Thursday, August 26, 2010

Essay: "In Bed." Joan Didion

The experience of suffering migraine headaches.

Quote: “Three, four, sometimes five times a month, I spend the day in bed with migraine headaches, insensible to the world around me.”

Quote: “I was a long time before I began thinking mechanistically enough to accept migraine for what it was: something with which I would be living, the way some people live with diabetes.”

Quote: “Once an attack is under way, however, no drug touches it. Migraine gives some people mild hallucinations, temporarily blinds others, shows up not only as a headache but…a painful sensitivity to all sensory stimuli, an abrupt overpowering fatigue…and a crippling inability to make even the most routine connections.”

Quote: “…perhaps nothing so tends to prolong an attack as the accusing eye of someone who has never had a headache.”

Quote: “We do not escape heredity.”

Quote: “And I have learned now to live with it, learned when to expect it, how to outwit it, even how to regard it, when it does come, as more friend than lodger. We have reached a certain understanding, my migraine and I.”

Quote: “It comes instead when I  am not fighting an open guerrilla war with my own life, during weeks of small household confusions, lost laundry…canceled appointments, on days when the telephone rings too much and I get no work done and the wind is coming up. On days like that my friend [the migraine] comes uninvited.”

Quote: “For when the pain recedes, ten or twelve hours later, everything goes with it, all the hidden resentments, all the vain anxieties, The migraine has acted as a circuit breaker, and the fuses have emerged intact. There is a ;pleasant convalescent euphoria. I open the windows and feel the air, eat gleefully, sleep well. I notice the particular nature of a flower in a glass on the stair landing. I count my blessings.”

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