Episode 120 – MigraHell

The worst thing about coming down home to the Mothership is the amount of cake in this house. And cookies. And shortbread. And apple tarts and chocolate and scones. Every cupboard is literally so crammed full of goods that, should it ever be introduced here in Ireland, this kitchen would make a significant contribution to the Department of Health’s budget through the Sugar Tax.

I am really trying to be healthy, I have to get some of this weight off. And no, that’s not in a “I’m going to starve myself and be a size 6 by Christmas” which I could pretty easily do if I were suitably tunnel visioned and obsessive as in previous times. I just feel like shit, physically. I have a delightful spot breakout on my chin, neck and décolletage (I’ve only ever seen that word used in anti-ageing cream adverts and bronzing powder instructions); I’m in the aftermath of yet another migraine (albeit a more short lived one than the previous two five-dayers); very little in my wardrobe fits me; no amount of foundation will make my very thritysomething skin look any brighter or less shiny and I’m fed up with waking up like I’ve been swimming in a frozen salt water lake.

Last night was the first night in a couple of weeks that the SaltScrub sweats weren’t as gross or as intense. I was only slightly shivery and damp and didn’t have to change my PJs. I didn’t get to sleep till after 2 am but that is probably because I napped, unintentionally, when I got back from the doctor’s appointment that I made for myself when MigraHell struck post-workout. It seems every time I do a decent workout now I get a migraine. Apart from the obvious benefits of working out, if  a batshit crazy (and currently pre-menstrual) woman like me doesn’t get to exorcise some frustration through high intensity training, the world is fucked. The GP referred me to a neurologist (god knows when our public system will have time for me), something that probably should have been done long ago. I don’t know why the migraines have come back with such acidic vengeance to my brain’s blood vessels in my mid-thirties. It doesn’t seem to be medication or period related and  I don’t think it’s always just stress either.

In short, I feel like shit physically and this is not helping me “stay positive” which is my least favourite pep phrase in the canon of people who don’t know what else to say if you dare admit to having a bad day/week/month/life.

I need some sun, or something. I’m so tempted to book a flight to Texas with my non-existant money. I know, I’m just back from London but my body feels so exhausted and toxic that I’d love to give it a rest.

I did an English teachers’ training day this week also (an inservice to the Irish). I didn’t have to go but I thought it would be good to keep in the loop with the new Junior Cycle English changes. My opinions on the changes would require a whole other post that I don’t have the energy for today. I started off terrified and panicked about the prospect but I settled down and soon found myself in the familiar position of being the slightly “controversial” one on the course. I could tell the two facilitators were pissed off with what they probably perceived as my negativity towards the new framework – it wasn’t, I just wanted to find out if they thought that changes to the specification and the assessment goes far enough. The specification (this replaces a syllabus) is pretty much just putting into a formal document what teachers have been doing for the last decade or so, many progressive educators for longer, but the assessment alterations miss a huge opportunity to be radically overhauled into giving a much fairer reflection of a student’s learning, effort and engagement with English and all its lifelong lessons, pleasures and skills. As it stands, we’re still effectively boiling down three years of creativity into two hours with a trendy, cursory nod to continual assessment, then when they get to Leaving Cert, we go back to the more of the same. But what do I know, I haven’t been teaching in a year.

Also, my darling husband featured in a nightmare last night. Well, it may not have been a fully blown nightmare until he showed up.

I took one of the Typtan pills for the migraine about half an hour ago and now I can barely keep my eyes open. Also, when I was having a shot of Difene in the hip yesterday from my GP, I asked him to have a look at the lump on my arse from when I fell down the stairs six months ago. Apparently, and the Marchioness already diagnosed this last weekend, it’s a haemotoma (I could not be arsed Googling the spelling of that – “arsed”, get it?) and I have to massage it out. Massaging your own ass is very awkward when the shoulder on the same side clicks painfully when you try to reach around that far.

I really do feel upended though. Physically there’s something askew but emotionally I feel as if I’m suspended on a tightrope of gossamer waiting for it to diffuse into nothing beneath me or to trampoline me upwards to a new start. Did you ever feel like you’re on the cusp of some big change in your life but you don’t know what the change is, or even if it’s good or bad? I feel like the real me is outside my crappy body looking down and winking “Just wait till you see what’s coming”. Of course, it could all just be dreadful anticipation of the Rape Crisis Centre on Monday morning.

And… There’s a guy and, well, it’s complicated. And it likely won’t become uncomplicated and will drift on as one of those what ifs like Karen and Sam in The Big Chill (which is my all time favourite movie and if you haven’t seen it go watch it: there are multiple life lessons in there). But this just feels like home and adventure all in one. If you’ve ever tried to visualise yourself with someone and you can actually see it in your mind: snapshots of how it would be; what you’d look like together; your home; your travels; the arguments and the everyday shit like washing up the breakfast things and it doesn’t fill you with repulsion then you’re probably in trouble. I don’t want to like someone, let alone the other ‘l’ someone: I’m not ready and I quite like my tinny heart being closed off and therefore protected from future rusty erosion by a man. So, somehow, I’m going to have to get this out of my head and with me, and how fickle I am, that should be possible. I blame my period.

I think I might be relying on writing to tease out some stuff going on my head and to try get back on track. I’m really not good at talking to family and friends despite all the advice I give on the Facebook page about getting people to open up. I guess that even if you need to write it instead of saying it, that’s ok. And who knows, if I can continue to give you a bit of a laugh then why the hell not?


  1. Karen Van Benschoten · November 8, 2015

    You do give me a bit of a laugh. I sit down with my laptop in my lap (of all places it could be!), and all my thoughts fly right out of my head. I cannot blame PMS for my mood and physical changes, as I’m past all that, but I wish you luck in finding the right space, and person, with which to continue your life at some point>

    Liked by 1 person

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