Migraine Virgin

For those of you more experienced with melon pain, tell me, is this a migraine?

imagesI am at my lovely friend’s house. Jovanni, Leanna and I are reading over tidbits of scripts we’re working on. Leanna goes over hers, I am engaged, happy, dull headache that’s been bothering me all day. It increases to a PMS level when we read my work, I am irritable and dissatisfied with my rewrite. Why? Why am I so grumpy? I apologize. WOW. My head bursts into a mushroom of pain. I don’t say anything but they can see it on my face. I admit I have a wicked sentence stopping headache, unlike I’ve ever had before. Leanna gets me a cloth, Jovanni opens the balcony door for some air. It abates. Strange. “I have given up coffee again” I say. “I cleaned the oven…the fumes” That must be it.

Jovanni hands around his new play that I have been waiting to read in anticipation: it’s a great idea. I even get to play an Englishman detective, how fabulous is that? I am reading and my headache starts thumping, intense pain comes marching in, so fast so fast so fast I can’t really remember the rest. Fuzzy page can’t read, gonna throw up, gotta get home, intense pain, I can hear someone whimpering…oh that’s me. Jovanni is driving my car, I am holding a plastic bag, spectacular barfing barfing barfing into a straining Chinese take out bag, I am concerned about the Mini’s interior…Jovanni jokes,

“Don’t worry, my writing has that affect on a few people…”

I laugh and call him “Bastard” because it hurts so much to laugh. Leanna asks me if I want to go to the hospital, “HOME” I bark between expulsions. Once in a while I open my eyes, it’s the MFing commute from Richmond to Vancouver over the Knight street bridge! It’s my nightmare for the past two years being relived. Oh get me home get me home dear God what an evening for my poor friends.

Apartment, door, don’t step on cat, stunned young babysitter in her hip skinny jeans being paid a twenty, coat off, my bed is stripped for late night laundry CRAP who cares, DOWN on the mattress and naked pillows.

Vague recollection of Leanna kissing my forehead, pushing my hair back with her finger tips, calling me darling.

I wake up two hours later. WTF? Nora is soundly sleeping. Leanna’s toothbrush is beside the bathroom sink. She’s huddled in the guest room. The cat knocks my favourite pen under the stove again. I’m back to the dull headache. It’s all like some strange dream. And here I am writing to you. I mean…I needed a story but honestly…

Leanna wakes up, bleary, comes and sits beside me at the computer here and asks me how I am. I see that utter helplessness has brought us closer together. I would have rather a more elegant helplessness. At the very least, if it had to be barf, I would have rather it been holding back my hair because of too many martinis at a fabulous bar. But I suppose this was cheaper. And I have given up alcohol.

Though I still feel sick I have this great warmth inside of me. Thankful for the bath I just had. Thankful for my health. Thankful for clean sheets. Thankful for great friends who are there in a time of need.


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  1. William Hay

    Sound like a classic migraine, but that’s the doctor in me, not the writer. A little seeing of ‘aura’s’ or lights would add to the ‘classic’. But then as doctors don’t ask what might be triggering a migraine till we’ve ruled out (one of our favourite terms) aneurysms, brain tumours, meningitis and old shrapnel from by gone wars. To this end we do blood tests, urine tests, EEG, CTScans, MRI’s , PET scans. In the end we often ‘cure’ people or leave them in their misery with a name written on a prescription pad. When we’re sure it’s migraines we do look for triggers too but love imitrex, gabapentin, and various therapies available today which weren’t available yesterday. So reading this I ‘assume’ this person’s have been ‘investigated’ otherwise I wonder why someone doesn’t go to the hospital. Hypochondriachal sorts love to suffer, squeeze every ounce of attention from their pain, have moments of drama, then take a herb snake oil and never address the covert anger, usually unforgiveness of some sort, associated with some past trauma, that expresses itself in ‘physical pain’ rather than explain itself in psychic pain. To this end people seen psychiatrists who specialize in dreams and unconscious, hypnotists like Freud, who unravel the unconscious, transforming physical pain back to it’s origins as psychic pain and exorcising the demons together in therapy. Art therapy can work as well, writing, painting, through the pain and all the associations to the point of pain as well. But who has time or money today in the politics of euthanasia and guillotines.

  2. Diane Tucker

    So sorry this annoying thing has happened to you!

    My first terrible migraine was hormonal, when I went back on the pill after having my daughter. I saw the lights in my eyes, strange little white dots obscuring my vision. I had a baby in a stroller and was on a bus so I went straight home. I tried to read a book; I was nauseated and when I tried to read the book out loud to myself, the word I saw on the page would come out of my mouth as a DIFFERENT word. That terrified me. Then came the headache part, yes, awful. A few weeks later, when I was checking in with my doctor, he became *very* alarmed and said I ought to have been in to see him the very next day; I had had a classic migraine. Result was I could never take birth control pills again (or I might have a stroke). I had migraines regularly after that for a number of years, usually about a week before my period, but never as severely again. Usually nauseous beforehand.

    I get them only rarely now; but you can have the “aura” and the other symptoms without actually having the pain, I found out last year, when I tried to make dinner while in that state, cut myself badly and then fainted. Now grown daughter picked me up and helped me get to the hospital. We come full circle. Oy.

    So if I were you I would definitely see a doctor. Don’t mess with your amazing brain, Lucia. You and Nora need it!


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