room and put a cold damp rag on my face, breath as slowly as possible and only ingest 2 or 3 advils i usually can go to sleep and it’ll go away. If i don’t do those things eventually the pain reaches unbearable levels and i’ll vomit and pass out. thats only happened a couple of times though. If i had had to stay at school this probably would’ve happened.

    screw that nurse though. did you or your mom ever lodge a complaint with the principal? I mean i’m not saying it would’ve done any good but it might’ve made you feel better.

  13. swenson says:

    Wat.

    That school nurse needs to be taken out and shot. Or at least get smacked around a bit. Sure, I’d imagine that as a school nurse, you’d get a lot of idiot kids just coming down because they want to get out of class or whatever, but you still need to treat everybody with some basic concern–especially kids you know aren’t just goofing around. If you work in public services, your personal comfort comes second.

    It’s like, what if the emergency room nurse at a hospital just refused to do anything? “Oh, well, I have a headache, so sorry I can’t help you with your ruptured appendix or shattered leg bones or severe allergic reaction.” Pretty sure that wouldn’t go over very well.

    Unfortunately, my mother and I know exactly what you’re talking about when it comes to trying to talk to a teacher or other school official and it’s like running into a brick wall… some people are just so set in their worldview that they absolutely refuse to consider that anyone else could possibly be right. The worst part is that somehow, these sort of people always end up in positions of responsibility!

    1. swenson says:

      After reading some of these comments, I guess I should be glad I’ve never gotten migraines as bad as some people here! I get the occasional migraine every once in a while, but not near as bad as you guys. I feel for you all. :(

    2. acronix says:

      That last part has so much truth in it.

      Curiously, on my school if one claimed to feel bad they would give some aspirin/water and if it didn´t work they just called the closest relative.

      1. decius says:

        My school district prohibited the school nurse from dispensing any medication without a doctor’s prescription. No NSAIDs, no water, nothing. Combined with a very strict “zero tolerance” policy, some students were suspended for having aspirin or no-doze in their possession on the grounds.

  14. Irridium says:

    Sounds like a Cluster Headache to me.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_headache

    Thankfully, I’ve never experienced pain of that magnitude. Well, I did get stung by a bee in one of my finger joints. That was excruciating. But this sounds even worse…

  15. Slothful says:

    I haven’t had headaches anywhere near that bad for a while, but I’ve had experience with doctors like that before. I’m always afraid to go to the doctor when I’m feeling bad, because I know that they might not do anything helpful, and if I don’t have a fever, they just won’t believe me.

  16. SteveDJ says:

    Too bad you didn’t think to just pretend to pass out right in front of that nurse – really give her a good scare (and wake-up call to what her duties are).

  17. ccesarano says:

    I wonder if school nurses are universally worthless, like nurses that couldn’t cut it in a hospital and thus go to work at a school.

    When I was in elementary school I had an ear ache that hurt really bad. I think I was in second grade so I was about 7 years old. The nurse told me nothing was wrong. At the end of the day walking home, the pain suddenly stops. My mom notices I’m not whimpering and that suddenly I pick up my pace, and she freaks out. There’s a whole stream of blood, puss and ear wax traveling down from my ear, neck and onto my shirt. I didn’t notice any of this, though, and was just glad that I could hear properly and didn’t hurt anymore.

    I still don’t know what happened, but the school nurse didn’t see it at all. And it seems like whatever would just pop and ooze like that wouldn’t exactly be hard for a professional to miss.

    The school nurse in Junior High was also a joke, but more because I actually managed to trick her into believing I was sick and needed to go home early. This pissed my mom off, because when I got home I was too excited to keep the charade up. She wanted to drive me right back to school, but settled with me just being home the rest of the day.

    1. Demo says:

      I’d hope that with hindsight you can see the hypocrisy in simultaneously complaining that one nurse didn’t believe you when you said you were ill and were and gloating that you successfully tricked another into believing you were ill when you weren’t.

    2. Neery says:

      What almost certainly happened was that you had a middle ear infection, and the build-up of pus was putting pressure on your eardrum until it burst and allowed the fluid to escape.

      The physical symptoms are actually quite easy to miss, because the eardrum, which is semi-transparent at best, obscures what’s going on, and it takes more practice and probably better equipment than a school nurse would have to even reliably be able to look at the ear drum at all – but of course it should have been easy to diagnose anyway, because there’s not that many things which can cause an earache like that.

      Believing that a patient feels sick in the absence of physical symptoms doesn’t make the second nurse a joke, though – that’s the only thing that makes sense, if you don’t have the resources to unleash a barrage of medical tests. What’s the worst thing that can happen, they go home, their parents notice they’re faking, and they get in trouble with their mom? Oh the horror. If you’re too skeptical, on the other hand., you’re just going to miss a whole lot of patients like Seamus, who are actually suffering.

  18. Deoxy says:

    I only remember interacting with a school nurse twice, both in high school.

    The first time was my freshman year. I had a relapse of an extremely unusual illness, and it REALLY freaked her out (even though I was trying to tell her what it was – to be fair, the symptoms are a little scary, if you don’t know about it) – she was going to call 911 if she didn’t get my mom on the phone.

    Didn’t see her again until my senior year – had a fever, felt like crap, walked into the nurse’s office, and she looked at me…. it was very obvious that she knew EXACTLY who I was, even 3 1/2 years later (and with well over 2000 students in the school). Apparently, I made an impression that first time. Heh.

  19. McNutcase says:

    I’m now counting myself lucky that my migraines didn’t start happening until I was in my mid twenties, and working with people who saw me as an adult. I’m going to join the chorus calling for that waste of skin they called a nurse to be fired; even if there were no immediately obvious physical signs, a headache of that magnitude does affect behavior, and she should have been able to see that.

    I hesitate to talk medication, but what made my migraines bearable was Imitrex. It has downsides, such as making you loopy, mixing very badly with alcohol if you’re a drinker, and turning your blood gloopy and green if you take too much, but it does wonders for the pain, even at the “might I be dying from this?” levels. There are also some options which can reduce the frequency; ask your doctor about this. They tend to be off-label uses, but the one I’m on works pretty well.

    1. X2-Eliah says:

      Makes your blood green?

      I’m amazed it isn’t more popular.

      1. McNutcase says:

        I know, right? Who wouldn’t want to be an orc?

        Of course, the fact that it’s prescription-only probably has something to do with its lack of notoriety, along with the fact that it’s long since gone generic so there’s no advertising for it. And the side effects are several bears. Frankly, it’s horrible stuff, but when I need to take it, there’s nothing else I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a LOT) that works as well on migraines. My major complaint is that they put it in such horribly fiddly packaging that when I’m needing it, I’m almost too clumsy to get at the blasted stuff.

        1. Mephane says:

          Orc blood is red. I know it is a bit weird, but it has to do with Orcs being, basically, half-animal, half-fungus. The blood color comes from the animal part.

          What you meant was Vulcan. Those guys have green blood indeed. :)

          1. McNutcase says:

            Back when I was playing, greenskins had green blood. That was why they were green.

    2. Rick C says:

      Imitrex is great stuff…unless you’re at risk for a stroke.

      1. Adamantyr says:

        I use Relpax myself, it’s the 2nd generation after Imitrex. I believe it’s still prescription-only most places. I take one, and my migraine is GONE in an hour. Every time.

        It works great for me, but my girlfriend got nauseous when she tried one, and my sister-in-law was left in a loopy state on the couch unable to move about for several hours without getting dizzy.

        I haven’t heard of any potential stroke side effects with it… in fact, the documentation on it is pretty clear that it has few negative interactions with anything else. The worst problem is “rebound” headaches which come back after it’s worn off.

        1. Rick C says:

          I looked up both drugs (Relpax and Imitrex) and neither one says “don’t take if you’re at risk for stroke” in so many words…but if you ask your doctor about it he’ll tell you not to take Imitrex if you have a likelihood of stroke. The stuff works so well you could have a stroke, think it’s a migraine, take the med, and ignore it, and then not get the stroke treated and be paralyzed or die. I don’t know if the same applies to Relpax because I’ve never heard it before.

  20. LurkerAbove says:

    That nurse has ruined my day.

    I’m 23. I haven’t had any time without head pain in roughly 15 years (literally, the closest I’ve come is being almost unaware if I’m really into a video game, or occasionally a book and it’s a lower pain day). It has dramatically affected every facet of my life. Hearing about this nurse makes me want to start hitting things, very very hard or sob uncontrollably. Perhaps both.

  21. ChuckP says:

    I feel your pain, and take some small note that my symptoms are not unique. The worst one I ever had coincided with being stuck in a midwestern basement with my wife’s chain-smoking relatives :P That was the only time I had to vomit twice before feeling better, and I would up straining hard enough to burst capillaries in my eyes.

    On the subject of treatment, try acupuncture. I’ve had it at least abort an impending headache.

  22. Neil D says:

    I think I may have to stop reading these. Just about every one ends with me wanting to reach through the screen and choke the living shit out of somebody I’ve never even met.

    1. Tuck says:

      Welcome to the intarwebs!

  23. Rick C says:

    Shamus, a couple of weird things related to migraines: there seems to be a correlation with a hole between the two ventricles of your heart, but the research into solving the problem is a bit thin. Have you checked to see if mold/spores, or air pressure (or air pressure changes) correlate?

    My wife has migraines that can last for weeks. She’s seeing a neurologist who thinks she has a problem with the rear vein draining the brain (you have two main ones in front and one in the back). The vein can constrict causing reduced drainage, and he prescribed a vasodilator. It doesn’t solve the problem but it has reduced the frequency and duration of the migraines a lot.

  24. Methermeneus says:

    I’ve never had migraines beyond the minor kind most people mistake for sinus headaches, so I can’t really sympathize beyond the secondhand experience of having seen my mother have to deal with them every few months, but your experience with the nurse reminds me of the time I went to the school nurse with a broken bone and she sent me right back… to gym class. Admittedly, it was a toe, but it was my big toe. (Unlike the little toe, which you don’t actually put much pressure on when you walk, and both of which I’m pretty sure I’ve broken multiple times with no real effect.)

    Luckily, the gym coach was sympathetic enough to let me sit out the rest of the class (maybe because he saw me kick the soccer ball and go sprawling), but I kind of considered the nurse the expert and forced myself to go on my scheduled camping trip the next day. To a place where we weren’t allowed to drive all the way up to the campsite. So we had to hike in. Four miles. In the Allegheny Mountains. (One of the adults wound up getting a ranger to let them drive me up after watching me limp for about a mile.)

    (On a more amusing note, this is one of my funny injury stories (everyone’s gotta have one!): I happened to break my toe kicking one of those foam rubber soccer balls they had lying around for the kindergartners to play with. Of course, I actually broke my toe by kicking the floor hard enough to crack a bone through a cushioning layer of foam rubber, but it’s not as funny when I say it like that.)

    1. burningdragoon says:

      Funny injury story: I broke (cracked is probably more correct) my thumb playing baseball when I was in 8th grade I think. Swung at a pitch that was a bit too far inside and made contact right on my thumb. I let out nice yell as ran to first. IIRC, it was a double.

      1. Methermeneus says:

        Reminds me of another funny injury story. Well, two, sort of. Once I was pitching for my brother’s batting practice (he was in little league, but I wasn’t), and he whanged a line drive straight back to my chin. Knocked me clean out for a couple seconds. That part isn’t so funny, but the way the entire school made fun of my “goatee” for the next couple weeks was.

        And then there’s the time a few years later we were doing fielding practice, and I somehow managed to completely miss the ball he threw back to me and got clocked straight in the nose. I ran back up the (outside) stairs to our apartment to get my shirt off and wash my face before the blood streaming down my face could stain anything. I wasn’t so concerned with the injury itself—it didn’t really hurt much, and it was far from the first time I’d been hit in the face hard enough for a nosebleed—but my mother got home from work right about then and burst into the house, absolutely freaking out, shouting for me and my brother. Apparently I had left a trail of blood droplets going up the stairs and she was understandably… concerned.

        1. Freykin says:

          Oh, bloody noses. I used to get horrible ones every now and then after having a nose injury when I was 12, and while I was accustomed to them and how to deal with them, others never were. I remember one math class in my junior year of high school, it just started pouring out my nose. I dashed out to the bathroom and dealt with it, taking about 15-20 minutes. I walked back to class and asked the teacher if I could go see the nurse. What I hadn’t noticed during all of this is that my shirt was completely covered in blood, so I had the full classes attention.

          Needless to say, I got sent home for the day after that :P.

          Also, if you know someone who gets a new dog, be careful around it, you don’t want 36 stitches in your nose due to an untrained/nervous in new environment dog.

  25. Mari says:

    My older girlie feels your pain, Shamus. She started having migraines when she was 9. The school nurse routinely dismissed her claims of blinding pain, nausea, auras, and a general death wish. It was actually our primary motivation in getting her a cell phone a couple of years ago. They’re allowed to use their cells at lunch and she could call me then, at least.

  26. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

    I’ll get a migrane a few times a year. Nothng as bad as yours, mind, but still fairly debilitating. Unfortunately, because of a kidney problem, I am limited to aceteminophen as far as otc pain medications go.

    Ice and darknes are my only hope when they come.

  27. Mathygard says:

    This is a thing that alway mysifies me. How do people like that nurse get to their positions? You’d think there’d be some basic requirement of competence to meet, especially in something as potentially vital as medical care, and yet you always seem to end up with the crabbiest, most incompetent dimwits imaginable in places where incompetence could have disasterous consequences.
    Not only that, but how are such people drawn to those jobs to begin with? If you can’t stand people, what the hell would possess you to take a job where your social skills will be in constant demand?

    1. Mathygard says:

      Mysifies? I meant Mystifies. With a T.
      A blatant typo in the first sentence. Great job, me.

      1. To be fair, I think part of the role of a school nurse is to deal with fakers. Never mind that one can still be nice while being skeptical and make it unpleasant for those who are obviously faking, but still, the idea is that they want to control and limit access since many kids will freak out over the slightest thing. That having been said, comforting those kids is ALSO part of the job, and in any case, real practitioners deal with people faking all the time without losing beside manner. Not to mention that this no longer applies when kids get to high school, where if they want to skip class there are any number of means to do so and they are perfectly aware of how much pain they are in…

  28. A says:

    It’s depressing how many people still don’t take migraines seriously. The first time you see someone you care about, someone who is enjoying themselves immensely suddenly need to stop having fun to leave to lie down in a dark, quiet room, you see how real they are. People who are just faking it don’t try a series of medications, some of which include side effects like paranoia. Real, “I can’t sleep, or my roommates will murder me” paranoia. Not personal experience, but a friend reported that as something they briefly suffered from.

    (I have some direct knowledge; I have very rare and mild, but real migraines. I’m lucky that they’re very mild and have never impeded my life. But the first time you get the visual distortions, that’s scary.)

    I helped a friend a few years ago who was really getting jerked around. Their employer had hired a new HR person. Apparently to build up some reputation, this new HR person went looking for malingerers. My friend had taken an unusual number of sick days on short notice for migraines. My friend’s boss was perfectly satisfied with their performance. But HR disagreed and forced a confrontation. This woman had a calendar, in which she had highlighted all of the sick days. 40% of the sick days were on Mondays and Fridays! Yes, really. Migraines were obviously just headaches, and if my friend wanted sick leave this often, they would need to get a doctor’s note. Of course people with migraines know that is a complete waste of time. My friend ended up filing FMLA and still needed to do regular busywork like getting their doctor to re-certify the need. A complete waste of time for everyone involved. Happily this woman was let got a year or so later; I wish the worst for her.

    My friend’s migraines have improved. Part was that they had a doctor who took it seriously and kept trying medications. It turns out that migraines are hard to treat, but most sufferers can find help. MaxAlt was part of the solution.

  29. Daniel says:

    Ah, school nurses.

    When I was in 5th grade, I went to the nurse every. single. morning in the entire month of October, complaining about difficulty breathing and pain in my abdomen. Not only did she not believe me, neither did my parents, who thought I just hated my teacher (which I did) and was trying to get out of class (which I didn’t).

    Finally, two weeks into November, my parents caved and brought me in for a chest X-ray, which revealed that I had had pneumonia the entire time.

    I still don’t know why I’m not dead after it went unchecked all that time.

  30. HeadHunter says:

    Our school nurse was exactly the same. Apathetic and incompetent.
    Her first (and only) action was to take the child’s temperature. If the temp was elevated, she would notify the parents. Otherwise, it was back to class. At no point was medication administered, nor was any first aid provided to anyone without visible signs of injury.

    It makes me wonder just how many school nurses do not have even an LPN, as even a first year nursing student can list off any number of common complaints and afflictions which do not have an elevated temperature as a corresponding symptom.

    School nurses are not there to aid sick children – they are there to cover the school’s ass. It’s terrible.

    1. Pickly says:

      Technically, just about any person at all could name a number of common conditions that do not cause a temperature rise.

      Of course, your point still stands, and does fit with several earlier comments describing where school nurses don’t come from.

  31. Allan says:

    I used to get migraines (comparatively light, but still fairly unpleasant) when I was 13-16, triggered by bright lights (or not so bright lights). Usually they took a few hours to build, so if it started when I was at school I could just take it easy (finding quiet places to lie down, working more slowly/taking breaks in class), which while it didn’t stop the pain it would slow it down until I could get home (my mother worked as a teacher at the time, so she couldn’t very well just drop class and come and pick me up).
    When I managed to get a good pair of sunglasses, that would help…until the school decided to say that they were not allowed. In tropical Australia (although, in fairness, they didn’t outlaw sunglasses totally, you just had to buy the ones with the school logo on them for $150 that didn’t do squat). Luckily the vice principal (who usually actually enforced this stuff) was fairly easy going about it, but still led to more than one occasion where I was moving from class to class, and I had to take them off, leading to friends needing to physically support me until I could move again. Also me often missing the next day or two of school because the idea of leaving my nice, dark room was enough to start the vomiting again.
    So, in short: I sympathise, Seamus, and you have my admiration. Mine were comparatively light most of the time as I said, so the idea of repeated severe migraines is somewhat unsettling, to say the least.

  32. Stephanie says:

    Random migraine cure: I’ve heard of some people finding that Botox treatment helped their migraines. I know it sounds weird, but the science is supposed to be that, for them in particular, there was a muscle in their face or neck that was going rigid as part of the cluster of symptoms, and freezing it stopped the feedback loop. (But doubtful that it will work for everyone, sadly, there’s so much variance in what goes on with migraines.)

  33. Falco Rusticula says:

    Good grief, that nurse was an idiot. My school nurse’s default response to a student showing up complaining of pain was to either give them a painkiller or let them lie down for half an hour with a hot water bottle. Don’t think she ever took my temperature. Of course, it was an all-girls school, so it’s a fair bet half her patients were complaining of period cramp (which on occasion has been bad enough to make me vomit), and half an hour with a hot water bottle is a pretty good remedy for that.

  34. kingcom says:

    Wait a minute, you can fail a course and be refused graduation from year 12 of high school in the US? Really? I can’t even comprehend how that works. Is it like a %50+ average for the year or your not allowed to continue?

    1. Rick C says:

      As Seamus explained in part 30, it’s a matter of points. You have to have so many points to graduate. When I was in high school, you have to amass a total of 200 points; courses were rated based on how often they met, so a full-semester class that met every day was 6 points. If you reached the end of senior year with 199 points, you wouldn’t be able to pass–although as part 30 points out, you just take summer school.

      1. kingcom says:

        Wow, thats…pretty horrible I can now see where all the stories of having horrible people hanging at school doing nothing and causing everyone else to suffer comes from. Over in Australia you can drop out if you complete year 10.

        1. Rick C says:

          Here you can drop out usually at a certain age, but it may vary by state.

          Shamus’ dislike for the whole thing may have made things worse–in my case, my school, as I mentioned, required 200 points to graduate, but I wanted to get as much extra stuff in as possible that I thought might be useful to me later (including, for example, some electronics, drafting, and typing courses) so I graduated with nearly 250 credits, or almost 5 years’ worth of classes. It took a lot of juggling as well as overrides, because you normally couldn’t take more than a certain number of classes.

          Had he not found found school so inimical, he probably would’ve taken enough electives this was never going to be a problem–unless one of the failed courses was a hard requirement (in my school you had to have a minimum of the equivalent of four full-year English classes. Someone with 3.5 years worth and 210 credits would not be allowed to graduate. On the other hand, guidance counselors did provide SOME help in my school, and would generally keep you from making a mistake like that.

  35. MadTinkerer says:

    I had chronic headaches in high school, after graduation we finally discovered the cause of them:

    They were often triggered by stress, which is what we just assumed it was (though my second high school was a heck of a lot less stressful than my first, and the headaches got worse) but there was a more concrete reason. Turns out my overbite was so severe that my jaw was interfering with my brain getting enough oxygen. I didn’t suffer permanent brain damage or anything, but after a year of braces (again), headgear, and other strong measures, I was not only headache free but actually felt more intelligent and found my college coursework to be exponentially easier.

    Too bad other unrelated crap happened and I ended up dropping out of college (the first time). But in terms of my ability to study, fixing my jaw turned out to be the key to cranking my brain up to 11. It probably wouldn’t have made high school much easier, considering I graduated twice with the headaches and probably still would have put in the exact same effort if they had kept me in the same boring classes, but it would have been nice to be diagnosed earlier.

  36. This is where the art of being an asshole is immensely useful. After reasonable communication has stopped and someone is flat-out refusing to do their job, it’s time to raise the stakes. “Look, you useless, bureaucratic bitch. My son has headaches that make him want to end his own life. They make every second torture. He can barely see straight. If he says he has one of those, and you don’t do anything again, I will make it my personal mission to insure you no longer have a job anywhere”.

  37. Leah says:

    My mom got a lot of head ecks a lon time ogoe.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *