textiles · exploration · misadventure

What the Neurologist Said



I love this old photograph; I found it in a box on my mom’s coffee table. That seventies collar just kills me. Wendy’s eyes are so intense, and yes, they are that beautiful, a clear, icy blue, like my dad’s, and my grandmother’s.

When Wendy was about this age she developed severe migraines. I loved her so, and it was hard to see her suffer. I would sit by her, and put cold cloths on her forehead while she lay in bed, as still as possible. She was delicate, and the migraines wrung her out for days.

In our young twenties, we lived together in Chico. Sometimes she’d ask me to give her an injection, or take her to the hospital for a shot of Demerol. Or I’d come home and there’d be a message from the hospital on the answering machine asking me to come pick her up.

She’d always insist she was ok drive, as she staggered across the hospital parking lot. I would laugh, and shove her into my car. I think she felt bad I had to drive her there or come and pick her up, then come back later for her car. I could never quite explain to her—maybe it was the Demerol—that I liked doing it. I liked taking care of her.

It was always Wendy with the migraines, and me with the alcoholism. Until last Friday.

Apparently, I’ve been having migraines for the past several years. They’re just a different sort than Wendy’s. Not severe, but chronic.

I knew I’d been having headaches, that they were getting more frequent, more severe. But when the neurologist questioned me I realized I’ve been having them almost every day for the past several weeks, if not months.

According to the neuro, a migraine is a physiological event that can take several pathways to exit the body. Including digestive ills and nausea. Including eyeball pain. Including dizziness, stiff neck, malaise, and mood changes such as euphoria and depression.

I wouldn’t mind a little euphoria, but mostly I’ve been getting the depression angle, and pretty stiffly at that. Days when it’s been hard to get out of bed, just stopping and staring at nothing while walking down the street, that kind of thing. I’ve started seeing my old, beautiful, brilliant, loving therapist again recently. It’s gently helping.

Diagnosis is family history of migraines gives me a genetic predisposition; stress and approaching menopause are contributing factors.

Me up top, practicing flaring my nose.  That's the kind of kid I was.

Me up top, practicing flaring my nose. That’s the kind of kid I was.

I have a treatment plan, which will take anywhere from three to six months to be effective. And Matty and I think one or two significant sources of stress in our lives will resolve for better or worse very soon. I’ve needed to be private about those things, because they involve other people and I am not free to speak about them.

I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime I feel like so many questionable health issues have been resolved—at least somewhat satisfactorily—over the past few months that I can get on with my life where I left off.

Looking for a job. It’s more than time. BOOOOO!

12 thoughts on “What the Neurologist Said

  1. I’m so glad u found out what’s been up with your health, I just wish it wasn’t migraines. Although, migraine is better than Cancer! I hate that pic of me!! I look like a SERIAL KILLER🔪🔪🔪.

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  2. I looovvvve both those pictures of you two but you do look a little startled. My lovely daughter gave her quilt the orange colorful one made out of scrapes of material from pants she made for matty. Can’t believe she gave it to me and I love love love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh migraines. I know this is not always the case, but the 50% of us who suffer from them in MY immediate family have both had success with the drug cocktails our docs have settled on for us. Grace, who gets what are sometimes called “stomach” or “vestibular” migraines (read: extreme vertigo, nausea, and hours and hours of vomiting, oh, yeah, and a headache, but who cares when you’re so dizzy you can’t walk and can’t stop puking?), had me fooled for months, because hers were so different from mine that it didn’t occur to me that they’d even fall in the same medical diagnostic classification. Knock wood – since we settled on her last combination of medications, she’s successfully been able to head every one she’s felt coming on off at the pass… And that has made a HUGE difference on her emotional well-being… I hope you have a similar outcome. Hugs!

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    • Thanks, Hendy, it’s good to hear about your family success. It’s a new thing for us. Wendy hasn’t had a migraine in years, usually knew they were coming from the aura, and a race to the hospital & Demerol cut them off at the pass. Poor Grace—that sounds just awful.


  4. It’s always good to know what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, Cyn. It’s a weird relief, and it gives me a direction to focus on. It could even be participating in my GERD difficulties. Bodies are so weird.


  5. Good luck with your treatment plan! I had an ongoing wave of migraine trouble that we think was triggered by my oncoming menopause. It’s taken a few tries to get it managed, but I’m doing okay now. Longtime lurker first time poster, I think — just wanted to chime in and cheer you on as you tackle the migraines.


    • Thank you so much, Rosa, I appreciate the encouragement, and it’s great to hear you’ve had success. Makes me feel more hopeful about it. It’s such a surprising unknown. I love it when lurkers comment; thanks for chiming in!