Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Crippled

Sometimes it starts with an almost imperceptible feeling that something is "wrong". Maybe it's the strange sensation of not being able to properly see my fingers typing away at the corner of my vision. Sometimes it starts with a shimmering dot somewhere in front of me that I notice, eventually, cursing. Once I suddenly and completely lost my peripheral vision while out and about with my parents, causing me to immediately begin running into things while trying to navigate the challenging layout of a suburban mall.

All of these things, once identified, cause me to take immediate action: usually a good bout of swearing, followed by scrambling to see if either myself or All-Star has a cache of contraband codeine stashed after our latest visit home.

It means I'm getting a migraine.

Yesterday I was treated to the shimmering blind spot version, when mid-morning I noticed a little circle of pain in the upper left of my field of vision. With dread I watched as the little circle expanded, slowly, into a large spiral arcing and obscuring large portions of my view. During this migraine precursor there is not much I can do except ingest painkillers, stay away from my computer, and wait to see how bad it is.

If I'm lucky, once the blind spots pass, I'm only suffering from a Baby Migraine. Some discomfort, but with the right drugs, and perhaps wearing my sunglasses in my cube (a genuine excuse to look like a bad-ass, or a pretentious dork (I go for bad-ass)) I can tough the day out.

If I'm unlucky I get the Big Papa Migraine, where it feels like someone is applying a power-drill to my skull, and I'm completely incapacitated.

My episode on Tuesday was an Obnoxious Older Brother Migraine - more than enough to have me wanting, and needing, to go home, but able to be toughed out if necessary. Unfortunately, due to a customer call and a couple of pressing issues, I didn't feel I could flee the premises, and so I was forced to endure the day, hoping that the couple of issues would resolve themselves and I could depart.

No such luck; as it happened I got out of the office after the rest of my team had left. Nice how that happens, sometimes.

I still managed to get home relatively early, and while I wasn't able to take a nap immediately for fear of not being able to sleep that night, I did the next best thing: order a metric ton of comfort food and watch a movie (in this case "Punch Drunk Love", which I've had out from Netflix for over a year - I'm either their best, or worst, customer, depending on how you look at it. It's like I'm donating to them in appreciation of their business model). A nice hot shower, and early to bed, has me in relatively decent shape today. I refer to the day after a migraine as being the "aftershocks" - when I'm still not 100%, could still be a little headachey, and wanting nothing else except to head home and nap. Again.

Some people have managed to identify their migraine triggers, and have been able to tailor their lifestyles accordingly. I've never managed to do it, which is both a blessing and a curse; part of the reason I haven't been able to work out exactly what causes the magic for me is that my episodes are (thankfully) infrequent. My dad suffers from them, and states his triggers as stress and lack of sleep. I can't easily say that either of those are direct causes, though I can't argue that they may be contributing factors in my case. As I was saying to All-Star just the other day, I haven't had a regular sleeping pattern in quite some time. And stress? I can't say that I have been feeling it more recently than normal, and could make the argument that I'm feeling a little less stressed than I have in a while.

It is true that I turned up to work in a bad mood for whatever reason, a mood that was only amplified when dealing with the crap that was on my desk to deal with when I actually began to perform my daily duties, but I have to think that's more a symptom than the disease itself. Not to mention I don't recall "being a moody bitch" as one of the common threads in previous episodes.

If nothing else it makes me grateful that I don't suffer them with greater regularity or intensity, and that this is nothing much in comparison to other conditions people have to deal with on a daily basis.

I'm still gonna wear my dark glasses in my cube though. Just try and stop me.

3 Comments:

  • My Mom and Wife have suffered serious bouts of migraine problems. I wish I understood what was going on, but it is hard to comprehend. Hearing and reading about it more helps me realize how serious it is.

    Good luck with everything and wear those glasses. It will be harder for coworkers to see you bluff.

    By Blogger TripJax, at 12:08 PM  

  • WIll those be your Elvis dark glasses will be wearing? THey are my favorite.

    By Blogger Betty Underground, at 1:39 PM  

  • I'm still gonna wear my dark glasses in my cube though. Just try and stop me.

    I wore sunglasses to work for four years due to migraine and seizures. I felt compelled to have poker chips to shuffle and explain that I was perfecting my stare down to co-workers.

    By Blogger Drizztdj, at 3:40 PM  

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