I started getting migraines about a year and a half ago. My sister has gotten them for her whole life, and when she had one, I never really understood what she was going through.
It’s just not a really bad headache. Yes, there is intense pain. I describe it as an alien creature with a gardening trowel trying to dig its way out of my head from behind my right eye. Along with the pain, for me there comes intense nausea, seeing wavy lines, feeling dizzy, and having my senses heighten so much that light and sound are painful. There also seems to be a general sense of disconnectedness. Like I am trying to escape my body but something is cruelly pinning me down.
When I see the wavy lines, the song “Wave of Mutilation” by the Pixies always pops into my head. But, the best song that really captures a migraine is Mr. Bungle’s “Goodbye Sober Day,” particularly starting at about 3 minutes in.
And my migraines last for days.
I have been getting advice from people about what to do for this affliction, and most suggest going to a doctor, as there are medications that can be prescribed for migraine sufferers. I have found that over the counter medicine, even those designed for migraines, don’t help at all.
However, I, like many Americans, don’t have health insurance. I can’t afford it. It’s not that I buy crap I don’t need with money I could be spending on health insurance. It’s that after I pay rent and bills, I have to eat. After I eat, I have enough money to do my laundry.
So, here I sit at my computer, even though it hurts to look at the screen, because I’m bored and there’s nothing that I can do that doesn’t make the pain worse, other than listening to the Olympics on TV. I’m trying to find an upshot in all of this, and I think I figured it out.
There’s value in suffering, right? Suffering makes us alive. It makes us feel. It makes us real. It makes us appreciate the things in our lives that don’t bring us suffering. It teaches us about ourselves and what we find important. Suffering is something that no one can take from us.
And, it’s free.
Even though the song is actually about El Nino… or something like that…