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!