Taking a break and thought I was due for a blog post. No burning topic to write of, but simple musing on what is on my mind, literally.
As I write this I’m experiencing what some call a “silent” migraine, but trust me, in its silence it roars. There are many names for what I have, the current term du jour being “migraine aura without headache.” It is one of my least favorite things inherited from my mother.
I’m at the tail end of it, and it’s apparently a mild one, but when it is at its peak it makes focusing difficult for in front of my eyes I see a constantly undulating squiggle of flashing prisms, which do not go away even when I close my eyes and cover them. I definitely consider myself to be of the fortunate 3% of migraine sufferers to get this type. I know people (including children, which breaks my heart) who get the “other” kind, the migraines that feel like a thousand needles repeatedly stabbing from within. People have been known to be suicidal, the pain so unbearable.
Mine are not. At times I get a lingering headache which follows the visual madness, at others I get nauseous. Lights can trigger a migraine almost instantly and because of this I am a bit of a vampire, hiding from bright lights and wearing dark glasses even when it’s cloudy. Not only do I have dimmers in every room but I’ve been known to walk around turning off lights in friends’ houses when I visit. I hide from cameras (flash) and flashlights and haunted houses and places with strobe lights. One of the worst things about migraines is that they not only throw you for a loop when you have one, but you live in fear that one will sneak up on you when you are driving, or working, or on vacation (all of which has happened). It seems that the light sensitivity, or photophobia, affects me mostly when I pass suddenly from dark to light, for when I vacation at the beach I rarely get one (gracias a dios ’cause I do love the beach!).
Migraines have existed since time began and there is a wealth of information, medical, anecdotal, literary, about them (of note are discussions by Oliver Sacks as well as those of one of my favorite writers, Siri Hustvedt, whose descriptions of her own experiences are quite incredible.) There is even a classification for art created to describe the aura and the pain of migraines, sort of an art brut for migraineurs. The link with the brain, with imagination and creativity makes the migraine, its history and its many forms fascinating. (By the way, it has passed now, and I’m left with just a dull headache, no more squiggly abstractions impeding my vision.)
If it weren’t for the fact that migraines have existed since the beginning of recorded history, I’ve venture to blame them on processed foods and chemical toxicities and all the garbage most people put in and on their bodies. But I suppose I can’t blame migraine on that, at least not wholly.
Also on my mind is the beauty of a baby’s bath. What is more intimate than a mother lovingly washing her child, or more delightful than children splashing and playing and covering themselves (and their bather) with bubbles? Sheer bliss. I remember the soothing smell of “No More Tears,” a bottle of which we never traveled without and which lived, permanently and until very recently, on the edge of the tub. It was, at least in my mind, pure and simple, good for my babies’ tender skin and gentle on their eyes (which they invariably open). So gentle, so pure, and so full of…
…1,4-dioxane and quaternium-15. Damn.
Boycott Johnson & Johnson. Read up on this issue and others relating to the toxins in beauty products and cosmetics at safecosmetics.org. While you’re at it, watch this:
I’d take a migraine any day over liver cancer or death, wouldn’t you?
Speaking of that migraine, it’s kind of kicking in again so I’d better go lie down in a nice dark place…