like when bruce banner realizes that he’s turning into the hulk, only the opposite

About once a year, I get an unbelievably intense headache. I don’t mind the pain so much. The thing that bothers me more is how vulnerable they make me feel. When they come on, I tend to get confused and disoriented. And, then, on top of that, there’s the blindness. Actually, it’s not really blindness. Everything in my field of vision just gets kind of jumbled. I can see stuff, but it’s not like it usually is. It’s like my eyes are each working independently of one another, so that nothing lines up. And then there are these short prism-like arcs of light that bisect everything. I’ve been trying to describe them since I was about 15, but I still can’t really do it… Anyway, I had one today. I realized it was happening when I was holding a handful of quarters out to Clementine and I realized that I couldn’t focus to count them.

Fortunately, I was able to walk home before the worst of it hit. I always worry that they’ll hit me on an airplane, or mid road-trip, but I’ve been lucky so far. They generally happen when I’m around home. I can usually make a call to Linette or a friend before it gets too bad and get a ride home. Now that Clementine’s involved it gets a little scarier. What happens, I wonder, if I get one when I’m driving her late at night through some bad part of town?

I haven’t mentioned my OCD here in a while, but that definitely makes things worse. It’s bad enough that I get these once a year, but the really bad part is worrying about these episodes all through the other 364 days. The attacks themselves aren’t really all that bad. Lately, when I’ve had them, I’ve just gone to bed. When I wake up, everything’s usually better. I can worry about having them several times a day though.

So, today I had one. It sucked, but I got home with Clementine without much problem. Linette was home, so I handed her off and went upstairs. I started meditating, and, before too long, fell asleep. When I awoke a few hours later, I was in a pissy mood but otherwise OK. I still had a bit of a headache, but I could see. So, I got in the tub, where I apparently fell asleep again. If there’s a lesson in any of this, it’s that you shouldn’t get into the tub if you’re just coming out of an altered state. I jerked awake as my head slid below the water, thrashing around and knocking bottles of Sesame Street bubble bath across the room.

I apparently had the good sense at that point to drain the water from the tub, but I fell immediately back to sleep. Linette found my blubbery, naked carcass asleep, curled up on the bottom of the tub sometime later.

So, that, in a nutshell, is how I almost died today and why I missed my coffee date with performance artist Holly Hughes.

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8 Comments

  1. Mathias
    Posted September 24, 2007 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Liberal drowns in tub o’ tears. Film at 11:00.

  2. Alpha
    Posted September 24, 2007 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t it Grover Norquist who proposed getting Mark Maynard down to a size where we could drown him in a bathtub?

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20010514/dreyfuss

  3. stella
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    That, my friend, is called migraine with migraine halos.
    That thing that looks like a piece of one of those geometrically patterned indian beaded belts (only made out of prismatic lights) that is now your best friend. Because if you can act aggressively when it first appears you maybe can forestall the actual weeping, puking, migraine.
    For me three ibuprofen the minute the halo appears usually does it. Many people are not that fortunate and take everything up to phenobarb.
    Also look for dietary triggers. For me it’s an excess of potassium.

  4. Ted
    Posted September 25, 2007 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    What you have is commonly referred to in my field as Crybaby Pussy. The remedy is to rub your eyes vigorously and get the fuck back to work.

  5. Posted September 26, 2007 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    When I suddenly started getting migraines, my doctor asked me if I’d added anything new to my diet.

    I told him that I’d just bought a case of diet orange soda. He told me to stop drinking it for a week and then have one and see what happens. Sure enough, instant migraine.

    My doctor explained that something in the orange soda, likely the bright orange food coloring, triggered an inflammatory response in my brain.

    Ask yourself if there is something that you ate right before the migraine that you don’t eat very often.

    BTW: I also have OCD and I’m currently unable to work (since January).

  6. mark
    Posted September 26, 2007 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Stella! You’re exactly right about the Indian beaded belts! That’s exactly what they’re like… As for triggers, I’ve been trying to figure that out for years, with no luck. I used to think they were caused by too many sweets, but I’ve given up on that theory. I’ll keep thinking about it though.

    And, hello, Fritz. It’s nice to make the acquaintence of another person from the OC. Sorry to hear that it keeps you from working. Hopefully that’s temporary… I’ll go check out your site later tonight.

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  8. The Joker
    Posted September 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s all part of my plan to enlarge every man’s penis several times it original size, while at the same time shrinking the vagina of every woman. Then watch the sexually frustrated trolls come out of the woodwork.

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