Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Great Escape

I dodged a bullet last night.

No, not in the literal sense. And it wasn’t even anything terribly serious. Just extremely unpleasant.

I don’t get migraines often, but unfortunately I am familiar enough with them to know when one is on the way. It starts with what I’ve come to call “the shimmer”—a shimmering point at the center of my visual field that gradually widens into a semicircle comprising a kind of line sketch (called the “fortress formation” if memory serves). Eventually this formation reaches the outer edges of my visual field, and once it gets there, the real fun starts. (I’ll spare you the description.) The initial process takes approximately twenty minutes to a half hour, so once the shimmer begins I know I have that much time to take the strongest painkillers I can find. Getting them into my system as quickly as possible makes all the difference in how I make it through the next several hours. Even with painkillers, it’s not so simple.

The shimmer began last night as I was getting ready for bed. Well, that’s convenient, I thought. I’ll take a strong painkiller now, go to sleep, and avoid the whole nasty experience.

And so it was. I woke up this morning refreshed, pain-free and very grateful.

But I still feel the after-effects—a bit weak, a bit off-center. Nothing serious, but enough for me to notice.

I also have a superstitious thought. I evaded last night’s migraine by going to sleep. What if there’s another one lurking around the corner to grab me when I’m awake?

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