Essay on Migraine

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Essay on Migraine

Post by Laura on Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:37 am

Author Joan Didion wrote about migraine in her 1968 essay “In Bed” (http://www2.lns.mit.edu/fisherp/InBed.rtf or http://www.thmsadaqagroup.org/InBed%20by%20Joan%20Didion.pdf). It is somehow very gratifying and cathartic to read a published essay and see myself.

“The physiological error called migraine is, in brief, central to the given of my life… When I am in a migraine aura, I will drive through red lights, lose the house keys, spill whatever I am holding, lose the ability to focus my eyes or frame coherent sentences, and generally give the appearance of being on drugs, or drunk… That no one dies of migraine seems, to someone deep into an attack, an ambiguous blessing.”

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Re: Essay on Migraine

Post by pīwakawaka on Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 am

It's an interesting read. I see some of myself there, but unlike many the writer, the level of pain I have with a migraine is usually not as intense. It's all the other symptoms - especially cognitive ones - that affect me.

It does do a good job of of explaining to a non-migraineur what living with migraines is like.

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Re: Essay on Migraine

Post by Laura on Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:04 pm

My level of pain is not as intense as the author's either. However, the part I quoted about making mistakes and losing the ability to focus is exactly me. And since I get them so often - it describes me more often than not. And the "character over chemistry" part really rings true to me. I still have to fight it though - I can't lay down and give in. If it only arrived 4 times a month I could but for me it comes too often. I fantasize sometimes about finding a significant other who loves me enough to share the bills - which would allow me to work part time. Ahh well. Chances of meeting someone when I spend most weekends home on the couch are pretty slim. If only my kitties would help with the rent - but they steadfastly refuse and spend their days taking the naps I long for.
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Re: Essay on Migraine

Post by pīwakawaka on Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:15 pm

At least I do have a spouse who works part time to help pay the bills. In fact she is the only breadwinner at present as I am not able to get a job even part time. Who wants to employ someone who'll be suffering from a migraine about 40% of the time and will be incapable of much of anything about 20% of the time?

Our income is about a fifth of what it was in 1999. It's fortunate that we have a mortgage free home, otherwise we would be in considerable difficulty.

I won't even attempt to drive during the aura or headache phases - I'd be too much of a danger to others. Even during the later stages of prodrome and earlier stages of the postdrome I'll avoid driving or operating potentially dangerous equipment (lawnmower, for example). I'm not always aware that a migraine is about to appear, but I seem to have developed an instinct that tells me when I shouldn't perform potentially dangerous activities. It's strange, but at such times, I don't always associate the reluctance to do something to an oncoming migraine.

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