Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

I've been sitting here contemplating my migraine for a while now . It's one of those nagging pains complete with odd visual distortions and facial numbness. This winter has not been kind to migraine sufferers. The erratic weather has played havoc with our little heads.

The really irritating thing about migraines - other than the pain that makes me want to bank my head on the desk repeatedly until I no longer feel the fucking migraine - it it's effect on my ability to speak. I can often work through the pain, unless it gets to a certain degree where I crawl into bed whimpering. The thing that causes most distress is the sensation someone has taken a huge stick and stirred through my brain, scrambling my word centre.

 

When migraines hit a certain stage, I lose my ability to form full sentences and speak clearly. I pride myself on being articulate. Words are strength. Migraines strip me of that ability. I may want to describe the something, but I can think of 20 words, all completely unrelated to what I want. That happened this afternoon. I tried to tell someone I was looking for a pair of Rockports, but the name just floated around in my head. I kept saying "things…things" and "foot things". Shoe and Rockport evaporated. It was like I had never learned the words.

That happened last week when I was trying to ask someone for a book. It took me a few minutes to understand the baffled look on the customer's face, I had been asking her "hand me the banana". Every time I tried to say the word book, banana popped out. She looked at me and kept saying "the what"? I had been pointing and saying "banana, banana" The poor woman thought I was having a stroke. I wasn't, it's just a migraine.

I've always had this difficulty when one strikes, that's why I know I'm not stroking out. I simply get very quiet and stop talking, nothing personal, the effort is too great. It's incredibly frustrating. Once the migraine lets up, up pop all the words, like old friends, but until then…. Coherence goes out the window.

I used to try working with customers when I hit this stage. But lately, I've taken to rebooking appointments to avoid the embarrassment of banana occurrences. I can do the work, I simply can't communicate to the customer. It feels like I'm wading through waist deep mud. Hence the reason I sit here staring at my tablet, pondering the mysteries of the brain and migraine aphasia. I know in a while I'll be able to verbally distinguish between a "foot thing" and a shoe soon. I'll be able to ask for a latte rather than point and say "stuff" or more embarrassingly "uffle". I still have no idea what the hell that grunt meant, but it caused quite a bit of bemusement at the local Starbucks one day. Don't know who was more shocked when the word came out, me or the barista.

I think it's time to order an uffle - with extra foam - and ride out the migraine. Later ….

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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