Sunday, January 11, 2015

Other people's lives


Winter twilight. I love this time of year ; the colours of the skies, the glowing windows, the fact that rib-sticking food is allowed, nay encouraged all contributes to the overall feeling of hunkering down, digging in and hibernating. We wrap and layer and go for long walks, always returning to the mothership and the comfort of casseroles of root vegetables and pulses and beans. Don't pull that face - I can do a lot with a lentil - all those years as an art student taught me something useful, you know. And knitting ; I become a thing of wool and felt and hitherto undiscovered craftiness in the winter ; the plummeting thermometer seems to bring out my inner Ravelry-ite.

And spending the winter holiday with family ; having grown-up children home, the household filling with their presences, their voices; truly this is one of the best times of year, made even better, even more precious by the fact that due to divorces and other arrangements, we only have a full house once every two years. I look forward to this brief time with my grown-up children, this ( at most) seventy two hours for an entire  730 days until it rolls round again. 

So. Imagine my dismay when December began with a series of migraines that simply kept on going. One after the other. Day after day. And December's such a relaxed month, right? Nothing to do, much. I kept taking my migraine drugs ( one of the triptans) and the migraines just kept on rolling in, 4 a.m being their preferred arrival time. We had a big family dinner planned for the 21st ( Winter Solstice, in honour of the turning of the year) and I briefly thought about calling off, but decided to keep on going. 

So did the migraines.

As the last guest left in the early hours of the 22nd, the mother of all migraines arrived. I chugged a triptan and nothing happened. Twelve horrible hours later I took another and it worked, sort of. I appeared to have reached a well-documented point where I'd overused these wonder-drugs to the extent that they were now actually causing the headaches I was taking them to alleviate. 

And the cure? No more drugs. For quite a long time. Which means NO DRUGS. No dental work then. I'm trying to feel sorry about that and failing. It also means if I fall over and break a leg, I'll have to be all manly and stiff-upper lipped. Oh dear heavens, this is so not me. And as well as normal migraines whatever that may be, I'm also having a period of withdrawal from triptan overuse as my outraged pain sensors reset themselves back to normal. This is what I'm now doing. The last headache I had earlier this week, courtesy of triptan withdrawal was a 72-hour blaaaargh which I'm in no hurry to repeat, but may well have to. 72 hours of lying still with my eyes shut. I can't even listen to the radio, it's like being sandpapered till I bleed. And somehow I'm supposed to eat and drink when food tastes like burnt rubber and moving my head to get fluid down my neck makes me feel like...

Don't know where, don't know when the next headache will show up, but understandably, I don't want to go anywhere too far from
a. home
b. bed
c. my own little bedside bucket to throw up in
d. my freezer ( purveyor of ice for ice-packs)
e. people who love me and understand that this is every bit as horrible as it sounds and that I'm not drunk ( I get quite dizzy) or a revolting woman ( well, throwing up in public isn't very attractive) 

On the plus side, this coming year (once I get this headache/drug nonsense sorted out or at least down to a manageable level of shriek-fest) will be an amazing one. I'm looking forward to several brilliant projects, books and residencies and can't wait to wiffle on about what shape they're going to take BUT

my ancient and trusty mac is about to flatline here so I'd better wing this out on the ether before I run out of battery life. Laters xxxx