Posted by: Kate | February 26, 2007

Personality, Interrupted

You may have noticed that I’ve been somewhat uninspired, or maybe just plain old boring, blogwise, of late. It’s not intentional, and it’s not for lack of wanting to be unboring. It’s because I am into my fifth day of a screaming vertiginous headache, and somehow that does very bad things to both my literacy and my sense of humor. Not to mention my ability to focus on a computer screen. Or to not eat my family members.

This is the third time in my life that it has happened, when a headache has rolled in and taken up residence. The other two were at relatively innocuous moments of my life, not at any major crossroads or decision-point; really, the same as this time, although I feel like there’s a case to be made that the not-internship thing could be contributing. I’ve been getting intermittent migraines since I was 16, and despite any number of charts, 4 different prophylactic meds and 10 different abortive meds, nothing has really worked consistently on them. The only consistent pattern I’ve been able to pinpoint is that, often, I’ll get a bad headache immediately after some major source of stress goes away. The week after I graduated college, barely and by the skin of my [insert body part more sensitive than teeth], following some major health crises and family dramas and relationship angst and who knows what-all, it was like a little switch went off in my head. “Okay!” announced the Migraine Goblin, “That’s done! You’ve graduated! Now, lay down and whimper for three days. Got it?” Yes, sir.

So even though I wasn’t consciously feeling a big load off, weight off the shoulders, task scraped off my plate, whatever – perhaps actually having the date pass and having no chance for a last minute change-of-heart was noteworthy for me.

Or maybe I’m just unlucky. Whatever. This hurts.

And now that I’m rolling into Day 5, I’m noticing my personality start to change. I’m less amused by stupidity, less able to roll with the idiosyncracies that normally seem endearing, less able to act like I care about things I do not care about. So far I’ve tried not to bark at my children or husband, though I’m sure that yesterday morning’s episode of standing in the kitchen weeping because I just couldn’t think of anything else to do did not go a long way toward reassuring them that Mama can handle this.

I’m well enough to be at work today, but the thought of eating is disturbing to me, and I’m sitting in my little cubicle with the shades drawn – I opened them on my first day here and had never yet closed them again – alternating between various tasks for as long as I’m able to sustain them. I get a sort of migraine-induced ADHD, but it’s really more in line with an anxiety thing… I stare at the computer too long, and I worry that I’m starting to see another aura. I knit for a while, and the texture of the yarn makes me nauseous. I try to do paperwork and the letters start to jump and dance like a six-year-old on Halloween.

Seriously, I’m not in the running for World’s Sanest at the moment. I recognize the stupidity and inanity of my symptoms, but being irritated at them doesn’t make them go away. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I’m going to go in a little while to pick up a new round of medication, and I’m waiting for a referral to a new neurologist. You may remember that the last time I tried to see one, it was not a success. I’m not having lofty hopes for this one, either, but my primary care doctor doesn’t know what else to offer me and I don’t know what else to ask for, so a new audience can’t hurt. Well, it could hurt, but not any more than I already am.



  1. I don’t think there is anything stupid or inane about your symptoms. I just hope you’re feeling better soon.
    If my family can still love me after 9 months, yours will make it through a week. Last night I actually snapped at my husband because I didn’t have any clean pajamas (I really am the Queen, Queen jerk, that is). When he said there weren’t any in the laundry, I responded with, “Well, I guess it must be the pajama trolls, hmmm?” Not my finest hour.

  2. I don’t know what to say or do, because I really wish I could make your migraine go away and I can’t, so:

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