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A Pound's A Pound - Migraine

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* I am proud to say that this poem was the featured item on the front page of the International Migraine Foundation - the publication, web site and FaceBook public page - and it will be featured again in the near future. (Re-post). *

There are mornings that I wake within the confines of my bed, With a stabbing and excruciating pain inside my head ... I'm told it's called a "migraine", hemiplegic, more exact, And I've had them now, as I recall, as far as thoughts go back. It's really very rare, it seems, for men, I've beat great odds, So I guess I should feel privileged - I'm the pet of headache gods! I used to get them through the day, there were drugs that I could take, But now they're festering while I dream, fully-blown when I awake ... My eyes, I can't keep open, ANY light is far too much, The smallest sound is agony, as is the slightest touch ... If there's food within my stomach, well, the nausea brings it forth, And if there's NOT, then dry-heaves will be sending bile north. I often feel I've had a stroke, with weakness in one sphere, My face will droop to just one side, quite numb below the ear. I can't describe the pain, because mere words do not exist, To fully capture, with a phrase that quite conveys the gist. With me it starts behind the eye, and often spreads from there, To encompass my entire skull, and throb from-ear-to-ear. It feels like every part of me has traveled to that spot, That every neuron's being pierced with steel that burns, white-hot. They used to be quite harmless, just an ugly, painful joke, But hemiplegic migraines can result in death or stroke. There's nothing else quite like them, and with that I understate, But safe to say they're awful, and a horrid twist of fate. I've had them for a lifetime now, most likely for the rest, But I know that there's a reason - that they're really just a test. One more of life's reminders, things can always be much worse, I could be fighting for my life, or riding in a hearse ... So, every time I have one now, I say a little prayer ... And count them as a blessing, and a way to keep aware ... That pain, to us, is crucial in keeping us alive, And giving us direction in all the ways we strive. It helps us to appreciate the times we're feeling best, A guide for being cautious with the boundaries that we test. Migraines can be horrible, and I don't enjoy the pain, But how can we love sunshine, without welcoming the rain? I've learned to see them this way, instead of as a curse, And remember when I have one, things could be MUCH worse. For each headache that comes, there's someone ELSE who's nearing death, So, I'm thankful for the pounding, and the gift of every breath. See, life must stay in balance - without bad, there is no good, And pain just helps us value all the sweet things, as we should. So if you are a victim of this monster that I've known, Please know that others feel your pain ... you're NOT in the dark ... Alone.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 7/4/2018 8:25:00 PM
Wow. A most affecting write my friend. One can feel the edge of your sword in this one dear Bard. Congratulations on your work being featured in such a meaningful impacting way, mo hugs <3
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 7/10/2018 9:30:00 PM
Thank you so much, Mo, I so appreciate it! (Daniel and John H have been calling me "The Bard" of late as well, and I kinda like it! It IS my name origin as well). Blessings, My Dear Poet Friend! :-) <3
Date: 7/2/2018 4:12:00 PM
Wow, that sounds horrendous Greg - I’m glad you’ve found a way to be (somewhat) at peace with it. Our bodies are so wonderful but so fallible... All the best to you.
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 7/10/2018 9:28:00 PM
Thank you so much, Nina - so many things are so much worse, and we ALL have our little battles, so I feel blessed. (I have MS as well, but in remission at present - another blessing) ... best wishes, my friend! :-) <3
Date: 7/1/2018 11:24:00 AM
yes, i can relate as i get this ache at least twice a week..i'm sensitive to unnatural light... superb images and language, gregory... huggs
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 7/2/2018 11:45:00 AM
Thank you so much, Nette, I'm sorry you get these horrible things ... I get them between two and four times a week, and sometimes get stuck in "cycles" that don't end for many days. I pray you find healing and relief somehow. <3
Date: 7/1/2018 3:33:00 AM
Many congrats on your poem being published Greg,you give such a vivid portrayal of this condition, I've only ever had 2 migraines and can't imagine having to live with them on a regular basis my friend's son suffers and he is laid up in bed in agony:-( I love your acceptance of the condition, it certainly makes you appreciate the pain free days and n you can get on and enjoy life whereas other people are not so lucky with their health issues:-( hugs jan xx
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Gregory R Barden
Date: 7/2/2018 11:39:00 AM
Thank you so much, Jan, I'm sorry you ever had to deal with this, and very sorry your friend's son has such difficulty. Most migraines are harmless, thankfully, but are excrutiating pain, but mine changed to this very rare form, (FHM - Familial Hemiplegic Migraine), when I was about 30, and they are life-threatening, with stroke-type symptoms that have to be checked every time. I pray his never make that change. Many thanks for your kind words, Dear Poet. <3