My Head

From Atonement:

She felt in the right corner of her brain a heaviness, the inert body weight of some curled and sleeping animal; but when she touched her head and pressed, the presence disappeared from the coordinates of actual space. Now it was in the top right corner of her mind, and in her imagination she could stand on tiptoe and raise her right hand to it. It was important not to provoke it; once this lazy creature moved from the peripheries to the center, then the knifing pains would obliterate all thought, and there would be no chance of dining with Leon and the family tonight. It bore her no malice, this animal, it was indifferent to her misery. It would move as a caged panther might: because it was awake, out of boredom, for the sake of movement itself, or for no reason at all, and with no awareness. She lay supine on her bed with no pillow, a glass of water within easy reach and, at her side, a book she knew she could not read.

She lay rigidly apprehensive, held at knifepoint, knowing that fear would not let her sleep and that her only hope was in keeping still.

This is a superb description of a migraine. I often think of mine as a "thing" - something living in my head that awakens, tries to kill me, then goes back to sleep after I've drugged it. The thing in my head can cause pain that makes me nauseous. Light means blinding pain. Noise is unbearable. Each step I take pounds my head further, as if the thing has a bass drum and my footfall is the mallet.

The thing scoffs at Tylenol, untouched. But my tiny little perscription pill is like a sleeping pill. Slowly, by inches, the thing releases it's grip on my mind. My brain feels like it received a shot of novacane - numb but aware. My stomach continues to lurch.

As it eases, I move very slowly, especially my head. Like sneaking out of a baby's room, I do not want to wake it (it will wake up screaming) and have to start all over. It is a menace. A threat always just around the corner, unpredictable.

I've been having a particularly bad time with this thing for several months now. It makes writing a real problem because thinking hurts. (go ahead - insert blonde joke...)

If you do not have migraines, thank your lucky stars.

I'm going to lay in the dark, in the quiet, and hope it's gone when I awaken.


de said...

sorry. I've had some real doozies in the past two months also. My husband asked me earlier this week if I was getting up to exercise, and I said, "I'm afraid just to lift my head."

purejoy said...

i feel your pain. (also whispering)
i have been having headaches since my daughter was six months old.

she is now 18.5 years old.

the hubs wanted to go work out a few nights ago, and i was still suffering from a migraine hangover… but i said i would go.

thankfully he was late coming home and there wasn't time. i need to exercise, but seriously i wish i could just unscrew my head and leave it at home.



Lori said...

I'm so sorry Amy. I know your pain. I had one for 6 months in high school. I'm not really sure how I made it through that year of school. Before they diagnosed me I was praying it was a brain tumor. I figured if it was a tumor they could actually make the pain stop. I get them much, much less frequently as an adult.

Here is something that baffles me. There are people who have NEVER had a headache of any kind. They have no idea how lucky they are. My dad is one of them.

Full time mom, part-time nurse said...

Hope you are feeling better soon!

Jordana said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I had one last week and it was awful.

Amy said...

de and purejoy - It's so funny that you both mentioned exercise. I deleted a sentence about how the headaches interfere with exercise. When one is even lurking around the edges - just coming, or just leaving - I know trying to exercise will bring it on and I just can't do it.

But I deleted that because it sounds like too convenient an excuse.

sheri said...

i get these, but rarely now. My ex MIL told me that it was probably due to hormones shifting since they started after i had my first child. She suggested that i tell my OBgyn that i wanted to go on year long bc pills just to see if staying on regulated hormones would help. For me it did. I no longer get dizzy, car sick, and omg - the shear PAIN of just blinking...

Adrian said...

I've never had a migraine, but I've got friends and family members that have and they say the same thing as you. Hopefully you are coping well!

amie said...

Migraines - uggghh! I love the description- it is o hard to make people who dont' have them understand. My hub knew they hurt me but never realized how much until a guy friend told him his migraines hurt worse than he was run over by a car. An accident that shattered his leg & took him a yr of therapy to recover from. We should get medals for this. Hope u feel better :)

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