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My Brain Hurts!

January 23rd, 2009

Do you remember the Gumbies from Monty Python?  “My Brain Hurts!” “Oh, no, Mr. Gumby…” “I’ve got a piece of brain stuck in my head and it hurts…” My cousin and I used to quote this at each other in our teens, and laugh hysterically (Mike can do a mean Mr. Gumby impression). Little did I know that a few decades later “my brain hurts” would become such a refrain for me!

I have never seen “thinking too hard” on any list of Migraine triggers, and I’m dubious about stress. As I’ve discussed here before, stress is officially considered an exacerbating factor in Migraine, not a trigger. So I don’t know whether the experience of “sparks are about to come out of my ears” has any physiological basis or not.  Someday I may do some research and see what kind of scientific explanations there are for this phenomenon, but not today.

Today is a Friday. Fridays my brain has been working hard all week and I either give it the final push that sends it straight to Frigraine-land, or I get into an extended case of the sillies. I realize this is a tautology. I can’t tell you whether thinking too hard is a Migraine trigger because I can’t think that hard because that might trigger a Migraine. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but we’re going to have to live with it! Look I’ve been drafting an estate plan, researching corporate formation, reading up on the relaxation response, attending a mediation discussion meeting, giving a marketing talk, writing a migraine management newsletter, and trying to remember algebra. Among other things. If I think much harder my head will explode. I’m pretty sure of that.

A friend copied me on an email this week, introducing me to her disability lawyer, so that I can speak to the lawyer about her case. One of the things I am interested in is helping Migraineurs and others with invisible chronic illness to get disability income if they need it. Anyway, the friend closed the email by saying she was impressed at what a professional sounding letter she can still write, though it had given her a Migraine to do it! So I’m not the only one who finds that mental effort makes my brain hurt.

As I have gotten back into legal work lately, I have been using synapses in the ole brain-bucket that have been in disuse for a number of years. I don’t know if the Migraines I’ve had over the past decades have any effect on my cognitive functioning, or if it’s just those darned decades themselves doing the job. I’ve been encouraged to discover that even though I can’t always think on my feet and recall immediately how to solve a problem, if I leave it alone and come back to it everything seems to fall back into place. I’ve done things I haven’t done in 10 years, things I haven’t done in 20 years, and this week had to dust off some math skills I haven’t used since high school!

This is the good news, but there have been many panicked moments in between when I felt like my brain was short-circuiting, when I actually physically felt pressure mounting in my head, when I thought sparks were going to come out my ears. What is that? An over-active imagination? I don’t think so. I don’t have any studies to cite for you, but when I think my head is going to explode, I think it’s time to give the brain a break.

Right now my brain hurts. Just a little bit. I’m going to take a break after I write this, and do my relaxation breathing, then put on my boots and take a little walk in the melting snow.  I may manage to avoid a Migraine tonight. I have to say I’m encouraged by the resiliency of this organ, this thinking organ that has been ailing, and aging, and working hard, that I need to earn my living and to see me through all the years of my life to come. I also need to remember that like any other part of me, I can exercise this brain, but it also needs its rest and relaxation, it needs both to stretch and to recover.

- Megan

There’s a piece of brain stuck in my head. Thank God!

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Posted in Managing, Rant, Silliness | Comments (4)

this time it doesn’t even rhyme

August 30th, 2008

Who’s that trying to remove my brain?

Crack my skull and scoop it out like an egg?
Maybe they’re trying to get me to leave -
If they whack me on the temple a few more times
I might leave town, you never know.

Who’s that trying to remove my brain?
last week they tried grapefruit spoons -
serrated edges scraped my skull – is it sectioned inside like a fruit?

This week blunt instruments are in vogue
I wish they’d learn some anger management.

I wish they’d stop trying to remove my brain.
What did I ever do to them?
Maybe they don’t like silly poetry
Made up by a migraine-addled red-head.
They’re over-reacting, I swear.

There must be someone trying to remove my brain

I know they’re trying to remove my brain.
It hurts like they’re trying to remove my brain -
crack my skull with a nutcracker and pick out the meat
couldn’t just be my own neurons going nuts…
Could it?

- Megan

Coming to you from Migraine Central

Soft-boiled egg image courtesy of Sharon Mollerus; grapefruit image courtesy of x-eyedblonde; walnut image courtesy of Masayoshi Sekimura.

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Posted in Silliness | Comments (2)

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