Browse Category: Migraines



(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

B as in blindspots.

B as in brain mush.

B as in BLAM, BLAM, BLAM. Three to the head.

“Ahhhhhh, Wam, Blam, Thank-you, ma’am!” (Yes, B is for Bowie.)

They sneak up on you. They pounce on you. They decapitate you.

They wreck your day.


You take drugs!

Ahhhhhh! Drugs!

My morning started off fine. I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, even after only four hours sleep. (I know, B is for bozo for not getting enough sleep, as usual.) The ride to work wasn’t bad. I even stopped and took a few photos along the way. I got coffee with my usual coffee peeps when I got to work. Everyone was in a good mood.

Then I went to a training class at 9:30. By 10:15 I had spots in my eyes and could hardly see the PowerPoint slides. I scrawled out a note that said, “I’m dying. I have to go take medicine,” to a friend sitting next to me. But when I started to stand up, I got a cramp in the back of my left leg. I couldn’t move. It hurt so bad I thought I was going to scream. Not wanting to interrupt the class, I sat as still as I could and attempted to use mind control to relieve the cramp. (Think of Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill.” “Wiggle your big toe.” Only substitute hamstring for toe. “Wiggle your big hamstring.”) However, my brain was in mid-collapse. I drifted from control right into, “Gee, I wish I had a banana right now. Bananas have vitamin K or phosphorous or something that helps cramps. Oh! What I’d give for a banana right now! Does anyone have a banana?” I was able to regain some composure and slip out of the class without drawing attention to myself. I returned to my desk, choked down my pills, and plopped my head on my desk for 10 minutes.

Then the medicine kicked in. Ahhhhhh! It relieved most of the pain. But it doesn’t do anything for the fatigue and nausea. Another problem with the medication is that it is 500% caffeine. It’s a catch-22. My body is exhausted and wants to enjoy the comfort of a coma. But I get so wired from the caffeine that I can’t sleep. I can’t even sit still. I can’t stop talking and I get pretty goofy. (goofier) I also can get rather spacey at times while on the medication.

Today I became extremely hungry about an hour after I got the headache. I bought eggplant parmigiana with pasta and green beans from the cafeteria. I wolfed that down and was still hungry. So I went back downstairs to get a grilled cheese sandwich and rice pudding. There was no rice pudding, but I got the grilled cheese.


On my way back to my desk, I passed a meeting room in which several people were sitting at a table, including the friend who was in the training class earlier. As I passed, she raised her eyebrows at me. I was extremely spacey at that point and wondered why she looked at me that way. Then I remembered. I was supposed to be in that meeting! Holy crap! I tossed the sandwich on my desk and rushed back to the meeting room. I was only five minutes late. Lucky for me, a few people were later than I was and the meeting had not started yet. Unlucky for me, I was extremely spacey during the meeting. It was one of the best corporate meetings I’ve ever had the privilege of participating in!

For the past few years, I recorded each time that I had a migraine. In my private journals I wrote down when I had a migraine, what the suspected causes were, etc. Of course, B is also for boring and rather than constantly recording boring migraine entries, I began drawing descriptive pictures when I had the headaches. They started out as basic stick figures/non-smiley faces, some with axes in their skulls or cracks in their foreheads. These evolved into more creative drawings. One is a scene of a Turkish executioner chopping my head off with a big blade. Another is a boot stomping on my head causing teeth to fly out of my mouth. One is two fat people squishing my head between their cellulite-ridden rear ends. My favorite is the one I drew when I had a migraine on Easter. My head looks like a broken colored Easter egg. The insides are spilling out on the ground while two Easter bunnies hop up and down on my body. It’s all part of my grand mission of turning misfortune into artful beauty. (Even though this article is devoted to the letter B, I don’t think I’ll tell you about my “blood art.” You might think it is blatantly bizarre.)

So that’s the babble for the day. Just a tale of a busted head. Now there is only one last B word in my head. (No, KarenD, it’s not ratty BRAS.) It’s BED. I think I better get to it.


alphabyteslogo3 An AlphaBytes Project – The Letter B

As Graceful as a Gorilla

(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

So, yesterday I got slapped up side the head by a migraine. I suspected one would be coming any day now. I’ve been pushing myself and not getting much rest lately. So I wasn’t surprised when this one came along just after 1 in the afternoon, just after lunch and just before I spit in the face of the girl who sits next to me at work.


What happened was this…

I got a typical migraine that started off with blind spots. No big deal. It’s only half of my field of vision that gets wiped out. I stood up to get my migraine medicine out of my drawer. Big old pretty green and white capsules. The girl who sits next to me at work happened to be standing up in her cube, looked at me over the wall and said, “Man! You look bad!” I said that I just got a migraine, popped a capsule in my mouth and took a big mouthful of Arizona peach iced tea. I second later, while still looking at the girl who sits next to me at work just a few feet away from me, I gagged on the pill and sprayed her in the face with the iced tea. Oops! The look on her face was classic! But I felt like a moron! I couldn’t apologize enough for the rest of the day and all day today.

So now I am the target of tasteless spit remarks at work.

“Hey! You’re the spitting image of…”

“If you don’t do as I, the team leader, say, I’ll spit in your eye.”

“Maybe we need to build the walls of his cube higher or put a plexiglass spit shield all the way around the top of his cube.”

Ha ha. Very funny. No one seems to care that once I nearly died in the office while choking on one of my migraine pills. Go read about it here.

* * * * *
We had a department Christmas party at a nearby firehouse yesterday afternoon. It was a good time. The food was great. The wine was great. The desserts were great. The wine was great. The dancing was great. The wine was great. The dancing got even better because the wine was great.

I was feeling pretty wiped out by the time I got to the party. The girl who sits next to me at work and I had to park about five towns away by the time we got there. Well, it felt like that far away when we walked through the cold air. But we figured that was our punishment for not running at lunch lately. It was good to hang out and talk with some people. Eventually, after the proper amount of wine, I did get out on the dance floor for a little bit. But I was about as graceful as a gorilla with two wooden legs and faulty equilibrium. It was fun to be out there with some of the crazies and to have a certain fine young lady dance around me. “I’m just gonna stand here and look sexy while you dance around me, baby.” Right on.

* * * * *
It is a well known maxim of the ages…

“One’s perception of his own sexiness increases in exponential proportion to one’s intake of alcohol.”

The same can be said of a man’s perception of the women around him invariably in nearly every social setting known to science.

* * * * *
It is another well known maxim of the ages…

“With increased intake of alcohol many ideas suddenly make complete sense.”

However, writing and sending an email to a girl after imbibing wine in a profuse and lengthy fashion may not be the best of ideas. Even if your intentions were sincere and free of all creepiness, she may yet be “freaked out” by the event. (And no, it won’t be due to your slurred typing alone.)

But I wouldn’t know by experience myself…

Posted at 9:00 PM (EST)

It’s Not Often That I Use the Word “Naugahyde”

(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)


Now doesn’t that look comfortable? All comfy inside a sleeping bag with a nice soft pillow, sipping on Kool-Aid and not even needing to hold it.

Well, that will be me in a few minutes. Only I’ll be snuggled in bed with my favorite comforter and my own pillow. I’ve been feeling “migrainy” all day. I haven’t gotten the big bad headache yet. But I’ve felt “out of it” all day. I’ve been pretty spacey all day. More than usual. I’m weak and dizzy. Lots of tension in my neck and shoulders. Nauseous. Normally my migraines start with the blind spots for about 20 minutes. Then I get the bad headache and all the rest of the symptoms. Today it all feels backwards.

So I’m throwing a few words up here on the ol’ website before I finally poop out.

* * * * *
Speaking of throwing up…

While consulting the dictionary to find out how to spell nauseous, a few words caught my eye.

Do you know what “nautch” is?

Nautch – “an entertainment in India consisting chiefly of dancing by professional dancing girls.”

Also on this page…

Naugahyde – “a trademark name used for vinyl-coated fabrics.”

Nauganautch – “an Indian entertainment featuring professional dancers in low budget costumes.”

* * * * *
On the music scene…

While writing this I am listening to the Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead.” Believe it or not, this is the very first Grateful Dead album I have EVER listened to! My good friend, Pete Martin, let me borrow it along with some Lyle Lovett CDs. I am definitely not a Dead Head. Nope. Sorry. But then again… with this impending migraine…

Lately, in the car, I’ve been listening through all of my Led Zeppelin CDs. I don’t know. I get in the mood once in a while and end up listening through all the albums for certain bands.

I’ve also been reading a book about Zeppelin called “Hammer of the Gods” by Stephen Davis. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet. It begins with what amounts to a disclaimer of all the wild rumors about the band. “Oh, no, no! They never did this! They never really did that! And they certainly didn’t do that thing with the dead shark and the under age girl! Stairways to heaven, NO!” I don’t know. It just kind of makes me believe it all the more.

Reading books like these is just mindless entertainment at this point. My brain can’t handle anything heavy duty right now.

* * * * *
Let’s see… What else?

Should I tell you about how I got a tip from a friend about a cute girl at a certain business near our office? And about how my nervousness turned me into a bumbling idiot when I went there and actually spoke to her? About the way I asked stupid questions about their services and prices just to try to engage her in conversation? No, I don’t think I will tell you that. That would be embarrassing.

Her name is April. At least I managed to ask what her name was without stuttering too much. She didn’t ask for my name. It’s probably best if she doesn’t know at this point. She would only make really bad mental associations right now. “Sam… starts with S… like… STUPID… STUTTER… STALKER…”

* * * * *
Obviously… my last brain cell is fading quickly…

Pillow time…

Posted at 8:30 PM (EST)

So Goes the World

(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)


It is said that when you see a ring around the moon at night, it is going to snow the next day. What if you see a rainbow around the sun? Does it mean the same thing? Because it is supposed to snow big time here today and tomorrow, possibly 10 to 14 inches in our area by the end of the day tomorrow.

I am not well “treaded” for this storm. The tires on my car are wearing pretty thin. I have no boots since I destroyed them on THIS ADVENTURE back in August. But all I have to do is make it home from work and I will be fine. It can snow all weekend then.

The photo above was taken while driving to work yesterday morning. I set the camera exposure extra low to make more of a contrast between the rainbow and the tree line, as well as to minimize the glare from the sun. The church in the picture is located in Fairmont, which is near Califon and Oldwick.

* * * * *
I was going to run again yesterday, even though I was debating if that would be a good thing right at the beginning of getting started again, especially given the fact that I’ve been averaging about four hours sleep per night lately. It’s at times like these, when I push myself a little too much, that I fear the Brain-Sucking-Monster-Migraine will get me. Still, I wanted to run.

However, even though the girl who sits next to me at work remembered to bring her running gear, even though we talked all morning about running at lunchtime, even though it was warmer than the day before, we didn’t go running. This time she changed her mind at the last minute when someone asked her to go out for Thai food for lunch. She didn’t stop there though! She, along with the Thai lunch instigator, stood at my cube and harangued (cool word, huh?) me about being too hard on myself for wanting to run again. What? I only ran once after loafing for how many months? How hard on myself was that? (Pretty damn hard, actually!) Well, they convinced me to go to lunch. Honestly, they didn’t have to harangue too long and I rationalized it all away and soon found myself behind an abundant plateful of mildly hot Thai food.

I am beginning to wonder about the girl who sits next to me at work though. Not only has she not gone running with me, now she has even resorted to haranguement (cool, but is it really a word?) to persuade ME to NOT run!

I will run today though, come hell or high water! Or snow.

* * * * *
Man, did I crash last night! I think I actually managed to get about seven hours of sleep for a change. I was extremely proud of myself for resisting the temptation to turn the computer on and going to bed instead.

* * * * *
Speaking of crashing…

On the way to work this morning, the driver in front of me stopped suddenly. I jammed on my breaks so hard that I gave myself a wedgie! I suppose it is better to give yourself a wedgie than to BE a wedgie by slamming into somebody else’s rear end.

* * * * *
So goes the world. Or at least my little portion of it.

Posted at 9:45 AM (EST)

Dropping Fiorinal at the Laser Show

(Originally posted on the website Continuum…)

Dear Faithful Reader,

I regret to inform you that last night’s laser show absolutely SUCKED!

Hard to believe that the spoof on economics below holds more promise of reality than my former anticipation of the laser show does. But alas, it is so! At first, I speculated that my preference for economics over rock-n-roll and laser enduced psychedelia was a sure sign that I had indeed crossed that line and had become officially OLD. They say that the memory is the first thing to go. But no! It is the COOLNESS that one loses! Long before a man forgets where he placed his keys when they are still in his hand or loses control over his bowels, his control over his own coolness slips from his grip. He trades his Mad Magazines in for the Wall Street Journal. No longer does he find his heroes on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Instead, his icons and gurus cast their spell over his feeble mind from the cover of Fortune Magazine.

However, upon further inspection I was relieved of the notion of having achieved oldness. Even my fifteen-year-old son concurred with the suckiness of the show. And my cousin was almost out of control due to the laser assault. Yes! I think she was ready to vomit from the motion of the stars and laser designs flying across the ceiling, not to mention the corniness of the announcer during the show. She taunted me to get up front and do the moonwalk. She raised her arms and sang “coo-coo-ca-choo” along with the Beatles. She clapped out of rhythm with the Beach Boys, messing up the entire audience, all 14 of us.

Okay. In fairness, I admit that the moonwalk idea was my own. I had my arms up too. Yes, I did the out-of-synch “Little Deuce Coop” clap too. But I had an excuse. I was under the influence of fiorinal, my migraine medicine. Yes, I was “Comfortably Numb,” waiting for the Pink Floyd show. Even without the lasers the room was spinning for me.

In days long ago, people used to drop acid or smoke pot when they listened to Pink Floyd. And now… Perhaps the issue in all of this is that I have crossed that line and am now old. I dropped migraine medicine in order to listen to Floyd! Fiorinal. Truth be told, fiorinal is just a “turbo” caffiene pill. It’s loaded with caffiene and just wires me out when I have to use it. “Fiorinal.” Sounds quite poetically related to “urinal.” I think it is an intentional relation because when you have a migraine you really don’t feel well enough to care if you’re pissed on, pissed off or just plain pissed.

The only thing worse than a migraine is a migraine accompanied by a Raritan Valley laser show.

Now back to the psychodelia of finishing my economics paper…

Posted at 12:45 PM (EST)