migrainepage.com Art and Poetry

Migraine Images and Other Art

This section of the migraine site is a place to showcase the creative things brought forth from the pain and frustration of migraines. Finding a creative outlet may not only help you to deal with your situation, but bring someone else hope, understanding, or a smile as well. Included here are all sorts of migraine art and images, whether it be poetry, stories, drawings, paintings, computer art, etc. If you have any to share, please e-mail them to: Thank you!

Images and text may not be used or reproduced without prior and individual written consent of the artist.

Migraine Art

migraine drawing

"Caged" by

migraine watercolor on YUPO

"migraine" by

migraine pics 011

"migraine pics 011" by

migraine pics 013

"migraine pics 013" by

migraine pics 014

"migraine pics 014" by


"migraine" by

acrylic painting


"anguish" by


"Cafergot" by


"Bleak" by


"Migraine" by

Know Headache, Know Pain (No Headache, No Pain)

by , a performance artist who is currently working on a piece about migraine headaches called "Know Headache, Know Pain (No Headache, No Pain)"

Aversion to Modern Art


A Sciart project that aims to explore the creative process in non-representational art, investigating why some 'art' in the general sense can affect people - art that 'catches the eye and hits the head'. The project is a collaboration between the artist , who's paintings are inspired by her own migraine experiences, and the scientist Arnold Wilkins at the University of Essex.

My attack


without warning the serpent's vice-like grip begins. The strangle hold begins at the top of my back and within 20 minutes has slunk it's way to the top of my head, wrapping it's constricting tail around my temples. The right side of my brain chokes on the bitter venom which pours out and streams down the muscles in my neck and heats the side of my face. I can taste it in my mouth. I roll my eyes back into my head and am blocked by a brick wall.

Slowly, my right eye twitches and begins to blur and the toxin, now settled securely, begins to pulsate. The throbbing is intense and I blink and cringe at the smallest light source.

And then...the poison drips acidic byproduct into my stomach as my insides turn over and give up.

Soon, I begin to get a chill. The warmth of my coat or the blanket only intensifies the nausea, so I opt for the cold. The shiver of the cold, however, only amplifies the rhythm of the throbbing.

Shortly, my neck begins to bob and fall under the pressure..as if the snake had been carrying a load of bricks, adding them one by one to my crown, making it near impossible for my shoulders to balance this new handicap. As my neck stiffens under the excessive load, my shoulders tense and the muscles down my back strain.

My entire body mourns my torture.

I close my eyes and pray. I pray intense and incoherent pleading streams. The tears fall unnoticed...out of habit...out of pain and out of anger.

I am tired. I am tired of fighting this reoccurring battle and yet pissed at the culprit. How dear he (I just know it is a he) invade me unwelcome. How dare he turn my world upsidedown at the worst possible time. The vice morphs into a jackhammer with scattered debris rolling around in my head. Like a pregnant woman contracting, I know the pain will peak, then eventually subside..but that is no consolation now. I can't even see the top, much less the other side.

The pain transports me and I float above life, looking down at a world that I know must be carrying on as usual, but I look around to see if anyone can hear the same obnoxious drumming I hear...the same hysterical screams...the same tornado that is tearing me apart. How can they not?

The colors around me all become one. My entire world becomes grey and fuzzy, with intermittent flashes of searing hot pink. I recoil at the neon demons and curl into a ball. My teeth ache and my jaw winces at the reverb from it.

I pray and plead for a shovel. A sharp shovel. All I want to do is reach into my head and dig out the pain. I want to dig hard and fast. Perhaps I can just dig it out with my bare hands. Perhaps I can just cut that part of my head right off. That would show it. I am furious and scared. I am a little baby. I am helpless. I am trapped in this dungeon and I cannot see the way out.

"Please God. OH God, PLEASE take it away. Please take it away! I know you can."

The vice remains and I contemplate puking. I contemplate death. Death sounds so good. So calm. No storm. No thrashing serpent. No tornado. No construction machinery. That's what I'll do. Yes. I'll just close my eyes and pray for death. Even a slow one. Just, without the pain.

The clock ticks and the pain remains. Maybe I should make friends with him. Maybe he'll be nicer, then. I'll trick him with love. I'll kill him with kindness. My anger must just make it worse, right? So I reach out and touch the pain. "Grab my hand, " I say. I'd like to get to know you better and love you" If I love you more, better, will you stop hurting me? I stroke him and squeeze him and try my hardest to understand him. The vice tightens so I let go. "I hate you, you bastard!" "I hate your sickening face! " I give up. You win. Call me when it's over, will you?

Helpless again, I relinquish my last ounce of control and crawl onto the raft. I let my self float out to sea, riding the waves of pain, a stranded victim of a hideous crash. The cold fingers of the waves wrap around my head, around my face and seduce my back. They beg me to come under water, but my fingers desperately grasp the raft. Their cold grip pinches as they arch into me, begging me to come to their dark place.

The world is still unfocused and the ride churns my reality, making the objects around me bob up and down. The waves crash and my universe spins out of control.

By now I'm drenched....from tears, from sweat,...from the waves. The dirty, black constricting waves of pain and nausea. I close my eyes and slip underwater...just..for ......a .....few ......minutes.

When I awaken, the vice has dulled, but the nausea is in my throat. I rush to the garbage can, but nothing happens. The toxic rancor clings to the sides of my throat and stomach and my head floats. The magic anti-venom that I swallowed an hour ago seems to be putting up a fight. Slowly I feel the vice loosen ever so slightly and the concrete dust debris settle into one location. The waves I am floating on turn warm and begin to change from black to grey to a dull golden hue. I begin to dry off as the raft deposits me safely back on shore. My heart races with the quickening, jittery fuel of the medicine. I can feel the soothing chemical pouring through my veins like cool lava on a scorched earth. The gentle cool makes it's way down my head and neck and the after-effect leaves my me heady and other-worldly. My eyes widen and I allow the light in once again. I feel as if I've just awaken from a long nap. I blink my eyes and touch my head. My scalp is electric and my head is fuzzy with a dull memory of an ache.

I think I have survived. Yes, I am a survivor. "Thank you God!"

I've reached the other side.


The Little Migraine Workers


If you have read extensively, you have certainly heard of the twiddlebugs. There are many varied species of small creatures from Tinkerbell to Kermit to Antz. But have you ever heard of the Little Migraine Workers? They are a highly innovative tight-knit group. Their latest invention consists of a small suction cup which attaches to the back of the eye with a series of metal stakes (installed by a jackhammer). A rubber band at the back of the cup attaches to a spit-like device that can be turned repeatedly until the rubber band finally snaps -- hitting the back of the eye with a jolt. But of course the Little Migraine Workers don't want the rubberband to break until each little guy (they must be guys) has had his 'turn.' These little critters are very ingenius. It was extremely difficult to develop a jackhammer small enough to fit inside the head of their host. And we won't even mention the signal the jackhammer can send to the stomach to cause regurgitation. One of their most simplistic creations can be the most painful to their victim. The Little Migraine Workers take a balloon and blow it up and then blow it up some more. Then they let the air out and start over. It causes excruciating pain. The little torturers just
love this one, and can keep it up for hours. Sometimes the Little Migraine Workers want to see the outside world. So they made a little device powered by a hydraulic pump. They use it to pry open the retina. This allows bright light to rush into the eye, causing severe agony. The pump can also be moved to the ear to magnify sound a thousand times. The only saving grace is that the Little Migraine Workers can hibernate for long periods of time. But when they wake up they're loaded for bear and may try to use all of their inventions at once. And they pick the most inopportune time they can possibly come up with to arise from their dormancy and wreak havoc on your nerves. So even if you have never encountered the Little Migraine Workers, beware -- they may only be hibernating.

Migraine Poetry

Broken Brain


stabs my eye with an ice pick
to the core of the meat
twist and Yank
cracking temples in a vice grip
hammer through bone and gristle
take that sharpened fork, heated
sear my tender neck
claw it off my tightened shoulders
with dull saw my jaw ragged
twist out each tooth, nerves alive
melting into the numb oblivion
senstitve flesh shivers
mouth waters with contained spew
as the taste of rot and banannas Overwhelm
every little sound so deafening
chews off my ears.
is this what death feels like.
no. no.

just a Migraine

I just want to Read a Book

Submitted by

She stares affectionately at the four chocolate walls. They have become her best friends during this hellacious couple of weeks that she's been confined to this bed. The bed, a King Size California style with plenty of cushion, not hard but not too soft. Sounds like the kids story, The Three Bears. When nothing makes the throbbing go away, the humor fades quite observantly. The hurt, she hasn't been to work in many days, her coworkers quite mad but they don't know. Nobody knows what she feels, nobody can embrace the migraines quite like she can. Yes, maybe that is it, maybe migraines just feel at home in her veins and brain. Why can't they get that trying to eat feels like an adventure; will I heave it back up or will it actually digest? Light is the ugly, mean wolf that pounds on her head and instills her baby instincts of crawling into the fetal position under the dark, heavy blankets that make it somewhat more tolerable. What she wants most is out of her league now, the books stacked and begging to be read. The temptation of turning those pages, feeling anxious about how the story is going to go, looking at the clock and telling herself, "just one more chapter". No, during the month long ravage of her life, she doesn't read, she lays there in a torturing, blood curdling ache. Counting the hours until she can take the magic pill that will knock her out and render her to a deep sleep. Relief comes only as a last measure of admitting herself to the daunting needle place, the hospital. After three days, she is almost pain free. Yes, the evil still lurks and hides inside her temples. Her cranium still flares from the pain, what can she do?

As you already know, I suffer from Migraines, quite often unfortunately. Two years ago, I suffered from a really terrible one that lasted an entire month. No matter what the doctors would give me, nothing would make it go away. I ended up in the hospital on some medication that is given every 8 hours and after three days, I felt much better. The point of the poem is that the entire month, I was miserable. My coworkers were very upset but the actually physicality of driving to work was impossible. Migraines are severely debilitating and most have no clue just how they can make a mess of your life.

By myself I dream

Submitted by

As I watch me
fleeting away from myself,
all my energy- all my liberty,
moving inexorably into,
a day, a week, a month,
a year, perhaps even a decade;
I wonder- what is time,
where it is going, and
how much further will it go?
I wonder – again and again,
why is it that they think,
any time is just like-every other time?
Ah! But deep down inside,
by myself I dream,
alone I came and go
as the waves of the moment
into the Sea of time.

Pounding in my head, Go away!!

Submitted by

I woke up with a pounding in my head
It hurts to move to get out of bed
I see colors blue, yellow and red
It hurts so bad I must be living-Dead
I have to move and get on with life
Is this life of a wife?
As if migraines weren't enough, Cancer comes along
I have to live with side effects that are brutal and strong
I take some pills that are pretty blue
They don't help but describes how I feel, Blue.

Rhythm of Progress

Submitted by

One foot ahead of the other
Hands at backpack straps
Muscles longed for nighttime baths
We kept moving.

The rhythm of progress
Unnoticed as we passed
Monotony brought novelty
Temples to clap and pray at.

We bought our souvenirs
And leaned on walking sticks
At a cathedral in the cliffs
The final shrine, the eighty-eighth, a shack
Festooned with faded flags.

Our rhythm brought us there.

Now I move along a different path
And fight nerves that light my brain in pain
Everything strangely brightthe Van Gogh effect
My souvenir is an hourglass,
that I tilt in aphotic bliss.

Hands tied behind my back
I have lost my walking stick
I have to climb up out of myself
Follow the rhythm of progress.

Okay all the Time

Submitted by

If I can move around in myself,
travel from my foot to face
why am I caged with the pain?
If I reside in my head,
contained by this flesh,
is the ache an illusion?

If I can think behind the pain,
why can't I get through?
I know somewhere in myself
the things I need to do,
but theres a damper
between this part of me,
and the me I show to you.

How can I cry, yell and scream out loud
when deep inside I am fine?
Am I okay all the time?

When my body doesnt work  I trap myself.
I cage my mind,
I cant get out.

When I dont work  I cry a lot,
sit motionless, weighed down.
I want to escape.
Maybe I can go live in my foot,
focus on the balance between left
and right.

But when my foot hurts  thats where I go.
Why do I follow the pain?

Maybe I'm the healer,
the nourisher of myself.

Migraine Poem

Submitted by

ice blue skies
air so clear you can drink it
dancing beams of sunlight
warmth that surrounds you
inside and out
palates of colors and scents
so vibrant they blind
perfect reflections of two
overflowing with bounties of love
security of well being
eminating and touching
all it encounters

These are things
that will eternally be
out of my reach.

My hellish head pain

Submitted by

My head
it hurts so incredibly bad
I retreat to bed. Powerful waves of agaony from the pain in my eye.. Dear god wont you show some
me some mercy. if not now very soon. Turn off the lights put me in a quiet room. let this hell be over god
I pray for myself and all migraine suffers very very soon.

im on a sea of agony of witch until its sailed its coarse it wont dock but i believe not to give up to reach out. to touch the hand of mercy in your mind though it seems far it will come someday even if not today.

Dear loved ones never give up you are loved more than you can know of this im sure of. Never ever let go. May I leave you with one thought im on day 16 of a migraine if
I can do it so can you..

My Head Hurts..

Submitted by

Children's Hospital
Washington, D.C.
I point my finger to my head,
tears streaking down from
bloodshot green eyes
softly proclaiming
"My head hurts.."
I was five years old.

I am the star of
the longest running series ever.
my episodes are daily, weekly...

a lifetime of mornings spent in dark showers
and even darker bedrooms, apartments...


drenched pillows providing small comfort
a cool sleep for hopes to wake pain free.

Mornings are worse.

Curled up on the floor of the bathroom...
crying, jamming knuckles into temples
death would less painful than this...

classes, dates, meetings, graduations, concerts.


splash my face with water yet again....
throw up whatever is left in my system...
my god I must be an embarrassment....


Pain Stayed So Long

Submitted by

Pain stayed so long
I said to him today,
"I will not have you with me anymore
And paused there startled at the look he wore.
"I who have been your friend,"
he said to me, "I who have been your teacher
--all that you know of understanding love,
of sympathy and patience,
I have taught you. Shall I go?"
He spoke the truth,
this strange unwelcome guest;
I watched him leave and knew that he was wise.
He left a heart grown tender in my breast.
He left a far, clear vision in my eyes.
I dried my tears, and lifted up a song
Even for one who'd tortured me so long.



My Migraine Poem

by Susan

Sit down I need to tell you something
Before we get too involved.
You need to know that I have a problem.

No.. I don't drink
I don't have any STD's
Never smoked a day in my life.
No criminal record.

I have pain.
Extreme pain unlike anything you have likely seen before.
It just happens -
It happens a lot.
It's in my head and it takes over.

"Ah" you say " is that all?"
"We can get through this.. "
"I thought it was something serious"

When you saw the first really bad one.
You thought I was faking
Accused me of being addicted to the pain meds
You turned away.
It was ugly

I can't go to concerts with you.
I can't eat your mothers cranberry sauce
I am afraid to leave the house without meds
I don't want to join any clubs
I'll just disappoint you
I'm sorry
I'm sorry
I'm sorry

Years go by
You discover we can't get through it
You leave me
It's too much for you

"If you just would try harder" - you say
"It's not like you have cancer"
"I know people who are blind and go to parties"
"You don't try hard enough"
"You are holding me back"

I understand
Because I'd like to leave me too.
I don't blame you.
If I could find someone else
Who is more fun
I'd do the same.


A Sea of Pain and Weird Sensations

aka Rag doll

I greet the day with trepidation.

Color without pain, Pain without color.
Which will it be today?

My body aches from yet another cause.
I wonder, The Migraine, which will it be today.

Another cause of pain I can diminish.
Through distraction, relaxation or
By doing...anything

But when the mighty migraine comes
He demands my full attention.

The aura of the migraine still intrigues me:
The world awash with just a single color,
The lightning bolts, or
Dancing balls of red and green and purple.
Undulation waves of spectral colors,
Remind me of the deepest northern night.
My personal kaleidoscope of patterns;
Ever changing, ever new, but such an old acquaintance.

As I stroll out the door,
The great light of day greets me.
Not as a friend, but a Herald of foreboding.
OOPS. I forgot my sunglasses.
I winch, I sneeze.
Then with a stab of white hot flame
The migraine pain makes his presence known.

Of course, his trusty friends are with him.
I turn to take a step back towards the house.
But where is the ground? How far is the door?
If I reach out will I find the wall?
Oh starlings why do you screech like vultures.
Where is your pleasant passion song of yore?
In one turn of my head the world has changed.

As I move a leg that does not want to move.
The pain spreads from my eye around my head and face.
My leg and arm become engulfed in numbness.
Holding wall and husband, I slowly reach the kitchen.
Take my meds, and then struggle down the hall.
Again with great attention,
my husband guides me into bed.

Look to the right side of my face, it will seem normal.
Look then too the left and wonder,
Can these two sides even be related?
The left is splotched with red and tears roll down the cheek.
Through walls and halls I hear all kinds of clamor.
The refrigeration now becomes jack hammer.
The closet light now makes the sound of sirens shrill.
The purring cat now is a locomotive.

I close my eyes and notice,
The colored light show now is gone.
But for a pair of sunglasses I would be in awe.

Now instead, I sink and languor
In a sea of pain and strange sensations.
Praying for relief and cursing life,
As I sink deeper into the
Sea of pain and strange sensations.


My Brain


Lights SCREAMING into my eyes
Blinding painful terrorize
My brain
Moving, stumbling grinds my mind
Bombs go off, stepping on mines
My brain
Rest my head, wish it was lead
But no, the knife twists
My brain
Voices shout only they're hushed
Anger, frustration, torment, depression
My brain
Crying out for relief, No one hears
No one cares, No one understands
My brain
Lost in a sea of hopelessness and despair
Lost in an ocean of pain, grabbing at
My brain
The pain builds and churns and overwhelms
Visions and auras and wishing for spells
My brain
Just give me drugs, give me death, give me peace
Let me lie still in the darkness and the cold with
My brain
Relieve me, Faith leaves me, Hope has abandoned me
Consciousness loss, level of 10, bliss for 3 seconds
My brain
More pain from a shot, I welcome the pain, grasping for help
five minutes, ten minutes then peace at last
Relief, bliss and I move into space, into the abyss, into the fog
Jellied legs, Jellied brains, serenity encompasses and I sleep My brain is still...for now

Tears On My Pillow

White lights bleeding
from my eyes, down through my heart
crying in the night
awake with pain and penitence
I say my prayers
There are no ears, no one hears
My screams...inside of me
Inside of my head
On top of my bed
And the blood drips from my eyes
Tears on my pillow


I am an 18 year old guy who has had chronic daily migraine for over a year. I had to write something to make up  explaining the days i missed.

Midnight Flight


A thousand knives twisting inside my brain
Screaming in pain I slowly go insane
The flashes of light, the super strong smells
Get rid of the pink bottle somebody!
Load me into the plane quickly please
Where are you going Josh? Medical Lake?
No you are not quite that messed up in the head



Throbbing pain pulses now
Intensity growing
Never releasing me
I need a break from this
Screaming for a buffer
Never finding a medium
A gentle giant crying
Huddled in the corner
Hiding from the lights

Must Go On


Constant pain
Must go on
End of class
Long days testing
High stress
Locked keys in car
50 more bucks
Continuous pain
Head throbbing
Must go on
My dog died
Emotional test
More stress
Head still hurts
Must go on
Weekends over
Still busy
I need a break
Must go on



Surrounded by pain
Photopic Phenomena
Overwhelming smells
My head is about to burst
Fully Consuming Migraine



Suffocating Light
Blinding pain envelops you
Life sucking migraine

Hat of pain

written approx. 2001


This hat of pain -
I wear it well,
all too often,
my head of hell.

This hat of pain
defines me.
Without it,
Who would I be?

This hat of pain -
mad nerve cells.
An ice pack tops it
filled with gel

This hat of pain -
my routine,
avert it, arrest it,
with drugs and caffeine.

This hat of pain -
invisible cries,
unseen ails,
unheard sighs.

This hat of pain -
Untie the knot.
Tame the hurt,
or not.

This hat of pain -
I wear it well.
I'd like to
take it off a spell.

my migraine

its back again
it always seems to find me
its the only constant in my life
its the only thing i can count on
it brings tears to my eyes and thoughts of death to my mind
it breaks down the good things
it feels like my brain is oozing out of my eyes
its the reason he left me
its why i had to withdraw from my coursework
its why all the pharmacists know me by my first name
its why i cant go here or cant go there
its why im sorry all the time
its why i may loose my job
its why i have no time for fun
its why you wont see me out and about
its why im always in my room
its made weak
its made me question my beliefs
its made me feel as if im being punished for something
its made me want to quit..........
some want to help but feel helpless
some dont understand
some cant deal
some think its all in my head
some say drink more water, exercise
some dont say anything at all
some pray for me
some have no clue
some are sure its a mental issue
some call it shannon
some ignore it
some are tired of hearing about
some dont even call to see how im doing anymore
some look at as an excuse
some say i stress to much
some say its because of my bills
i say.............dont worry about me ill be okay.

My Trophies

we all get a break now and then from the pain in our life's to do the things we enjoy. my things are my family and this was just something I write to let people know this. and life always doesn't have to be about pain. and the best things in life are at home.


Here I sit snow on the ground
Listening to every creak crack and sound
Looking hard straining to see
Any trophy that will walk to me

You have a plan for us to wait
That's the part some hunters hate
Not this one, it's a time to think
As the sun begins to sink

Thoughts wander of family at home
Trying not to think of problems that make you groan
A house full of girls not one boy in the batch
But hunting buddies nonetheless just wanting to go for any catch

When they come it's just one at a time
Others mad because they got left behind
But dad always try's to make it right
Even if it's just picking up a treat to end the fight

We work as a team while in the wild
They like not being looked as a child
Colds as ever, warm in December it ain't
But even as dads little girls you never hear a complaint

Top to bottom dressed like boys
Only exception's is for the ponytails and Barbie's for toys
We watch the turkeys and squirrels walking And running around
On their faces a smile can be found

As we wait no sound no movements do they make
For they know that to bring them in that's what it takes
She's the oldest and has got to go the most
And loves to tease her sister and make them roast

The middle one is more than happy to take her turn
Loves the outdoors and also makes her sisters burn
That's the way we grew up I guess
When they're older like us they still won't give it a rest!

The little one always ready at all times
Kinda like dad was when he was nine
She's only four and wants to go
You know dad would never say no.

A thousand questions while in the field
What's that? Why here? Some of the questions she yields
Dad doesn't care it's a time to learn
And she doesn't even know she has both sisters to burn

A new one know not of blood
But when I think of being without her my begins to flood
She is small and hard to take
But when its time a fishing trip will make

The fun we have when this experience we share
It doesn't matter your hunting partner has bows in there hair
But this time dad has gone alone
To look for a trophy to take home

My thoughts are broken by a noise over the hill
A grunt and a trashing can be heard, is this his will?
He tops the hill, the king of the herd
I start to shake as he comes, as he watches every little bird

He's big and proud the biggest I've seen
I draw back; stiff is the bow the cold hard beams
Just a few more steps he will clear the trees
After that, I'll be taking him home with me

All of a sudden I start to think of that word I said
"Home" "home" in another three seconds this buck win be dead
My hunting season over, my bow put to rest
A smile from me as I think it's a test.

I thank you God for giving all of these problems included
For I almost forgot the best it almost eluded
The bow back to rest, point to the ground
The deer runs off running as if being chased by a hound

It was big and full of bragging rights
But I'm going home and ending a hunting night
As I pull the truck in I see the little porch gnome
God, thank you for my wife and my four
Trophies she keeps at home



a tight band across my head is not the same as yours
mine are bad
mine are pain and fire and a little monkey pulling on my eyes from the back

no, i don't want to smell that right now
no, i can't come to your party
no, i cant eat that chocolate dessert

and then they tell me about a friend who was cured from their migraines

and i fell sad
am i broken forever
could i change my head for another
just for one day
just for one night

could you just understand what its like to feel too fragile to let loose

but too angry to give up the fight...

No One To Turn To


They don't listen
They don't understand
I'm exaggerating, they think
Why would I?
I don't want sympathy
I just want a cure
I don't want to live like this
Try to understand
Even if you can't
No, you don't get them, too
You had a headache
Not the same thing
If you only knew
I'm not being a baby
This is my living hell
Every day, all day
No one to turn to
Sorry for not being 'fun'
Sorry for you having to say goobye to my former self
But no one is more sorry than I

The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Hi, my name is , and I've had migraines for about five years now.  This is a poem about the guilt I suffer after a migraine, when I have to explain to friends, co-workers, and my husband that I HAVE to push them away sometimes.

Don't tell me you're sorry.
Don't tell me you understand.
Don't ask me how bad it is.
Don't ask me what causes it.
For the love of God, just be QUIET.
Your apologies rattle inside my skull.
You don't understand how your voice hurts me.
You don't want to know how bad this is, and I don't have words painful enough to explain.
Nothing causes it, everything does;
Your sympathy, your questions, your God-forsaken VOICE.
I love you.
I need you.
But right now, when the devil is playing racquetball in my head,
I want to rip out your tongue if that's what it takes to make you stop HURTING me.
  I know you have the best of intentions.
You love me, you're worried, you're scared.
I'll feel bad later for hating you now.
The guilt will take me where the pain didn't,
And isn't that a lovely guided tour of hell?
I can't comfort you now.
Not while my brain is on fire and my body is frozen.
You can't comfort me.
Not while these invisible claws are ripping me apart at the seams.
After this is over...IF this is ever over,
We'll apologize to each other and try to explain.
I'll clumsily try to tell you not to talk to me when it gets bad.
You'll hear what I'm implying.
I'll feel you pulling away from me, and hear what you won't say.
Because even when it's over
The pain just won't end.


written 10/13/98

peaceful slumber
traipsing like a scorpion
that familiar sting
it's just a dream; next sequence
the awakening
fire, burning, blindness by viselike pain
the orbit torn by that twisting white hot dagger
the routine begins
and again
only to lay dormant
until the next strike


written sometime in 2000

Simple they say
wake, work, eat, sleep
Normal day
do you feel that?
have you done that?
daily medical requirement
Is it really normal
to be so normal?
maybe for some
never for me.


written 1/5/96

How strange it must be
to see thru another's eyes
night to day
sun to moon
full to empty
peace to pain
This is how it is to me
yet I have no way to explain.......
although they are my reasoning
they are my strength
they are my hope
they are my self
But who am I to them
who am I to myself?

Another Day


I awake with the same pain-
pretend it's not that bad,
you have to go to work-
get up, take a shower-
it will ease up.
Stumble to the bathroom-
throw up!
Try harder, concentrate!
You have to go to work!
I'll just lie down a minute-
it will get better-
the nausea will subside.
Another day in the bed.
Call the boss,apologize again.
Call the doctor, beg for more drugs.
Another day wasted-
drugged into oblivion.
No, I can't go to work
No, Mommy can't play
No, honey, I can't cook dinner-
I can't even move!
I'm sorry boss, mabey I'll feel like working-
another day.
I'm sorry sweetie, mabey I'll feel like playing-
another day.
I'm sorry honey, mabey I'll feel like cooking-
another day.
I'm sorry self, mabey I'll feel like living-



Head pounding, ears buzzing, stomach churning.
all around me, the world keeps turning.
But not mine, no, it's suspended in time-
in this painful, dreadful, so-called life of mine.
I've become a prisoner in my own home;
as I lie here enduring this pain-
while everyone else continues to live.
No one knows or understands what I feel.
If they did, surely they'd rescue me from this hell!
My mind is slowly slipping away from me-
as I cry and cry- wondering if I'll ever be free!?!
All of the doctors PRETEND to try,
but if they're trying so hard, then WHY????

keep looking

you are all in my prayers
it's out there keep looking

my past is clear i see that now
the pain I've suffered
i made it through some how
i get a break now and then
with my kids that time i will spend
i don't recall a week without pain
some times i wonder if i gone insane
doctors and bills work no play
i feel decant just for today
no plans to go can i make
who knows what road my head will take
it's amazing how the years go bye
and i still have to suffer with lights in my eyes
I'm sure you've prayed as i have done
the good lord knows we are having no fun
pills and shots oh yeh there fun
I'd love to give my doctor one migraine just one
just to let them see
what it's like to be me
let them follow the road that we have had
the one i take makes every one sad
i gave up for along time no doctors no meds
just a room that was dark pain for a bed
a friend had enough and said no more
took me to a doctor she had something in store
she got headaches to she knew what it was like
she put me on med's that actually worked through the night
she changes them for me no questions asked
she knows I'm no addict and helps me at last
to all who suffer one of these days
good thing come to those that pray
your cure is out there so don't give up
because when you keep going it improves your luck

the partners


room spins
in dances the fluorescent goblin.

ceaselessly he morphs,
changing shape before
my flagging eyes,
a serpent --
no! a thief --

with my attention captured,
the day flung aside,
he gives a sly thumbs-up
to his waiting accomplice.

slowly smirking,
the wrenching volcanic hand
plucks at an agonizing zither,
their tortuous duet

over and over
the throbbing note sounds

neon no longer

but black

The Migraine Demon

age: 17

The demons are chasing me,
the devils are haunting me.
Making me question
my so-called life.

They are invading my head,
and whispering to me
thoughts of pain.
Making me question
my so-called life.

Their whispers pounding inside me,
they are resounding around me.
Swirling and twirling.
Making me question
my so-called life.

Dancing and singing,
swaying and swinging
making me dizzy,
sweeping me away.
And making me question
my so-called life.

Whispering anger,
Screaming quietly
tears are streaming
as I think of my so-called life.

Why!? is this happening,
again and again?!
Why can't I find
a refuge from the pain?!
Why am I dancing
with this demon-
a migraine?

It starts

To all of those
I suffer with
One day it will stop

Honey my head hurts
No there is nothing you can do
It hurts real bad
No there is nothing you can do
Like a knife in my eye
No there is nothing you can do
Every sound is like a cannon going off
No there is nothing you can do
Lights are like daggers stabbing at my eyes
No there is nothing you can do
Please just keep the kids quite No there is nothing you can do
Shut the door and go away
No there is nothing you can do
All alone your heart beating in your head
No there is nothing you can do
Counting the beats hoping they will stop in a while
No there is nothing you can do


God make it stop
There is nothing you can do
Why me what did i do to deserve this
There is nothing you can do
Please there has to be something let it stop
There is nothing you can do
Help me god please
There is nothing you can do
Ill do anything just make it stop
There is nothing you can do


Ok ok breath
There is nothing you can do
In out deep breaths
There is nothing you can do
Cover your head with the pillow
There is nothing you can do
Think this does not hurt you can tough it out
There is nothing you can do
Slow your heart down that's it
There is nothing you can do
Stop it from beating so fast
There is nothing you can do
Lay still and it will stop
There is nothing you can do
Boom boom boom boom
There is nothing you can do

The med.'s

Here honey take this the doctor said it would help
There is nothing you can do
Oh good a shot
There is nothing you can do
Oh god its making it worse this cant be
There is nothing you can do
Try this spray or this pill
There is nothing you can do
This isn't working either
There is nothing you can do
Do you want to try something again
There is nothing you can do
Anything just give it all to me
There is nothing you can do
One more of these and those
There is nothing you can do

The er

Oh god i been here how many times this month
There is nothing you can do
Honey go lay down
There is nothing you can do
"no i think ill go do jumping jacks"
There is nothing you can do
How long have you had this headache?
There is nothing you can do
"long enough to come in here"
There is nothing you can do
Does it hurt bad?
There is nothing you can do
"put a ice pick in your head and swish it around"
There is nothing you can do
Are you allergic to anything?
There is nothing you can do
"the same thing i was three days ago"
Any other health problems?
There is nothing you can do
"like this isn't enough"
There is nothing you can do
Are you taking any thing?
There is nothing you can do
"any thing i can get my hands on at this time"
There is nothing you can do
The doctor will be in to see you
There is nothing you can do
Boom boom boom boom
There is nothing you can do
Calm down breath
There is nothing you can do
Lay still
There is nothing you can do
Honey turn off the light
There is nothing you can do
Lay on my back hand over my eyes
There is nothing you can do
God make him come
There is nothing you can do
Oh god oh god oh god
There is nothing you can do
Please not a asshole
There is nothing you can do
A doctor that has had a migraine
There is nothing you can do
A doctor with compassion
There is nothing you can do
Hi im doctor x keep the lights off
There is nothing you can do
Throbbing pressure in you head
There is nothing you can do
Lights sounds bother you
There is nothing you can do
Ok will give you something to stop the pain
There is nothing you can do
If that doesn't't work we will try something stronger
There is nothing you can do
Just lay back and it will be over in a minute
There is nothing you can do
Then i snap back into reality
There is nothing you can do
Bang lets turn the freaking lights on so i don't stub my doctor toe
There is nothing you can do
Sit up so i can have a look at you
There is nothing you can do
How long have you had these headaches
There is nothing you can do
How long have you had this headache
There is nothing you can do
Are you taking any thing
There is nothing you can do
How bad does it hurt
There is nothing you can do
How does it feel
There is nothing you can do
On the scale of 1 to 10 ten being the highest
There is nothing you can do
Don't you think you should see someone about these
There is nothing you can do
I have seen all the neurologists in iowa
There is nothing you can do
I've had three sinus surgeries
There is nothing you can do
I've taken every preventive medicine on the market
There is nothing you can do
Doctor please help me
There is nothing you can do
Well i don't know what you expect me to do
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
Well all's i can do is give you something for your headache
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
Just a moment
There is nothing you can do
Let me look at your eyes
There is nothing you can do
Bang " why don't you just stick a knife in my eyes "
There is nothing you can do
That little light stick does the same thing
There is nothing you can do
Ill be back
There is nothing you can do
God what now
There is nothing you can do
Lay back down
There is nothing you can do
Honey turn off the lights
There is nothing you can do
Just a little while longer
There is nothing you can do
Honey he's telling the nurses what to give you
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
Bang the lights come back on
There is nothing you can do
Well it seems like you have been in the er a lot
There is nothing you can do
I get a lot of migraines
There is nothing you can do
I cant treat them alone
There is nothing you can do
Well im not giving you all these narcotics
There is nothing you can do
But they help
There is nothing you can do
Well im going to try something different
There is nothing you can do
Oh god its not over yet
There is nothing you can do
Well lets try this and that
There is nothing you can do
But thetas what i took at home just another name brand
There is nothing you can do
Well im giving you a bigger dose
There is nothing you can do
Ok your the doctor

There is nothing you can do
Twenty minutes later
There is nothing you can do
Head still pounding
There is nothing you can do
Is it any better
There is nothing you can do
No not at all
There is nothing you can do
Well that always works for my migraine patients
There is nothing you can do
Please knock me out
There is nothing you can do
Well lets try something else
There is nothing you can do
Twenty minutes later
There is nothing you can do
How are you coming along
There is nothing you can do
The same
There is nothing you can do
Well we've done all we can do
There is nothing you can do
Go home and lay in a dark room
There is nothing you can do
Give the medicine time to take effect
There is nothing you can do
Come with a headache leave with one
There is nothing you can do

Home again

Laying in bed
There is nothing you can do
Thoughts of suicide
There is nothing you can do
It will stop the hurt
There is nothing you can do
What about the kids
There is nothing you can do
Ill just have to take it
There is nothing you can do
Pass out
There is nothing you can do
Thank god you passed out
There is nothing you can do
Wake up with the same headache
There is nothing you can do
Go to work
There is nothing you can do
Everyone tells you that you look like shit
There is nothing you can do
They tell you to go home
There is nothing you can do
But you cant afford to take one more day off
There is nothing you can do
Go to doctors office on lunch break
There is nothing you can do
You've had this headache how long
There is nothing you can do
What all have you taken
There is nothing you can do
You need a excuse for work don't you
There is nothing you can do
No i just want my head to quit hurting
There is nothing you can do
Well here's a shot of hyped up ibuprofen
There is nothing you can do
We don't have anything stronger here
There is nothing you can do
"if you think im just looking for a fix why wont you just say so!!"
There is nothing you can do
Go home and rest
There is nothing you can do
Go back to work
There is nothing you can do
Watch the clock 4:30 please come
There is nothing you can do
Home at last
There is nothing you can do
Boom boom boom boom
There is nothing you can do
Honey let me take you back out to the er
There is nothing you can do
No im fucking sick of them all
There is nothing you can do
Why because they all think im a drug seeker
There is nothing you can do
I really don't have a problem
There is nothing you can do
Its all in my head
There is nothing you can do
After several hours of arguing
There is nothing you can do
Fine take me
There is nothing you can do
Just please stop talking to me
There is nothing you can do
Back again
There is nothing you can do
So how long have you had this headache
There is nothing you can do
What all have you taken
There is nothing you can do
That gets funnier every time i here it
There is nothing you can do
The doctor will be in to see you
There is nothing you can do
A different doctor
There is nothing you can do
Ya you look like you got a good one
There is nothing you can do
My daughter gets these
There is nothing you can do
Just a second
There is nothing you can do
I need a hip
There is nothing you can do
This might burn
There is nothing you can do

The waiting

Boom boom boom boom
There is nothing you can do
The fight is on
There is nothing you can do
Your head is mad because you held your breath
There is nothing you can do
Just so you wouldn't't jerk from the hypo
There is nothing you can do
Five minutes went by
There is nothing you can do
Still no change
There is nothing you can do
Surging pounding stabbing
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
Ten minutes goes buy
There is nothing you can do
The pain is going away
There is nothing you can do but the surging is still there
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
Fifteen minutes go by
There is nothing you can do
Sound doesn't't bother you and there is no pain
There is nothing you can do
You sit up
There is nothing you can do
Just a little surging know and then but better
There is nothing you can do
Twenty minutes goes buy
There is nothing you can do
Your tired you feel like you wrestled a truck and won
There is nothing you can do
You look at the walls
There is nothing you can do
And you look at people that have seen you for days
There is nothing you can do
But you haven't been able to see them through the pain
There is nothing you can do
You thank the doctor and the nurses
There is nothing you can do
You talk to the doctor and tell him
There is nothing you can do
What all you have done
There is nothing you can do
He tells you that next time you come in tell them what works
There is nothing you can do
"right" and they look at you like you are a drug addict
There is nothing you can do
But you thank him again and go home
There is nothing you can do
Play with the kids
There is nothing you can do
Talk to the wife see what you missed for two days
There is nothing you can do
Go to bed and sleep
There is nothing you can do
Wake up the next day and hope for the best
There is nothing you can do
Go to work
There is nothing you can do
Everyone tells you how much better you look
There is nothing you can do
4:30 is here plans to take the family out
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
There is nothing you can do
The lines the fucking lines
There is nothing you can do
Her we go again
There is nothing you can do
No god help me
There is nothing you can do

Honey my head hurts
"what can i do ? "

A Tigers Tale

age 17

Inside my head lives a tiger.
A quiet deceptive presence.
Waiting around to come out
unexpectedly. whenever I'm enjoying myself.

It slashes my head with it's long, lethal claws,
and prints it's`stripes across my eyes.
It growls out it's warning to me.

Sometimes,in the peace of sleep,
it roars!
Lashing, biting, stomping from side to side.
And then I'm angry!
I belt the tiger against the wall.
I hit and fight.

And after? When it's gone?
....I see the faces looking at me anxiously,
and I feel a huge sadness.

The Practice Space


My head is pounding.
Once again this throbbing starts
I lay my head down on my desk and try not to cry
This is not what I want of my life
I feel something tickling my ear
I raise my head and watch as a three inch high boy walks
Across my desk
He has a pair of drumsticks in his hand
Thanks for the practice space he says as he leaves with a jaunty wave


What Is It Called?

September 16,2000

My name is LaDontai Harris. I have been diagnosed with migraines ever since the age of 4. It is hereditary and hopefully they will cease when I reach the tender age of 30, like the previous women in my family.

Oh God--not another painful day
I took Excedrin Migraine but it chose to stay
The aura began thirty minutes ago
No more vomit--that's when I was four
Nausea, sensitivity to sound and light
Confusion, depression, and no appetite
Can't hardly see because I'm so dizzy
Everyday one out of seven Americans stop their activities
My prescription Elavil is making me drowsy
How can one function feeling this lowsy
Time to get the icepack and lie down
Lord give me strength--it's starting to pound
Excuse my jibberish--my words are slurring
Have you experienced this excrutiating pain
What is it called--a MIGRAINE

Migraine Headache

My right temple is throbbing like a drunk with a drum at a sporting event. I'm dizzy from the pain of the blood whipping through my head. It feels like the left side of my head and face have exploded off, and I have to hold on so hard so the rest of my head doesn't explode apart too. My whole head is being sqeezed in a vice, like a giant monster has thrust his powerful hands into my head and is trying to wring out my brain. His strong hands are sqeezing and twisting my brain cells until they are screaming in pain. It is an intense burn, searing every nerve cell in my head, and ow, my teeth hurt like I must have cavities or have eaten icecream too fast, but I don't and I didn't. My jaw is sore; my eyes are so dizzy; my vision is blurry, and the light irritates my eyes, so I have to close them. I need to hold my eyes so they don't blow out of their sockets. I have to lie in bed and hold my head and still too much is going on in my brain. It's too much. I can't stand it. I feel so overwhelmed; there are so many sensations going on in my head. I feel hot and nauseous and dizzy and I wish my head would slow down. I try to visualize traffic signs in my cerebral bloodvessels telling the blood to slow down, but some evil blood cells invade my visualization and say,"Ha!Ha! we are going to go faster, faster. Ha ha..." They knock down the "go slow" sign and forge onwards. They will not be stopped. I hold my head. I take long slow breaths. I wish my medication would hurry up and work, to start numbing some of the crazy chaos exploding in my head. I try not to give in to the panic, but ow every nerve ending in my head is screaming out in agony. I pray prayers of desperation, "God help me please! Make it stop! Please! Make it stop!" My thoughts are fragmented and muddled. My mind feels disconnected from my body. I stumble like a drunk, weaving my way to the washroom. I drop to my knees and heave concentrated, bitter, acidic bile. My stomach is twisted in knots. Familiar objects look puzzling. It takes ten frustrating minutes to remember how to set my alarm clock. I try to write myself a reminder note for tomorrow, but I keep writing the wrong letters. I know what I want to write, but my hand keeps writing something else. The letters look strange and blurry on the page. I don't know if what I've written makes sense. I have earplugs in, but the fan over the stove is so unbelievably loud; what usually sounds like a soft hum, reverberates in my head like a monster truck rally. I stumblingly turn off the fan and open the freezer door, seeking the numbing salvation of an icepack. I stand dazed as my vision dims and I am unable to see inside the freezer. I feel faint. I slide down the fridge until I am sitting on the floor, holding my head in my hands. Within a few minutes my vision starts to emerge, eerily blurry, but good enough to find an icepack and velcro it snuggly against my burning head. The ice cold hurts so good against the burning cinders deep in my brain. It's an icey pain, like a slurpey headache, but oh how it feels more bearable than the red hot pain that preceded it. I take deep breaths. After a brief eternity, the anarchy in my brain gives way to a kinder reality. Salvation comes in the form of a blanket of sleep. When I awake I feel groggy and hungover. I'm not myself yet, but I will be, until the next coup when the migraine militia exerts its reign of terror.

Precious Time of my Life

I have a migraine again. Why me, why?..I am tired of the pain. Every day, every hour, every minute in pain, It's like loosing a part of my life. So many things to do, but can't..please pain go away.

In the morning, afternoon or evening, I am wasting the life of others by not being able to function.

I have so many things to do, so much love to give, but can't this headache does not goes away.

Tired of the drugs, tired of the pain, helpless ... it's time to go to the ER again, the drugs don't work no more. Everyone put their life's on hold, again. Not fair for my children, they ask, Mom do you feel OK today? Is there anything I can do? Not fair for my husband, Are you OK dear? do you want me to take you for some shots? I'll take care of the kids.

This migraine is wasting precious moments of my life and it's taken moments of other life's, innocent casualties of this pain.

I feel guilty, I feel bad, I should go to work today, I should not say that I am in pain, it might go away. If I try to ignore it might go away. If I get busy it might go away..but it does not.

I am losing my life to pain. I just want it to go away forever, go to sleep and maybe it will disappear.

Farewell to Life

I am 19 years old, and I have suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I find it hard to express exactly what happens to me when I get an attack, and since nobody can really see it, most people don't actually believe it (or understand it for that matter). I thought this poem might be helpful for your site. I know I find your site very helpful. It shows me that I'm not alone.

I want to say good-bye, I have to go now.
I'm sure I will be back again someday.
If you see myself somewhere tell me I miss me,
and if it's not too late tell me that I can stay.
Please ask me why I always have to go away.
I know my good-bye was so short and I am sorry.
The lights were just too bright for these two eyes.
I need to draw back and retrieve into the darkness of a world I know,
a world of pain's disguise where I hide myself, it suffocates my cries.
I hate this pounding, it's so loud I cannot hear me.
Why do demons wish to kill me from inside?
My mind can't suffer through this life of pain much longer,
if it can't breathe again then I would rather die.
With every beat I clench my fists and scream out, "Why?!"
The pain has grown now to engulf my numbing body,
the blood throbbing to burst out of my skull.
Pressing my face against the floor I try to free me
from this blinding, spinning, stabbing, pounding hell.
Pain has bound me to it's everlasting cell.
I feel possessed by pain's pressure on my soul,
grasping, reaching for the unaffected me.
Screaming aloud the blood escapes my weighing eyelids
I know I lost the battle towards becoming free.
At least I had the chance to say good-bye to me.

My Life


motionless i lay
helpless i drift
in and out of sleep

from the outside world i hear
the faint sounds of laughter
of life
drift through the cracks
in my window and door

if only i had the will to hear
the desire to see
the stomach to smell
their world

if only i had the freedom to play
the energy to laugh
the ability to care

my senses are ruined
my laughter is gone
i can't even remember
the song of life
with no pain

how many days have
i spent alone
in bed
in the dark
while my life happened without me?

school plays
wedding night
nursing my son
in pain
watching him play
while i lay
curled in the ball
on the floor
in the bathroom



i know of a place
not tainted with pain
where i can close my eyes
and my thoughts remain

my own
not his

i know of a time
when the world is still
and the waves are calm
and nighttime is

my own
not his

i know of a day
where the light doesn't hurt
and the steel pounding is gone
and the tears have stopped on

my own
not his

i know of a morning
that begins with joy
where the fear is no more
and the day becomes

my own
not his

i know of a pill
that puts up a fight
and shares it's own magic
for me to keep for

my own
not his

i know of a doctor
and countless advice
and none seem to work
like the words of

my own
not his

i know of a song
that I can sing
it doesn't mourn
it makes laughter become

my own
not his

i know of a day
where I've made it to work
where I'm active and fun
and my time is

my own
not his

i know of a time
but i can't remember....



dry mouth
blurry eyes
dizzy head
mushy neck
droopy eyes
bad breath
hot stomach
weak legs
tingly fingers
but at least the pounding is gone

The following twelve poems are originals written by , who has been a migraine sufferer since she was 11 years old in 1966.

Promises for Garnet

By Leslie Bader


A doctor
My trust

She says...
"It will
Never be
Like this one
I promise!"

"I promise
I will
Your calls..."

"I promise
I will
Treat you

"I promise
I won't
Let you down,
Not again"

"I promise
We will
Be partners
Work as
A team,
To better
Your health..."

She promised
So many things,
Dr. Kimm
And all I can say

Treat patients
With kindness

Treat me
I matter,
Like YOU

Christine M. Newsom, M.D.

By Leslie Bader

A doctor by choice,
Made long ago.

To heal,
To ease pain.

One patient,
Touched my heart.

She cried,
In despair and in pain,
A migraine.


What will be written?
In the next chapter.....

She walks alone now,

I hear her,
yet I despair.

I want to ease it,
She fights me.

Her pain doth magnify
My helplessness.

I pray,
Dear God,
Ease her, calm her soul.

Let her trust me

Don't let her give up!

Pain beyond,
No words can tell you,
How much I want,

Yes! But beyond this pain?
I find..only
Tears, more pain, choices?

Let me go.
It's time.

Do you wonder

By Leslie Bader

Do you wonder,
If there's life without pain?

I saw a sun,
Raindrops like diamonds,
That shattered like glass.
Was it real?

I remember hearing the swish,
Of angels wings,
On my way down,
To earth.

The breeze it created,
Swept across my face,
And I,
So small,
Opened my eyes, the
first time.

Now, I think of this often.
In intractable pain.
Wishing for angels wings,
To come,
And rescue me.

A selfish thought,
No doubt,
Pain is desperate,
I'm afraid.

I'm starting to forget,
The fluttering of angels wings,
Snow white,
Bright light,
Peace, and

I want it more than anything.
Will God deny it?
I think not.

Angel Wings

By Leslie Bader

Silvery wings
Feather light
I can't remember
Was the sun shining bright
On the day I was born?

Rush of wind
Tickled my face
Feeling free....
Wings of angels
Delivered me

I cried that day,
In fear and pain,
Afraid forever
Destined to be

I am a baby no more
And angels wings
The rush of wind

I know I had it once,
Freedom without fear,
Of pain,

I search for it
In my dreams
But I see
Only the journey
To come.

I separate
Body from mind
My soul longs
To fly free
Above reality.

It's the only way
To cope.
Angels carry me
Pain is
A memory

In The Beginning

By Leslie Bader

At 11 years old,
I was innocent.

The pain first came,

Hours of dark and
Tears, I spent.

I'm but a child,

What is a migraine?


The journey is over
A new one has started
No longer do I crave relief
The new journey is
Focused on survival
Relief is not a goal
Or, an option.
Drugs are worse,
Than the Cure...
Why am I taking them?


My Life, My Pain.

By Leslie Bader

A cry in the night.
Pain, blinding and sharp.
Fear permeates the subconscious
An angel has come and
Pulled me from the wreckage
Of my migraine.

She's called again.
I know I'm on her mind.
It frightens me that she's trying to
Fix me.

My pain is wild in flight.
As the sky grows dark with night,
My pain escalates,
Pushing me into hopelessness.

I brace myself,
With faith and
Christ's pure love,
For these are my only weapons.
Chemicals react and affect
It's been a long journey.
I'm ready for it,
To end.

The Practice

By Leslie Bader

You came,
I met you unexpectedly.

You cared,
Even in fast food medicine.

I improved.

Eventually, I became

It wasn't planned,
I didn't do it,
On purpose.

In the Practice,
A protocol was set.

The other doctors were
Now protected..
Legally, medically.
In executing my treatment.

I was not.
The patients' rights,
The patients' pain.


For Christine,

By Leslie Bader

You are special to me.
Listen, you did.
With good reason.
Time has passed.

I've fallen into others' hands.
I must thank you though,
For the beginning,
For you hours spent,
Improving me.

I have asked, with
My heart and Faith,
That you be blessed,
That your heart and
Intentions be pure,

I'm fading,
I'm scared.
My pain has dared to become
Intractable, incurable, wild.
I have to tell you,
It IS okay.
I have to let go now.
My soul cries for relief.
Is pain free, a dream?
Or reality?


By Leslie Bader

Trust those with power,
For they are strong and able.
Decisions are made for treatment.
Meds are dispensed.
You're just a delicate flower.
No relief.

I'm unraveling,can I cry?
My one hope, is for relief.
I look up, into their eyes.
I see distance, compassion?
So they say, but is it real?

I'm tired, I want to let go.
I've tried so hard!
I've come so far,
I can't go on.

My children, my husband.
The loves of my life.
Dear God, sweet Jesus.
Faith. Hope, Love.
From above.
I believe.
The dark side isn't far.
I fight it, I cry.

I'm lost, I have to let go.
It's become too hard,
I'm weary, I die.


By Leslie Bader

Pain beyond,
No words can tell you,
How much I want relief.
Yes! But beyond,
This pain,
I find, only
Tears, more pain, choices?
Let me go.

Another TIME
You came,
I met you unexpectedly.
You cared.
I'd been searching such a long time.
I improved.

Eventually, I became intractable.
A protocol was set.
The other doctors were now legally protected In executing my treatment,
I was not.
The patients' rights,
The patients' pain..


By Leslie Bader

I'm a soul, crying in pain
Smiling in the sun,
I've run; it's beginning
To rain.
I'm an angel,
Lost forever, looking
For wings?
No shame, in pain.

I open my eyes, bright rays filter in.
Knife pain shatters me.
I open one eye,
Lights arc, hovering.
Colors float by,
I can't see.
Cold ice on my forehead

Am I still alive?
Do I want to be?
No-I just cannot bear it.
Where are the doctors
That promised me,
I cry, glittering, sharp,
Painful tears.
They cut me, I bleed.
I want to die.

Misunderstood &
All Hope Was Gone

By Joanne D.
Satin Heart

Two years of pain
Of going down hill,
No one had answers
It seemed time stood still.

Thousands of miles I travelled
For answers I'd seek,
Never questioning their diagnosis
I just was too meek.

I'd wake up in pain
Go to bed the same way,
Nausea, fatigue & numbness
That was my day.

Each new day was a struggle
My time I would bide,
Praying for death
So the pain would subside.

Hundreds of medications
For prevention & for pain,
Being labelled a drug addict
Or thought of as insane.

My husband & family
My very close friends,
Witnessed my pain each day
And feared my life I would end.

I had given up hope
I wanted to die,
But to leave all I loved
I couldn't say good-bye. So with my husbands help
To a new Doctor we spoke,
She cared & understood
And gave me new hope.

So off to a new specialist
With hope in my heart,
Praying he'd have the answers
So a new life I could start.

He diagnosed & treated me
That very same day,
Said it's going to take time
But this is the way.

Each day is a little better
Some pain subsides,
My black thoughts of death
In their dark room they hide.

I'm now filled again with hope
In this world I will stay,
Because I've finally got answers
To help me through each new day.

So please don't give up hope
All who suffer in pain,
The answers are out there
Your life you'll regain


Rick Nouwen -- july 1999

there is a place
where every sound is dull
yet so painfully loud
where every light is blocked by my eyes shut
yet so painfully bright
where I live, but not within myself
I could not possibly take such pains!
where I think, but do not reason
where I breathe, but do not move
where I long for that thick black blacket of sleep

Calm before the Storm

Angela Gilbert

Sweet breeze,
I remember how you kissed,
brushing by in coolness,
a calm amongst the mist.

Now I'm lost in thunder,
seeing no way out.
Hopeing for escape,
knowing none exist.

Could you sweep passed through me
and blow from me this storm?
Would you pick up this knife
that shoves inside my brain?
Then the clouds of torture
could lift and show the sun.
Right now all is darkness,
right now hell has begun.


Kristine Hatak

Electric flowers,
Burning bright,
Blossoms carved,
Of eldritch light.

Thunder rumbling,
Inside my brain,
Lead bell tolling,
Once again.

Black horse running,
Breathing fire,
Free and wild,
Behind my eyes.

The Pain

Brian Simmerman

Please put this up on your poem page because I am 14 and hate migraines!

The pain
It seems to last forever
It does not go away
The pain
Will it go away
God please make it go away
The pain
My head is pounding
I can't make it go away
The pain
Two asprins , NO
Two tylanol , NO
The pain
Sleep , YES
Sleep is what I need
The pain
Sleep made the pain go away

Left eye twitching

Karl-Magnus Möller

left eye twitching
a prelude of pain
I know what awaits me
the sunlight pierce
through my eyes
melting my brain

numb screws
eating it's way
through my
pulsating temples
paralyzed in pain
I long for them to
crush my scull
in order to make
the pain dissapear

laying in bed
the touch of pillows
makes me want to scream
I beg for sleep to come
and bring me away
to the place
where no sunlight exist


Susan Levesque

Sleeping eyes cant see
The pain inside of me
When awake it's all
I feel
The pain that's oh so
I lie awake and cry
The tears that ask
Oh why God, why
The pain envelopes me
There is no escape
From this reality
A cure in a bottle
New hope in a pill
I'd give me all
To have that at will
I've been poked and prodded
And seen by many
They all have their answers
Answers o' plenty
But for me
All I see
Is the pain that's taking over
The pain has become
Wont someone
Set me free

Cold water kisses

Karl-Magnus Möller

darkness comforting me
kissing my tearfilled eyes
with lips of cold water
soothing my exhausted mind

five days since my last relief
everything starts to get to me
pain is everywhere and
peace is missing

still waiting for the climax
with fear in mind
come and rapture me
and leave my soul naked
so that nothing can hurt me
so that nothing can hurt me anymore

feeling how it gets to me
i try to get away
but hiding from yourself
has never been a successful way of living

eat me
so that i can experience the calmness
of being digested
without your sharp teeth
buried into my flesh

paralyze me
so i can feel normal again
do your buisness
and go away
please go away
i beg you
don't ever come back

Trip from a migraine

Spiraling deeper into the hold, narrowing path
skinning my head. Scalp tingles.
Dizzying journey into pit of pain.
Eyes droop.

Waves roll from skull to skull,
undertow kicking back at my brow.
Forehead wrinkles.
Steel pipe neck stays straight







Overcome by pain
Unable to move
Sick from the light
I darken the room

I sensed the attack
Coming to me again
By this daggar of fire
That pierces my brain


My eyes are blinded by the sunlight, it hurts my head, you see...How I wish to enjoy the sunshine virtually pain free. Such lovely scents the flowers and trees, summer is here at last...But cover my nose to block them out, these smells have caused pain in the past. I must watch what I eat, no cheese or red wine, it's oatmeal that I seek...While others eat so tasty and tangy, my diet seems so bleak. Helplessness, embarassment and agony are what I feel each time...The pain causes me such ugliness I can hardly find words to rhyme. I hear him ask "Honey, are you going to be alright?"..."Of course I am my dearest, I can see relief in sight." (Oh no! Not the ER again) Each head-ache is very different, to me it is such a fright...To have this pain inside my head waking me in the mid of the night. Abusing my meds is what they call it, whenever I seek relief...Two aspirin and a cup of tea, or a nap is their belief. Another call to tell them at work, "I feel just miserable," ...They may feel sympathy but probably thinking "She's just not that stable." I've been all alone up until now, 40 and never a mate...Can you understand? I don't want to burden anyone else with this fate! We celebrate the days, Martin and I, when my head is clear and sweet...Small things we enjoy like movies and walks, a pain free day is a treat.

Another Day Gone

Jody May-Chang
April 16, 1998

I begin to awaken from a beautiful dream
My eyes are not open yet but my sweet dream fades fast
My first awakening sensation,
PAIN, not again, not now, not today

runs over and over again in my head with
every pulsating wave of agony

I talk to myself,
it isn't happening
it will go away if I only ignore it,
take my meds, take a shower and go on with life
It will go away

To ignore it is to be in denial
Denial is not taking care of myself
To accept it's presence is to succumb
I am weak if I give in to it's power


Finally opening my eyes, I want to cry
not from the pain so much as the damn
internal dialog of what I need to do
and what I have to do.
It's not fair!

Sitting on edge of the bed,
the room is dark.
Thank God!
It's only a few steps to the shower
I can do it,
I can't do it,
I have to do it
I want to throw up,
I hate to throw up
What God

I try to convince myself all I need is to
get moving, surly a good hot shower will work
But only in the dark.
The water feels so good
I can only lean against the wall
If I could just lay down


Slowly and carefully stepping out of the shower
I dry my upper body
I can't bend over,
it's like a fiery bomb going off in my head
My legs will have to air dry
I feel like throwing up,
I hate to throw up,
I can't throw up,
my head will surely explode

"Honey can you pick my shoes up off the floor"?
"Oh sweetheart not again."
As she looks into my eyes, "You need to stay home today!
I will call in for you"


I can't go to work today
I have to miss another day

Another day of my life gone...

I hope everything goes ok at work today
I hope nothing goes wrong
What will he say when I get back

She brings my ice pack and kisses me goodbye.
Little fingers gently stroking my face
"I hope you feel better Mommy"
His soft sweet kiss on my cheek is the highlight of my day

2 Ice trays every two hours
My head is numb from the cold
I can finally sleep for a while
until the ice melts or leaks all over the bed

My head is burning hot and the pain is unbearable
I throw up again
and again
and again,
I hate to throw up
My head is defiantly going to explode
I feel like I could die,
right there on the bathroom floor.
How dignified.

Another bag of Ice and back to bed
Maybe next time I wake it will be gone

I hope everything goes well at work today
I hope nothing goes wrong
What will he say when I get back.


My Life as it is Now...But Not Forever

September 3, 1997
This poem is for my Mom, Anthony and our puppy Storm who is 1 today!

Each morning I awake
To yet another headache
And wonder what the day will bring

Another day gone
Another day lost
Another migraine that costs so much
So much energy
And so much time
Time for myself, my work and play,
Time for my love and my family

It's funny,
Time becomes more precious
As it becomes less and less

Will my life, our lives, ever be normal again?
Or have my migraines, become my best friend?
And if we should have a baby...
...can I hold her when she cries??!!
Maybe, if I wear earplugs and glasses to cover my eyes
Will she know who I am?! The face behind the pain...
Will she grow up and have migraines??!!

I have to say...I'm so very lucky,
I have so much support
But I'm caught
Between what's right and wrong...
Should I be selfish and stay
And effect his life this way?
Should I let him go, let him be free
To live a life! Migraine-Free!!!!

But I need him so, he's my everything
If it wasn't for him, I'd go insane!
If it wasn't for my Mom, I wouldn't be so strong!
If it wasn't for our puppy,
The days would be terribly long.
If it wasn't for the PAIN,

I will WIN! I'll persevere
I will not stop until the pain disappears.
I can't let my migraines rule my life
I have to fight
They're far from my best friend,
I'll keep on fighting until the end...
The end of them.

I do need to realize and accept some restrictions
And be careful of my surroundings, the environment and conditions.
But that's O.K.
THAT I can do
Just as long as he can too!

We'll be just fine, him and me,
And so will our future baby
All because of the daily care, infinite support,
And genuine, unconditional love he has for me,
And that I have for him!

I thank you, from the bottom of my heart and of my head.
Without the three of you I wouldn't survive this! I love you!


The World of Migraines


When the Headache Foundation requested paintings in 1988 from migraine sufferers, I felt frustrated at not being able to adequately paint that which I was feeling. This poem came out instead...

A world of standing on broken promises
And ever so many crushed dreams.
There's frustration, worry and despair
In my life -- or so it seems.

There are many oft asked questions
With answers in all degrees.
And many, too many, people
It appears that one must try to please.

It's not the pain that's frightful.
It's the looks on the faces
Of people you love and even those
Who stand in uncaring places.

There's the supervisor who can't understand
Why two aspirins won't do the trick.
Or why there are days it's impossible
To work when you're feeling that sick.

There's the ER nurse who gives the glare
Of "You're here again, I see."
Or the stoic ER doctor interring
That you're the town's "Demerol junkie."

One doctor says, "It's your nerves.
Help yourself to the Valium."
Another one says, "You're a perfectionist. No one can be that valiant."

Yet another says, "I think it's your back.
Your vertebrae are out of place."
And one more says, "Let's try putting pins
In certain points upon your face."

Another says, "I know for sure it's TMJ.
Your jaw is out of line."
Each one running test after test
Eating up your money and time.

If you're fortunate, you'll find the doctor
Who'll treat you with deserved dignity
And let you know it's not your fault
To be possessed by this infirmity.

It's a world full of doubts and fears
Not knowing who to believe.
Trying to sift the information and guess
Who has the winning card up their sleeves.

You're willing to try offered suggestions
And, yes, of them we've heard most.
From blowing-in-a-bag to soaking in the tub,
To pinching the bridge of your nose.

It's a world that can be dreary
And your spirit it can defeat.
But fight on we will -- as we must --
Until the right answers we meet.

We must remember above all else
That we are people first -- who
Love, laugh, feel and cry.
And to ourselves we'll be true.


Written by Tazamean1

I'm always screaming
Screaming at my friends
Screaming at family members
Screaming at my adorable children
Screaming at my most valued love and inspiration my
It all comes down to screaming about my pain
For the others they have done nothing for me to scream
But my headaches have made me a different person ,
One that screams
Screaming of headaches that I could cry about but can't,
Because the pain is so bad that my sobs turn to be
I scream in my sleep
I scream in private so others do not see my pain
How can I make the one's that are closest to me to
understand that when I scream it's at my pain not at them????
How can I tell my wife that she has my heart when I scream
at her because of the pain???
How will she ever be happy when all she hear's is screams?
for I would give her anything to understand except for my
screaming pain
I SCREAM in frustration what I have become because of
my pain.....

When Did I Become Not Whole?

Tim Fouts
July 1, 1998

-------------- Author's Notes --------------
This is my first posting to this type of list, and the first time I've ever actually written a single word about my migraines (although you might not be able to tell, I have written poetry before, but it's been a long time). The thoughts are nothing new, though. They go through my head almost every day. And my lovely, patient wife has heard them all!

Normal kid,
sports, music and good grades
Was I whole then?

College scholar,
drink a beer
Hangover headache, right?

Years pass,
respected professional
Stress too much?

Every so often,
once, then twice a month
Why so many?

Tylenol, ibuprofen
Always behind my right eye
Why don't they go away?

I guess they're migraines,
Or maybe clusters.
Why me, why now?

"See a doctor."
"I AM a doctor."
Then why can't I cure myself?

Narcotics, ah...relief.
Sort of.
Am I an addict?

Imitrex, yes!
Only half the time.
How can I go through another one?

More years,
My own practice.
What, am I crazy?

More pain,
My poor wife,
Does she hate me?

"How's your head?"
"It's still there."
"Do you mean the migraine?"

"Go to a doctor."
"But, I AM a doctor."
Can I really live on Inderal?

There's always new drugs,
Maybe a "cure".
Is it possible?

Talk of a baby,
Or maybe two.
When's the right time?

"How does it feel?"
"Like I'm not a whole person."
Where did the rest of me go?

How could they live without a whole daddy?

Why me, why us, why ever?
When did I become not whole?
Where did the rest of me go?

Where do we go from here?

The Shadowlands

Shards of ice hot brain shrapnel
cut through my tender head
like lava through a brick of ice cream.
We walk between the worlds the pain and I, to the underside of shadows.

Amid the throbs and waverings
a twirling craft of colored lights
floats airborne in the shadowlands
alight with otherworldly colors
a festive harbinger of pain.

The world explodes in slivers of clarity I tremble at its horrible beauty.
How green is my world!
How red the flowers!
And how exquisitely painful.

Dancing colors throb
with the pulse of the planet
I am caught up in it
as it dances with my brain
I fancy I can smell the colors.

Dizzy sickness rises up my throat
until, like a volcano, I erupt
breaking my connection to the shadowland. My brain clenches and vomits thoughts
Until I haven't an idea left in my head.

Waves of pleasure then wash over me
like an arterial orgasm
washing away the pain,
I ride the bliss, grateful to the pain
for bringing me this gift.


It is my thirteenth birthday party this cannot be
During a walk with my friends; I stumble into a tree
My, I am asked, why do you stare
Because my friends the other half of the tree is no longer there
The light illuminating from the birthday candles burn bright red
Everyone else blowing them out while I lie sick in bed

Ever since then, events came and went
Pondering if they would be successfully spent
I can remember on my wedding day
Dear God a migraine I cannot have, I humbly pray

Now another Christmas has passed me by
For here in bed I am with my Bichon douse lie
A wonderful meal and laughter at the dinner table
I would be in attendance if I were able

For those things people normally eat
I find myself longing for a hot fudge sundae or nutty treat
But no! I must obstain
For I know the result is a day lost in the realm of pain

Neurologist one to twenty three
Always comment what they are going to do with me
Another unusually named funky med
Is the one thing the pharmacies love and I sure do dread

So dear God as I pass out from another attack today
Assisting you to carry out the role I must play
The only good these nasty headaches can do
Is act as an atonement in order to carry your plan through

So migraine sufferers, that is the story!
Trying to turn a negative into a positive to add to His glory
It may seem a silly thing to do
But knowing suffering put to good use helps me through
So whenever you are in bed all messed up
Remember when you are feeling down to offer it up

As today is here and tommorow is destined to come

Migraine rant


Friendly and witty, memory so sharp smiling laughing

Compassion, patience, humor, all Feelings in tacked

Talking is wonderful good and the bad, willing to listen, help if I can

Clear conversation and one step ahead always an answer waiting

Smiling laughing enjoying myself, trying to pass it on to whoever I can

Working a full day feels so good, so many things I can do

The Small things in life, so many things, so much too enjoy

This is just a day, a pain free day, one of few, but with out it I would not survive

Then it feels if it was only a dream

The ordinary feelings of that day slip away into a memory lost, as the aura takes hold

Blackness seems to slowly surround me, yet the light is so bright it hurts my eyes

Intellectual capacity has vanished, my feelings are dead, and my smile is lost

I look around at flashing lights, no one sees, I am alone

A conversation has turned to nothing but noise I can't comprehend

Try to communicative what's happening, but the words are gone, my thoughts are cluttered

So I sit silent and try to pretend theirs nothing wrong, as I begin to sweat, but feel so cold

An unsettled stomach turns to severe nausea that overwhelms me, I know what's next

The ice pick pain in my right eye, throbbing with every beat of my heart

A pain that gets more severe, even from the sound of a ticking clock

The loud buzzing noise getting louder, can know one elts here it, no, I am alone

The look on a loved ones face, a family member being neglected again.

The disruption of plans made, yes I am better off on my own.

Because I could never make them understand.

What keeps me going, even if it lasts a day or a week?

I can sometimes function, despite a level of pain that would
destroy someone experiencing a migraine for the first time.
And there will be another pain free day, but with out it I would not survive.

I am a migraine sufferer


I am a migraine sufferer.
I am full of migraine suffering.
my world deconstructing before my eyes
By pixel
The intense light the intense heat the intense smell
Oh God
not me, not again not now
Relax, they say
Yes I know but I'm wired this way
Aren't I?
These nerves
It is not by choice that my fears take hold
take control
Of the little things
Yes they are only little things

I have said that I would rather be blind. Yes its true.
rather to see my brain destroy my vision right before my eyes over and over again.
Take control of half of my brain.
Last night I dreamt that half of my brain fell out of my head.
as if something is eating away at me.
My only protection is now
my only protection comes from me
Because God if you wish to taunt this girl you will not succeed
I understand this
What you have taught me
And don't worry I will survive
my mix of hormones
Creates also beautiful things
Yes beautiful things
Like poetry
And paintings colors and
My eyebrows.
Thank you God for my hormones
I won't cry at every movie trailer any more
they don't deserve my tears.

Perez on Medicine

Jose Perez paints whimsical art dealing with medical topics. Check out The Neurologist for example. These paintings, while rather strange, capture some of the feelings of being picked apart and studied that can be so frustrating. The full collection is located at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/perez/perez.html. Definately worth a look!

Migraine Art - Migraine Aura

Klaus Podoll, MD and Markus Dahlem, PhD have put together a very informative description of migraine aura describing the migraine art concept as it relates to literature, painting, and music.


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