It’s been 8 months or so that this headache has lasted. I figure I should name it, make it part of me, accept it if you will. It’s been with me a really long time and no longer feels like some foreign malady. It feels almost as though it has a personality, albeit a limited one. Like a snake, or guinea pig. It’s not over here contemplating great philosophical ideologies but there is the sense that it can tell I am heading toward it with food or that the doctor wants to do it harm during my visits.
What does one name an intractable migraine? Allen? Persimmon? Enrique?
How odd would it be to tell someone I have had Enrique every day for 8 months?
Hmm… I think they might get the wrong idea.
Peru? Australia? Greece?
I have been wandering about Australia for the past 8 months. That’s better, less lascivious anyway. Although people would expect me to have seen Australia and ask me questions about it.
I guess I will just stick with Migraine. I could call it Thyphoid or Cholera but I am pretty sure the CDC would come find me if it became widely known that I have been potentially infecting people for months on end.
We recently attended Marlena’s continuation ceremony. She was recognized for her athleticism in cross county track. There was a slide show with images of the students during the school year, speeches from teachers and students alike, and a truncated graduation ceremony where each student walked across the stage and received a continuation certificate from the principal.
It was lovely.
There was one little fly in the ointment however. Multiple times throughout the speeches the adult speakers congratulated the students on having continuated. As in:
“Congratulations on having…um…continuated to high school”
“As you continuate to high school…”
I wanted to leap up from my seat and shriek “The word you are seeking is ‘continue’! As you continue to high school, congratulations on continuing!”
Instead I remained in my seat and watched my mother and father share in my horror as the word ‘continuated’ fell from the lips of educator after educator.
Is it because we congratulate people on having graduated, or on graduating? Were the two words mixed up in the minds of the teachers? Was it fear of public speaking or the stress of the two hour long event in an overly hot auditorium filled with hundreds of parents? Could it be the internet age with it’s emoticons and memes slowly bastardizing the English language?
Whatever the cause the effect was jarring. I was pulled immediately out of the meat of whatever the speaker was saying each time I heard the misuse of continue and sent pondering the steps that led up to the use of that word.
Did you know that focusing directly on your pain can inhibit your body’s ability to produce pain fighting endorphins?
Apparently if you hurt and you lie there thinking about it you can actually make yourself hurt more. This may be why I feel better when watching t.v. or reading a book than I do when trying to go to sleep at night or waking up first thing in the morning. Having something distract me from my discomfort has been more helpful than any pain killer.
The trick is managing the distractions in a way that doesn’t use up all my spoons. I can visit with people a couple of times a week but the gatherings have to be small and end early or else I sleep for days afterwards and feel like I can never wake up. I can work and clean, but I have to have days to rest in between. When I am resting I have to have distraction with minimal effort.
So how do I rest with minimal distraction and still improve my mind? After all, there are only so many hours one can watch television or read before going quietly mad and if I crochet one more hat I am going to strangle someone with yarn.
Don’t worry. I have plans. Evidence blogs, coding classes, sign language classes online, app development classes. The whole kit and caboodle. I may need to lie down and rest a lot, but there is a lot a person can do lying down.
I missed the huge Memorial Day BBQ my friends were having.
I wanted to go. I wanted to see everyone. I just couldn’t. I thought about a room filled with dozens of people laughing and talking over each other, children running around and playing, music, etc. I thought about myself, sitting in a corner, watching it all happen around me as my headache slowly began to build to an intolerable level.
My photophobia and phonophobia are such that I can’t be at large, loud parties without developing a debilitating headache within about an hour.
It’s been 8 months of headaches every day and I feel myself fading out of friend groups, excursions, and social life.
It makes me so sad and angry and frustrated. I want to be at the big loud parties, the group events. I want to share in the moments these beloved people are making together. It’s yet another thing that I feel has been taken from me.
I am disappearing from the world I used to belong to.
Tracy and I took the kids to the Royal Gorge today. We took the gondola across the gorge, walked the bridge, and rode the carousel. Marlena and Caitlin, soon to be heading to high school, were given a special gift for continuation:
I am trying not to feel as though the weather is out to get me. Each day I wake up powerless to improve my migraine because another pressure system is messing with my head. Literally.
I am trying to find positive things about the rain. I remember how much we usually need water this time of year, I sit in the garden and watch my plants soak up the rain, I listen to the birds splashing in puddles. I try not to hate the rain. Sometimes I even succeed.
I even walk in it, to and from the office. It’s an attempt to combine going to work with waking up and getting exercise. It’s not the easiest thing to start but the great thing about walking is that once you begin all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other until you finish. In the past few days I have let my fancy fly as I plod along to work one block at a time. I have made up non-profit ideas, imagined what I will do for my 40th birthday, and more. It’s a quiet reflective time for me. Best of all, I feel better when I am walking. Slightly. Until I stop. I suppose I could just live life on a treadmill. Can a person sleepwalk intentionally?
Until the weather breaks and the sun comes out I will do my best to ignore the sense of pressure in my head. In the meantime I long for dry, hot days without a cloud in the sky.