Today’s topic is pain. Holiday pain.
The most debilitating headache I ever had was migraine I woke up to when I was living in Mississippi. I’d woken up with migraines before but that one was special. I took medicine and drank coffee (and added a shot of booze when that was still a part of my home migraine cure) and tried to go back to sleep. However, the pain was bad enough that I couldn’t sleep. Every position caused pain and nausea and, in the end, all I could do was sit on the sofa in a slightly slouched position that somehow mitigated the pain and wait for the medicine to kick in.
Unfortunately it took most of the morning for the medicine to help enough that I could go back to bed. I was just a sad guy slouching on the sofa and unable to move. I couldn’t read and I couldn’t raise my head enough to watch TV comfortably. (Also, TV is pretty bad for a migraine especially as that was the era when the networks began blasting commercials at full volume.)
I do not remember if I missed work that day or if it was a holiday. All I remember is the pain and the sofa.
Today’s headache was almost that bad. I realized how serious it was and took the medicine and drank coffee and tried to do some work (today was a day off but I had plans to work on some things for my classes). Failing that, I tried taking a short nap. Luckily, I was able to get a decent nap. Unfortunately it didn’t help much.
Eventually I took a second nap that lasted most of the afternoon. I’m now in migraine hangover mode and taking a serious look at recent changes in my diet and recent weight gain.
Everything was proceeding according to plan this morning, I wrote my morning pages, ate some breakfast even had some to waste. Then I got my migraine spot.
Today spot started out looking like the burn mark a camera flash leaves in your eyes but then then it didn’t go away and started to grow. I guzzled some coffee and took some Excedrin Migraine. In the past I might have sipped some whiskey as part of a homemade version of Tylenol 3 (which is basically alcohol, caffeine and dope). However, there were two problems with this plan: First I got the spot before I went to work and it would be bad to show up even half drunk (or half sober if you’re more optimistic) and Second, a scientist told me my home remedy would ruin my liver. (I was like: but will it cure my migraine and he was like, yeah, by killing you slowly and I was like, that can’t be worse than a migraine but I finally took his advice.)
One of the problems with my migraine spot is it blocks part of my vision of and makes it difficult to read. Not only am I about to be in pain when I get the spot, but I can’t enjoy my last few minutes before the pain because I see anything clearly.
Luckily the Excedrin worked and I didn’t have any pain and I didn’t get the usual migraine hangover. I did, however, feel sluggish and cranky most of the day. When my better bad class of 8th graders didn’t want to study for their final exams, I ignored them and let them not study. (I don’t have to pass the test and the fewer questions they answer the easy it is for me to mark and do the math.)
This also effected the way I taught high school. During a study hall in a last class of ninth graders one of my students was making gestures around his crotch that resembled, well, things involving the crotch and/or the Divinyls. Normally I would have told him to get back to studying, but since it was a free study time, I dismissed it as him studying biology. When he later tried to twist off the arm of a fellow student, I dismissed it as him doing a physics experiment.
Now I’m feeling the hangover set in. It’s time to go to bed.