My absence of late is due to migraines which are triggered by sharp barometric pressure changes, a.k.a. storm systems (check out more information click here, here, and here). I hate to give an ailment that much power over me that it determines what I can and cannot do. For Pete’s sake, I just posted a video of an armless man playing the piano and a guitar, and here I am letting the pain in my head render me incapacitated. Something about not being allowed to make my own choices grates on me. My mom thought it was because I grew up in a world with women burning bras and fighting for equality. My siblings say that I’ve always been that way and would refer to cursed home movies of me dance the rhythm of tantrum at the end of my mother’s arm as she drags me down the sidewalk. I chalk it up to my dad always telling me that I had a mind and he expected me to use it, and something about being independent and taking care of one’s self. I could be wrong.
My dealings with migraines started in Junior High School (’78/’79). For those of you not familiar with Junior High because you hail from a land that lumps them together with 6th grade and calls it “Middle School,” it is the equivalent to
the seventh level of Dante’s hell the 7th and 8th grades. Not a good time to have an incapacitating ailment. Not that there is “a good time,” but it is very unfortunate to have to deal with it when you are in the throws of establishing a soical identity. Not that contracting an incapacitating ailment is ever fortunate, but. . . Good night! This could go on forever. You know what I mean: to couple anything with Junior High exacerbates the problem.
At that time, my migraines were sporadic and would come on at any given moment without warning. My mother told me she also began experiencing the heinous head-crackers in Junior High.
Oh, the joy that is known as heredity.
I was a sophomore or junior in high school when I experienced the worst one of my life. I was at basketball practice, and the coaches had us scrimmage at the end of practice. I was a point guard. Kay passed the ball inbound to me, and I dribbled down court, passed the ball to my right to Jodi. Jodi faked a bounce pass to Jane who was on the base line and then turned and passed the ball back to me. Without any warning, when the ball touched my finger tips, it felt as if my head crack in half. A searing pain started in the middle of my forehead, shot directly through the middle of my head, and settled in the back of my skull. In the same moment, I was blind in my left eye. Everything went white and I could barely breathe from the pain.
I finished that play and then asked the coach if I could sit down because I felt sick. I was scared to tell him that I had lost sight in my left eye. I just wanted to go home. Fortunately, we lived across the street. Seriously only 47 steps from the front door of my house to the front door of the school. 21 steps if I ran. My coach told me to go ahead and shower, which I skipped. The vision in my right eye was fading, and I could barely see to do anything. I grabbed my gear from the locker room and ran the 21 steps home, afraid that I was going blind.
By the time I got to the front door, I was completely without sight and I was on sensory overload. Everything I touched, heard, or smelled made it feel like my head was cracking open a little further. Ringing the doorbell hurt. Hearing cars start caused more pain. My mother opening the door and asking me why I was standing there with my eyes closed was almost too much to bear. When I mumbled that my head hurt so badly that I couldn’t see, she grabbed me and drug me upstairs while I screamed in pain. Don’t judge her too harshly. What felt like grabbing and dragging could have been a slight touch and mere support and guidance.
She tried to lay my head down as softly as possible on my pillow, but it felt like she slammed me against the hardest rock she could find. I remember screaming and her apologizing.
I honestly cannot tell you what happened after that. I don’t know if I passed out, if she gave me medication, or what. I am positive, however, that she prayed. And you better believe it wasn’t a wimpy prayer, but a faith filled, Holy Spirit induced, Satan rebuking, there’s power in the blood and name of Jesus Christ kind of prayer.
You didn’t mess with my momma.
And she didn’t leave my side. Or maybe I hope she didn’t leave my side, because, honestly, I can’t remember it clearly.
I do know I was out of school the next day because of a little thing I call the headache hangover, a.k.a. postdrome. That’s the time it takes to rejuvenate after a migraine. The pain is gone, but the residual effects still linger. For me that means drowsiness, queasiness, and dizziness are accompanied by an inability to speak coherently or process what is being said to me. And please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t ask me questions! Even if I could understand what you are saying, it would take me hours to formulate an answer. Then I’d have to take a nap. The headache hangover can last hours to days after a migraine. (The postdrome phase of a migraine is different for everyone. Click here for more information.)
The day after the postdrome, I’m usually ready to get caught up on everything that was left hanging as I lay in bed. The long to-do list gets created, things get purchased to complete the to-do list, the ball gets rolling and then I get tired. Right now my bedroom is in shambles because I thought it was time to organize and purge all the stuff that ends up in there because no one has a clue where it should go.
Now I’m in need of two extra bookshelves, a filing cabinet (or maybe two), a craft room, and a trip to the Goodwill Donation Center.
Looks like I have my to-do list for the rest of the week!