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To lie, to walk, by no means to sit

My first migraine I attribute to caffeine. It was my first year in graduate school, and I had finally become a coffee drinker. No, I had become a coffee sink. If it was around, I was slowly sucking it into myself. Late at night, reading Ben Johnson or Christopher Marlowe or John Foxe, I would eat brocolli, drink coffee, and not sleep. Then, one day, I woke, and my head felt as if it had exploded. I drank some orange juice. Five minutes later the orange juice came back. I crawled into bed and stayed until mid afternoon. Soon after, I cut back on my caffeine.1

I have had migraines infrequently ever since. Whether what I get is actually a diagnosable migraine doesn’t really matter to me—I never get the telltale light show, and sometimes I am able to do in my suffering what most “migraineurs” are not supposed to be able to do in their suffering. I have lived with headaches since I was ten years old. They are like natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes. They do their damage, but eventually they are almost commonplace nuisances. It’s the big, devastating, deadly ones that take on symbolic meaning—their names, their dates signify all that they leave behind. Katrina. When the day comes that a big enough earthquake hits the West coast and sends Malibu into the sea, we will call it something memorable. Some headaches make me curl in a ball and cry. Migraine.

Today, one visited me while I was at work. It began before noon, then grew progressively worse. At 2.15 I had to stop what I was doing, to shut my eyes, hold my head still. I bought my first pop in months in hopes that caffeine and ibuprofen would work. It didn’t. I wanted to lie down and cover my head with a pillow. I walked around and felt slightly better. It hurt most to sit down, frankly. At 3.00 my boss said, “You look awful. Go home.” I did.

1 There is a story to accompany this. It involves a woman, a desperate massage, and boxer shorts. I’m not about to ruin your imagination now by telling it.



Hope you feel better by the time you read this.

Garrison Keillor said the same thing on PHC a few months back, urging his Minnesota Lutheran homefolk to begin naming their blizzards so they could garner more sympathy and qualify for federal assistance.

In the meantime, I’ll consider appropriate earthquake names to be salvaged from the wreckage of my former life.

I am better, lack of sleep due to a 5am alarm clock of a cat notwithstanding. Thanks.

I was thinking that large earthquakes are usually named after dates, so like “9/11,” you’ll probably get to just say, crustily, “I was living in California in 2012,” and everyone will exactly know what you’re talking about. I wish that you didn’t have this devastation waiting in your future, but c’est la vie, you know.

Up to this point, I had been planning on doing a post about my periodic affliction of canker sores (I’ve got a doozy right now.) After reading this though, I think I’ll just count my blessings. Get well soon.

Oooh. Canker is bad. I get those, too.

Mom, who is ever after a new and better natural cure for every ill that ails her, said this weekend: straight up ginger cures canker.

However, I cannot vouch for the veracity of her claim.

I know it won’t help this time, but when S (to borrow the style of one JAW) gets one of them migraines (the shooting star variety), she lies down in a room made as dark as it can be with a cold compress on her face, and the soothing sounds of Kenny G’s Christmas album (I have no idea why we even have that thing) on the stereo, at a barely perceptible volume. That and prescription meds and about 11 hours of sleep seem to do the trick

I believe Kenny G has zero impact on canker sores.

I suspect you have the Kenny G for this very reason. Anything that works, I say. Although I must say it sounds as though SKB gets them much worse than I. If she came down with one at work, I bet she wouldn’t be able to walk 45 minutes home, as I did.

Still, I’m afraid that were I to use her by deploying Kenny G and/or a Christmas album, I would make things ultimately worse by giving K a migraine.

Kenny G may not cure canker sores, but I’ve heard he is the perpetually sought cure for the common cold.

i must correct G and say that the ginger is supposed to cure fever blisters, not canker sores. it’s dangerous to give out false medical advice! imagine the wanton abuse of the ginger root! let’s be careful.

7 & 8: If Kenny G gets a common cold, can he cure himself, or must he use ginger?

for the common cold:

grated lemon rind, grated carrot, and tablespoon of honey mixed with warm rum… some, even add minced garlic.

but the germans have a saying that i think applies to all cold remedies

a cold goes away in a week with vitamin C, without it it takes seven days…

as for migrines… i hear blood-letting works, but little else… and since apothecaries don’t keep leeches anymore….

glad you’re better

Is ginger a cure for Kenny G?

If he has blisters it is.

My next-door neighbor in my hometown told me once that binge drinking cures colds. A few days of drinking, he says, and the cold is gone. I pointed out to him that a cold usually goes away in a few days anyway. He said, “Yeah, but at least you don’t feel it when you’re drunk.”

yeah, but drinking can be hell on your sinuses. i guess once you get past a certain point of drunkeness, though, your sinuses are the least of your worries. okay, i’m convinced. no more vitamin C and zinc for me.

GKB, I suspect the Kenny G is not to make SKB feel any better but to ensure that YOU do not feel entirely well yourself while she suffers. Misery loves comp’ny, no?

Sorry, Greg, no advice from me. I just hope that you aren’t having the eye twitches with the migraines… I imagine that would feel like jackhammers to your eyeballs.

My eye actually was twitching—but at such a time, it was hardly easy to pay attention to it.

Apparently, the eye twitching is inherited. I mentioned it to mom this weekend, and she said she’s been twitching for decades. Blast! When she said it, I despaired. Sans Botox, it may never go away.

yes, but think what the botox could do for those little crow’s feet! you’re going to be 30; you have to start thinking about these things.

I’m not going to get away with this birthday quietly, am I?

tomorrow i send off another essay… into the pipe-line. which are always amazingly nerve-wracking moments for me: 1) because i tend not to be able to see a run-on sentence i’ve written, even if it were streaking across my page in its birthday suit; 2) because i am, have always been, and will always be a self-doubter.

30’s not that bad G…

congrats on finishing; let yourself be relieved.

the 30’s are fine—especially when you consider that every day you live brings you one day closer to death. i mean, every inbreath means you have one less breath until your last. so cheer up.

Fortunately, every breath is also one more sigh of relief that that adolescence is long over.

I have no remedies to offer, nor much else pithy to say, except to note that I got my first migraine in the Rhetoric lounge in EPB. It was evening, which turns out to be an unusual time of day for me to develop these things—they most often come in the morning, and drawing the shades and keeping very still and sleeping it off usually works. Not always.

30 started badly but improved rapidly, at least for me. And yes—leaving adolescence farther and farther behind is good.