Last night’s sleep was interrupted by my third late-night migraine in a week. It was also my third migraine, of any sort, in some eighteen months, which is somewhat more worrying. It’s not clear what I’ve been doing differently recently: chemical precursors I’ve managed to rule out over the past few days have included: washing powder in the spare duvet; lanolin in E45 cream; red wine (that would have been unfortunate); the tiffin in the fridge at work that had been neglected long enough to start tasting of generic salad tray.
The only culprits left are behavioural: my enforced absence from cycling (first because of the harsh December, then because of a patch of ice on Wednesday that left me limping back to work at home for the day), and reading my laptop’s screen late at night. The last one would certainly cramp my style, given that computing is my job. I also have a mini-conference to organize for Wednesday, and i_ludicrous has asked me to write two chapters for a beginner’s computing book, with a first-draft deadline of the end of this month.
I have an ambivalent, on-off relationship with migraines. My experience begins with occasional, undiagnosed and phosphorescent-heavy adolescent nauseas; skips a few years during which I’d learnt that migraines were sort of like bad headaches; then culminates in various non-migrainous seasonal changes, insomnias and thoroughly medicated, long-running, bog-standard allergies. Only a couple of years ago did I finally read Oliver Sacks’ Migraine. It revealed to me a neurophysical, psychological depth behind the phenomena of migraines, that made me see my history of attacks in an entirely new light. I just wish I could still see them as a history.