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Throwing with a migraine

I woke up on Sunday morning with a blinding migraine – a full-on pick-axe pounding at the temples number. Which was really annoying, as I had planned to spend the day at Eastnor Pottery doing some throwing, a date I’d had to reschedule once already due to being snowed in back in March. Fortunately, my whole approach to migraines has been transformed since my doctor started prescribing triptans.  They work absolute miracles  – within an hour of taking one, the pain has vanished entirely, and I can get on with my life rather than spending an entire day lying in silence in a darkened room.

I took a triptan as soon as I woke up, and by the time I’d finished a leisurely breakfast the pain had completely gone and I was feeling well enough to go to the pottery. However, as anyone who gets migraines knows, they’re not just a “bad headache”, but rather a whole-body experience. Whilst the triptans are brilliant at dealing with the pain, they’re not so good at fixing some of the associated symptoms such as the lack of energy and exhaustion. And, as I discovered at the pottery, my hand-eye coordination wasn’t back to normal. Every single pot I threw was wonky!

I decided there was little point throwing anything that I would actually want to keep, as I just didn’t have the fine motor control to keep my two hands working together. Even a slight imbalance of pressure is enough to throw the pot off true, and that kept happening time and time again. So I decided the best use of my time was to practise throwing cylinders and try to get the bottoms and sides as thin and uniform as I could, cutting the pots in half when I’d thrown them, so that I could see the profile.

Overall, it was a very frustrating experience, as I knew I ought to be able to throw so much better than I was managing to do. And by lunchtime I was so overcome with post-migraine exhaustion that I decided I’d better call it a day and come home early. But I still managed to enjoy myself, which I would never have been able to do before I discovered how to control my migraines with triptans. I can thoroughly recommend them to any migraine sufferers reading this.

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