Monday, December 10, 2007

essay excerpt

Hi! Below is an excerpt from my migraine essay. This is the beginning; the rest of the piece includes a detailed description of the most recent migraine, more on the migraines of my female family members, examination of what could be some of my migraine triggers, and a bit about my health/state of mind during the migraine-free years. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing about the rest of your projects next week!

(As we would say in publishing all the time, right up until a book went to the printer, this is NOT TO BE CONSIDERED FINAL! I'm still proofing, refining, etc.)


The Mind of a Migraineuse

On a gray, humid day in late summer, Lauren S. decided to take a walk in the park by her house. She had awakened that morning feeling discombobulated, like her skin was too tight for her body, and thought the edginess may have been due to the fact that she hadn’t exercised since moving from peaceful Vermont to suburban New Jersey three weeks earlier. A mild sinus headache pulsated by the top of her nose as she washed the previous night’s dishes, but she put on her sneakers and headed out anyway.
She completed two laps around the duck pond then returned home. Tired, thirsty, hot, and hungry, she changed out of her sweaty clothes and opened cupboards in search of lunch. That’s when it happened: While reading the cooking instructions for Annie’s microwaveable mac and cheese, Lauren realized she couldn’t make out the words on the box. She glanced away and back again; still a blind spot. The sun was tucked behind a thick quilt of clouds and none of the lamps in the house were turned on, so her impaired vision couldn’t be the result of accidentally looking directly at a light. This was Lauren’s first migraine in fourteen years.
She was a frizzy-headed, bifocal-wearing kid of nine when migraine made its first appearance in Lauren’s life. It was a hot day halfway through her first summer at sleep-away camp and her parents were visiting, there to watch her in a play later that evening. In the afternoon she developed a headache unlike any she’d had before, a rhythmic, dull throbbing on one side of her head, inches behind her right eye, deep within the skull. When she coughed or turned too quickly the pain would bounce to her scalp as well. After two hours of rest in her quiet, dark bunk, she felt better. If her mother and sister—both migraines sufferers—understood from her description of the pain that it was her first migraine, they kept this to themselves. She appeared in the play that night as scheduled. As far as she knew, there was no vision disturbance—the migraine aura—before the headache began.
The second came a few months later when Lauren was in fourth grade and this time she knew what it was because, before her head began to ache, the blue rules on her sheet of paper seemed to wiggle away and disappear behind a beam of light. Her mother had described this light, like a sun spot or the after effects of a camera’s flash. This migraine also lasted just a couple of hours and she waited it out in the carpeted corner of the classroom, surrounded by bookshelves. She was grateful that, so far, her migraines seemed more like her mother’s than her sister’s: While their mother could take over-the-counter pain relievers at the first sign of migraine and continue to function, her sister was left incapacitated, bedridden for hours, only getting up to throw-up.
Her good luck continued until puberty, around her twelfth birthday. Up to that point, the migraines were coming once or twice a year; after fifteen or twenty minutes of disrupted vision the headache would beat its dull, continuous thud on one side of her head and pass after two or three hours; she never became nauseated; and the only residual pain she experienced came when she laughed or coughed, like a jab to her scalp. This changed suddenly. Instead of an episode of a few hours, her migraines became all-day events. The headache itself, which she had previously thought of as finger tapping her from within, turned violent, no longer a finger but a fist, beating her up from the inside out, the waves of pain bursting from the blows tumultuous, crashing, incessant. The only time the headache would lessen, just a little, for just a few minutes, was after she vomited, which she did over and over again. She was either writhing in bed or running to the toilet. Four, five, six hours into the headache the aura would return, diamonds of light piercing her eyes, reminding her that it wasn’t close to being over; it may never end. And this was happening about once a month. Unable to keep anything down, medicine came in the form of suppositories, administered by her mother.
One of her worst migraines came a few months after her thirteenth birthday. It was a Monday—she had seen Dead Poet’s Society with her mother the day before—and hot: She wore a tank top to school. She’d eaten Apple Jacks for breakfast, slurping down the sweet pink milk after all the cereal was gone. She was at school just long enough to feel self-conscious about her pubescent boobs in the tank top, but not long enough to digest breakfast. An expanding star of blinding light floating in front of her eyes, she got home quickly, took Tylenol before the nausea would make swallowing anything impossible, put on pajamas, and settled into her parents’ big bed, a few feet from their bathroom. Apple Jacks shot out of her nose the first two times she vomited, but not the next nine. Sometime in the evening, when her family was eating dinner, the headache finally began to fade. She put on MTV, watched the video for Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” changed her mind, shut the television off. The next day a remnant of the headache was still there but felt like her early migraines, a nagging finger poking her in the right side of her brain.

46 comments:

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proswet654 said...

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雪糕 said...

與其爭取不可能得到的東西,不如善自珍惜運用自己所擁有的........................................

3969 said...

A friend to everybody is a friend to nobody. ....................................................

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林淑凡 said...

先告訴自己希望成為什麼樣的人,然後一步一步實踐必要的步驟。 ..................................................

志冠少菁伶義 said...

沒有目標而生活,恰如沒有羅盤而航行......................................................

嘉容嘉容 said...

thanks................................................

佐漢 said...

Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.......................................................

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玄雨 said...

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嘉麟 said...

請繼續發表好文!加油加油加油! .........................................

陳育政 said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.............................................

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韋于倫成 said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快 .........................................

RobinGalle俊毅 said...

加油!充實內函最重要!Beauty is but skin- deep...................................................

雲亨Ab9雲亨 said...

you‘re really talented.!............................................................

renew said...

這一生中有多少人擦肩而過?而朋友是多麼可貴啊! ............................................................

佩芳 said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情.............................................................

洪筱婷 said...

休息才能再次出發-隨時保持好體力-加油.................................................................

LesW_Saulsbu信豪 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。......................................................................

陳湖 said...

Quality is better than quantity.................................................................

彥安彥安 said...

當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

MinBar林 said...

要照顧身體歐~保重..................................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

越來越多人看你的部落格 要繼續加油喔 ..................................................................

承蘋承蘋 said...

Words are not living in dictionary. Words are living in mind.............................................................

佳皓佳皓 said...

Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.............................................................

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你的部落格不錯哦,支持!!!!@@ ............................................................

芳綠 said...

從來愛都不知它的深度,非得等到別離的時候.................................................................

ErnestoW_Honaker101婉菁8 said...

偶爾上來逛逛,下次不知是否還有緣再進來,先祝您平安順利!!!..................................................................

DaniloM_W志竹olff0615 said...

只有尋常才幹,但具有不尋常恆心的人,一切皆可獲取................................................

a云c2v吳c9f8文sagd1 said...

不費勞力而得者,唯貧困而已................................................

奕蕭君 said...

A friend in need is a friend indeed.............................................................

謝翁穎翰毓珍 said...

愛情是盲目的,但婚姻恢復了它的視力。......................................................................

凱v胡倫 said...

Poverty tries friends...................................................................

文王廷 said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4464 said...

我是天山,等待一輪明月。......................................................................

1615 said...

睇完之後覺得有d頓悟..感謝大大分享..˙ 3˙............................................................

張王雅竹欣虹 said...

認真的看完~~幫你推一下............................................................

靜錢錢錢怡錢錢錢錢 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

玉韓韓韓婷韓韓韓韓 said...

死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

瑰潼 said...

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王雅俊 said...

生命的意義,是在於活的充實;而不是在於活得長久。............................. ....................................

志涛 said...

我來湊熱鬧的~~^^ 要平安快樂哦..................................................