Migraine. What an evil, heinous, totally offensive word. It’s a one-word response to the question, “What’s the matter?” that instantly elicits a wince, a vampiric hiss, and immediate sympathy from the inquirer. Those who suffer understand. Those who have only had an experience or two get it. Those who have the remarkable good fortune to have never taken this particular ride of pain still get it. They hope never to experience the horror, and so they wish yours away with the fervent hope that it’s not catching.
I’ve got to address Migraine personally, because it’s become apparent to me that Migraine is an entity, not a condition. An entity so dark and pregnant with evil intent that really, we should have trained Exorcists to defeat them with rituals. Except, of course, that there is no tried and true way to drive out the demon. What works this time may not work next time.
Migraine: I am sick of your shit.
You stormed the castle last Friday, knocking down the gates and rendering me blind and nauseous with your white-hot poker of pain inserted into my skull. Two prescribed pills later, you allowed me to pass out, a pile of exhausted flesh and bones. You kept the poker at arms-length that day, threatening me with the tip. I survived. Saturday and Sunday, you toyed with me, reminding me at every turn that you could level me if I pissed you off. By Monday, I could feel the thunder, both atmospherically and figuratively (The way you paired yourself to the three small tornados we experienced that day was sheer brilliance.)
On Tuesday, you released the Krakken. You took my breath away with the force of your attack. I lay, crumpled and defeated, on my bed.
Over the course of the past 6 days, I have given you every offering which in the past appeased you:
Drugs. A darkened room. Cool pillows. Fluids. Drugs. Greasy pizza. Coffee. The sound of the fan blowing. Meditation. Drugs. Coca-Cola. Horizontal positioning. A pillow on my forehead. Begging the husband to kill me as blood sacrifice. Different drugs. A Big Mac and fries. Tim Hortons coffee. Cookies. Quiet acceptance of your power.
Nothing worked this time. Oh, you teased me, for sure. A slight calming of nausea here, 30-40 minutes of peaceful sleep there. You occasionally loosened the vise grip you had tightened around my head. The ability to peer at the tv or the phone’s screen or normal daylight without wincing in pain. You played with me, you feckless bastard. And then you tightened down that grip again.
Today, I think you may be packing up your suitcase of medieval torture devices and preparing to take your leave of me. I waved my white flag of acquiescence late last night. The thing is, Migraine? Even Aunt Flo knew when she’d overstayed her welcome. She wasn’t the Kurgin of Middle Age, wreaking havoc whenever she came to visit. She almost seemed apologetic when her stays grew longer and more painful. The fact that I had to completely remove her luxurious accommodations from the weird freakshow that is my body in order to finally bid her farewell is beside the point. You know I can’t remove your penthouse suite unless I blow my head off. Clever, aren’t you?
Being a menopausal woman is no fucking cake walk. You are at war with your body. It takes a gigantic set of lady nuts, an unlimited supply of Poise pads for the times when your bladder laughs at you just as you’re unlocking the front door, lots of drugs, air conditioning, and extremely patient family members who understand that you may be possessed right now, but someday, that demon will be gone. It takes the courage to push through your days when in truth, you really could use 2 power naps just to accomplish anything because your body keeps telling you, “Please, no more. I am soooo fucking exhausted.” It takes tremendous strength of character not to dissolve into tears while simultaneously bludgeoning the first male you see because you just know there’s a man to blame for this bullshit somewhere in history.
All I know is that my ovaries better shit the bed soon, or the chance that I may spend my golden years furtively digging a hole to freedom behind a poster of Gerard Butler with a shiv I fashioned from a petrified tp tube instead of peacefully rocking away on my front porch with the husband by my side increases with every month. Because I’m capable of violence and someone, somehow is going to encounter me during one such psychotic break if this continues for much longer.
“Woe to you, Oh Earth and Sea
For the Devil sends the beast with wrath
Because he knows the time is short
Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast
For it is a human number
Its number is Six hundred and sixty six”