In Sickness

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I drift in and out, evading the light, avoiding movement.  Prone.  Silent.  It is an exercise in stillness.  A meat cleaver has split my skull and I can feel the sharp edges deep in my scalp.  It hurts to move.  To breathe.  My brain is swollen, tight against the bone, and every inclination is agony.

Two Tylenol.  Four.  Drift.  Back to consciousness.  Six.  Eight.  Sleep…  I wish I could sleep.

My vision swims in a gray-green haze and I can barely manage a slit-eyed gaze.  When I can stand to open my eyes, I read.  Hiaasen, in bits and pieces, until he makes me laugh.  Hiaasen, you bastard.  Searing pain.  A thousand green gremlins are hammering nails into my head.  Fuck.  I’m being pummeled from the inside out.

I retreat behind my eyelids at the assault and focus on my breathing until the fierce pounding recedes to a dull throb, press a cold compress against my forehead, and try not to think.

I lay prone, silent.  Evading light, avoiding movement, like this I stay.

And like this he finds me.  Still, hushed.  Unable to move, barely able to respond.

Scarcely able to see, incapable of speaking coherently, like this he finds me.

He finds me and he tends to me.  With sure movements and gentle hands.  Soft voice and firm touch.  He administers his quiet mercies as he would a wounded animal, a recalcitrant child.  I know you’re hurting he says, though in actuality he hasn’t spoken a word.  The message is in the tips of his fingers.  I’ll take care of you is in his eyes as he unbuttons my shorts and pulls them down over my hips, undressing me like a doll.

He coaxes my medicine past my lips and drops a kiss on my dragon’s tail by way of goodnight, lingering briefly to inhale my scent before shushing his hand over my belly in a possessive stroke and turning out the light.

Like oil and water, or fire and gasoline, there are so many ways we get it wrong.  Every day.  The ties that bind can also gag, and we’re only human after all.  We get it wrong.

But this…

This, I think as he leaves me to find healing in sleep, This, we get right.

0 thoughts on “In Sickness

  1. Ann St. Vincent

    Without the nice person to take care of me, this is what my migraines felt like until I discovered the joy of beta-blocker medication… but I could never put the pain into words like you have.

    Sorry you suffer…

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      My husband does a good job taking care of me when I can’t manage on my own. I count myself lucky in that regard. <3

      I'm glad you found something that works for you. I'm working on it, but it's slow going. I take nortriptylene as a prevention med though, and it's made a huge difference. This used to be my everyday existence; now I only get this kind of headache – the kind I had last night, the kind that knocks me on my ass – once or twice a month. Maybe, someday, they'll be gone for good.

      1. Ann St. Vincent

        Ah yes. I take mylan-sumatriptan. I’m lucky I suppose that I get a warning aura, so I pop one of those and take a tylenol and seek cover. I get the associated symptons – nausea, light sensitivity, etc., but the searing pain doesn’t come.

        It’s the reason I got off the pill (not sure if you read my birth control posts) and ended up getting my tubes removed…because with a warning aura migraine and the pill, it’s a greater chance of stroke. Enough that they wouldn’t prescribe it to me if I asked.

        The weird thing was, being on birth control kept my hormones at bay. So fingers crossed they don’t come back.

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          I was off the pill for a dozen years, and went back on – due to my eff’ed up reproductive system – a year ago. The headaches got reeeeaaaallllly bad about that time, and have systematically gotten worse. I don’t have a lot of alternatives (I’ve already tried the other options available to me), but as a side effect, migraines suck ass. And not in an “Oooh, baby!” kind of way.

          I got started on nortrip after an ER visit in May, and it helps. The hormones though… I may try taking a continual cycle of hormones and only eating placebos every 10th week instead of every 4th. But there’s a lot of other shite hanging in the balance so…


          No easy answers. But I guess that’s life.

  2. pivoine68

    I have a shit load of medical worries, but migraines are not on my list. Your description is so clear, concrete. Exactly how I imagine them.

    Being taken care of, being undressed like a child….maybe this is what love is all about.
    Beautiful words you caught in the air like a colorful butterfly and pinned them down for us.
    Thank you.


  3. williamsjoel22

    Love is patient, love is kind …. This is a perfect example of true love.
    You are a lucky women, Mrs. Fever to have somebody who loves you in good times and bad.

  4. wildoats1962

    No migraines, but my cold did come back. I use a bi-PAP with oxygen for apnea and I’ve noticed one nice thing about oxygen, it’s dry, bone dry. So when I’m trying to sleep the dry air helps clear my nose and makes it much easier to breathe. BUT NEVER EVER sneeze while wearing a Bi-PAP or CPAP.