Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Woke up about 12:30 with that telltale pain behind my left eye. It wasn't much more than a twinge, but it clearly wasn't going away, not even with a handful of aspirin and an icepack. Around one, it occured to me that if this was going to be a migraine, then now was the time to kill it. Unfortunately, I was out of Imitrex, the best migraine medicine ever, and running low on Midrin and Tylenol 3 with Codeine, the sledge hammers in my pharmacological toolbox. So I got up, popped a Midrin, and sat down to putter at the computer.

I knew I was in for it when the hot flash hit. I'm sitting in my underwear in an 80 degree house, drenched with sweat. This is not a good thing. And the Midrin isn't doing shit. 3:30, and I decide to throw more drugs at it: 2 Midrin and some Codeine. I go to sit in the dark for a bit, and when I get up a few minutes later for some water, my left eye catches fire, and I'm holding myself up by the kitchen counter. I can feel my guts shifting gears. For a minute I think I can hold it together, and then my mouth fills up and I'm sprinting through the dark house to reach the bathroom before it happens again.

As I'm cleaning myself up, I can't help but look in the mirror. My body's covered in sweat, my eyes look beaten, and my hair would look just about right on a troll doll. Yeah, I'm stone cold sexy when I've got a migraine. The first order of business is the chug a glass of water so that I won't be dry heaving if the puking comes around again, which it usually does. I've got about a five minute window to get some drugs into my system before I puke 'em back up again, like I just did. I take the last of the Midrin and another Tylenol 3. I've got four of those left. And it's 5:30 am.

I gather my pill bottles and call the pharmacy. They don't open again for two hours, but I leave a message with the prescription numbers of the three drugs I need refilled. Two of them, the Midrin and codeine, require a doctor to sign off before they can refill them. My doctor, of course, is on vacation, but it's taken all the focus I've got just to make this one phone call.

It's 5:35 am. I'm supposed to be at work in two and a half hours. I have a meeting, and several terribly important things to do. It'd hardly be the first time I went into work after a night of fighting migraines, but I only do that when I win. I'm not winning. In fact, I'm getting my ass kicked. So I pull my shit together again and leave a message on my boss's answering machine that I'm not going to be there. While I'm still in the living room I send Christie an email letting her know what's up and asking if she could possibly bring me my drugs.

I take a sleeping pill and crawl off to bed, thinking back on the good old days when my ex got her wisdom teeth out and didn't use all the Vicodan they'd prescribed. At this point, I'd cheerfully shoot every person who ever used Vicodan recreationally if it meant that I could get a prescription for migraines, but at this point my aim would suck horribly, so there's no point. I can feel myself working up to a diatribe on doctors, pain management, and the war on drugs, but it just sort of comes out as a whimper as I collapse into bed, where I slip in and out of consciousness until the phone rings. It's Christie, saying, "Of course I will."

Time's a slippery bastard when I'm migraining, but within a couple of hours I can hear her come in the front door, then get a glass out of the cabinet and fill it. Then she's in my room handing me pills. And then, finally, real sleep, and no pain. Or, at least, pain slight enough I can ignore it. Ah, chemicals. Just before I fall asleep, I mutter to Christie, "You know, Alfred the Great had migraines..."

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