By Martin (Guest Writer) –
I open my eyes wearily, warily, realising already that this day is lost. Another in a long line of innocent casualties. The dark curtains and black-out blinds don’t quite cut out the harsh light of the outside world as slivers of brightness threaten their assault.
I grudgingly attend to my phone, just long enough to stifle the alarm. The sound is low, enough to wake me but still too loud, too invasive. The screen hurts my eyes, even though the brightness has been lowered to the point of near imperceptibility. A second later the screen is off again, but I know I’ll have to use it soon to text my boss. His mother suffered from migraines, so he’s sympathetic.
I know from experience that it’s only a matter of time before I’m called in to a meeting, told that my absences are starting to have an impact on my work and on the company. My colleagues, my friends, my family may all sympathise, but they can’t possibly know what it’s like to live with this demon. Since most of them have never experienced its debilitating effects, they could never comprehend the depth of it.
Ah, the guests begin arriving. The old familiar throbbing, that fat, garrulous, constant companion takes his usual seat at the head of the table. And then there’s the rogue, delivering sharp, stabbing jerks of his knife into the back of my right eye. He has no place set, is only an occasional visitor with an unknown agenda who lurks in the farthest reaches. Next through the door is the nausea, always miserable, always threatening, always nagging. And, of course, last but not least, the general rabble arrive en masse: disorientation, white noise, discomfort and a convoy of wide-ranging pain.
I send a quick message to my boss – the third this month – explaining that I’m having another attack, and then the phone is off again. The journey to my bathroom is a thousand miles but I manage to get there, take my trusty medication, fill my glass with fresh water, and head back to bed. I pull the covers over my head, curling into a fetal position, and pray that the tablets kick in soon. Maybe I’ll get some decent rest, maybe this will have receded by tonight so that I can at least enjoy a proper meal, and maybe tomorrow will be a better day.
It couldn’t be any worse.