I have taken a rather long break from blogging because of continued migraine attacks. Anyone suffering from migraines can likely sympathize, as the last thing one in the throes of a squeezing, throbbing, eye popping headache wants to do is stare at a computer screen while attempting to assemble intelligent sounding sentences. So intense were my headaches that the only thing I could do was curl up in bed after work and pray for unconsciousness or death — whichever was fine by me. I know that probably sounds morbid, but fellow migraineurs can relate. This insane form of torture has been going on for nearly two months now, with no apparent end in sight. After several visits to my physician, experiments with various OTC and prescription medicines as well as homeopathic remedies, and one or two nervous breakdowns, I was ready to check in to the ER — for an extended stay if necessary.
Finally something happened. The headaches eased off, leaving me mystified, exhausted, and terrified that, like some invading alien force, they would return just as I was starting to return to a normal state of being. The paranoia of wondering when I would succumb to another attack was almost as bad as the actual migraines, and I nearly worked myself into a panic over my own speculations. I found myself curling up on the couch feeling just as helpless and vulnerable as ever, wanting answers and resenting the person that my migraines had created over the last several weeks. But, this story isn’t really about the misery of migraines; it’s about the severe thunderstorm that we survived this morning, and how it provided some relief from my current state of discomfort.
The storm was building when I woke up early this morning, so I opened windows to let in the cool, rain scented air, and found ‘Murder, She Wrote’ on Netflix. Whenever it gets stormy I love to turn on murder mysteries. I have a full library, everything from the wholesome crime solving school teacher portrayed by Angela Lansbury to the more grisly but highly entertaining ‘Murdoch Mysteries’ series from Canada; and let’s not forget Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes, or Psych. But I digress.
After the storm had raged into a flood inducing tizzy, the lights began to flicker, and one last enormous boom of lightning did them in. My daughters are particularly sensitive about living in Tornado Alley, so I reassured them that we would be just fine. I lit several candles and placed them around the house, then opened blinds to bring in more natural light. It was still very dim and gloomy outside even after the rain had subsided, and a river of brown sludgy water rushed down the street. Our back yard was flooded, but it would drain quickly enough. I was just relieved that I hadn’t planted anything yesterday — the seeds would have been washed away!
We were without power for a little over one hour. The house was mostly dark, with fractured light coming through the windows and flickering candlelight in some of the rooms. I took advantage of the darkness and quiet. For a migraineur, dark, cool, and quiet is the best possible form of existence. For the last two months, this is the only way I have wanted to exist. The cobwebs of residual pain forming in my head when I woke up began to clear as I busied myself with odd jobs — anything that could be done sans electricity. I swept the tile, put away laundry, organized items on the kitchen counter, all in the cool darkness. I caught myself grumbling a bit that the electricity wasn’t on “yet”, but then immediately admonished myself. The break from light and noise was a blessing in disguise for someone like me, so easily overstimulated by glaring lights, beeping alarms, blaring T.V.s and other forms of technology.
With no excuse to check my e-mail, update my Facebook status, or shop on the J. Crew Web site, I had so much more time to listen to the birds singing in the rain, joke with my daughters about our immense pile of laundry, and let my head clear from weeks of compounded pain. When the lights came back on I felt a jolt of surprise and slight disappointment. I almost wished the entire day could have been spent in such a state of conservative peace and quiet, with nature overseeing the background lighting and sound effects necessary for entertainment.
Glad that you are back to writing – and that your migraine may have run its course.
Sounds like you need to carve out a short weekly sabbath of some sort – a brief time of peace, quiet, and shadows. I have my daily walk – quiet time by myself without interruption; when I don’t have that time I feel frazzled and irate.
Thanks, Jamie Ray! I do have a headache again today, but it was nice to have the weekend “off”. I agree with you about carving out time for myself to relax and pamper myself more. In fact, that might be the only way to get over this latest pattern of migraines. Thanks for the words of wisdom!