Function

At the beginning of my last year of high school I started to get horrible headaches. I'd describe them to people as it feeling like someone had stuck my head in a vice and was slowly tightening it. At first I tried to ignore them. I'd pop some Tylenol and keep going about my business.

After a couple of weeks my mother made me go see my doctor. I think the final thing for her was when, on a Saturday night, instead of going to a party I went to bed at 8pm. My mother knew there was a party. She knew I was planning to go. This is back when I had no curfew (she tried, I just didn't follow it) and at any other point would have easily been out until 2am. Ok fine, 2am would have been an early night. Yes, I was that kid. (Though to be fair to teen-aged me, I was usually the DD making sure everyone else got home.) It probably did not help that in the 10 foot walk to my bedroom from the couch I walked into two walls.

So I went to the doctor and I was told I had migraines. I rarely had an aura but the headaches would mess with my equilibrium and make me really sensitive to sound. I was given meds and I learned how to function. Unless I was particularly stressed, the migraines only manifested seasonally. September and October were the worst. March and April could be troublesome as well.

I could work, even write most term papers, with a headache. I'm sure I probably would not want to read those term papers today but it was what it was and I functioned. Sometimes if I had something to focus on, like a Sudoku puzzle, I could distract myself. As the seasons rolled on I found they were getting less and less. It's been a few years since I've had a particularly bad season.

I always think I like September. It's a month of new beginnings, of fresh starts. I conveniently forgot this year that it can also be Headache from Hell season until they started to hit. I have had a headache for 10 days now. I can't get rid of it.

Most days, I can work through it. Most days it just makes things a little bit harder. It's harder to focus. It's harder to write. I make more typos or use the wrong word. I click the wrong button. It takes me longer to do tasks.

Then there are days like today.  Days where I go to bed with a headache and wake up with a worse one. Days where I can't be in the kitchen because the humming of the refrigerator makes me want to punch my own face. Days where I want to tell the neighbour four houses over working on his fence exactly what he can do with his power tools.

It's building and like Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture it's going to crash down in a crescendo. It's going to build to the one or two days this season where I find myself curled up in a ball in the dark thinking that maybe, just maybe, if I bang my head against the wall it would release some of the pain and pressure.

It will build until one day I cannot pretend to function. And there's nothing I can do to stop it.