Sunday, April 14, 2013


Had my first migraine in a number of years this morning. It still hasn't gone away, even after pills, and is sort of resting behind my right eye as I type, twinging a bit with each jerk of my eyeball.

I used to get migraines all the time before I got glasses, and since then I think I have had two, so yay optical science!

I still remember the first migraine, and my mind casts back to it with each new episode. It was in middle school, at a friend's house, the morning after a sleepover. I woke up feeling poorly, but it wasn't like there was school to skip so I didn't complain. We were playing basketball in the driveway and I was sluggish as hell, but still doing alright because I had about a foot and a half on my friend and his moves were slick but I had gotten a good feel for them.

That devolves into free form shooting and I keep missing about a foot to the right. Friend says "you can't hit anything today," to which I respond, "yea, its this thing in my eye like a hole in my eye," and he looks at me and says "a hole in your eye?" with as much skepticism as is appropriate and I say yea, a hole of like fuzzing empty light. But it doesn't really register on either of us because we are small children in this story.

The lethargy grows gradually. First I stand a bit too long after moving, then I sit down, and then I give up completely and lie down. It was in the standing too long phase that the nausea hit and the sitting down phase that the headache began. At this point you may be wondering why on earth I was still in uncomfortably bright driveway making any attempt at basketball. But hell, I make astonishingly poor choices now, how much poorer must my decision making have been in middle school.

Anyway, at some point I do go lay down causing my friend to go into the kitchen and seek out the kitchen-residing problem solver who calls my kitchen-residing problem solver and tells her that I need to be fetched. I am left in a dark room. Every sound, no matter how slight, is a sledgehammer to a spot right behind and above the eyes. Every photon becomes a bullet punching through the back of my eyes and halfway into the front of my skull. The nausea floats just below the point that would let me purge breakfast, and instead makes it swirl around endlessly. If there are any parts of the environment that I could manipulate to lessen my pain, the lethargy which sank into every bone, a lethargy unequaled until I nearly died of swine flu in college, made damn sure that I left it as it was.

Eventually I was fetched and medicated, though once a migraine has gotten started regular headache medicine only does so much. The headaches would re-occur about every other month and about a year later I got glasses and the world was a miracle again.

So here we are this morning. I did not want to get up, but the cats were like "Fuck you, feed me" for an hour so I did, and ended up stepping on poor Solomon, and out of habit I turned on the computer and the screen came up and it was like a million needles being jabbed into salted wounds where my eyes and the few inches of bone and skull around my eyes used to be. And in that moment I felt the nausea, the lethargy, the malaise that separated itself from early morning sleep inertia. And of course the headache which previously was just a budding throb flowering into a full grown knot of anguish.

So it is pill time. Then it is hot shower time. Then it is lie about in the darkness moaning in pain while the cats paw at me going "Is it dinner time yet" NO IT IS NOT DINNER TIME YET.

There are people in this world- real, live human beings who are probably better people than me on the whole- who do not have access to pills, and even more who could get them, but at ruinous expense (not actually sure which is worse). There are people without plumbing, people with plumbing but no heat, and maybe even people with plumbing but no shower. There are people who cannot afford to live alone, who live in houses so small that they cannot kick everyone out of a room and turn out the lights. There are even people whose houses will not properly block out light until the sun goes down, and maybe not even then if there are streetlights. There are people so desperate for work that they cannot take the morning off, not just because they will be fired subsequently, but because the labors of the morning are necessary for dinner that night.

And all of those deprivations, in their most extreme form, are the natural state of mankind in which most of humanity ever and much of it still today has lived.

I make $34,000 a year and can mitigate nearly all the suffering of a migraine. I am not middle class, and I am certainly not poor. I am fucking loaded. I am astonishingly wealthy. I am the 1%.

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