Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Today I woke up with a migraine. Never a good sign because it means I wake up tired. I've been having a headache and even unconscious it kicks my ass. Thank God for Frova. Last year, about this time I finally went to see a neurologist - to rule out a brain tumor - and he hooked me up with all kinds sample packs for literally, about five different kinds of migraine medications. Apparently there's a need because migraines are as diverse as the people who have them.

Like baby bear I worked my way through the chemical buffet. Relpax worked but not for long and I could only take three in a 24 hour period. Once I'd taken that third pill I was pretty much fucked. Imitrex had me under my desk in a fetal position with dizziness and a racing heartbeat, and experience akin to a ride in the "Valley" section of Magic Mountain - the area where all the pretend streets have names like Van Nuys Blvd and all the rides make you puke. I wonder if they were being ironic. Finally I found Frova.

Frova is time released over 12 hours and I can take it in the midst of a full blown migraine and it makes it go away. This is important because I am a headachey person and I'm never sure if I'm having a sinus headache, an allergy headache, a tension headache or a migraine. I usually figure it out if I take Excedrin and get no relief, Tylenol allergy and sinus and still no relief and by that time I'm usually blind and nauseated and my super sharp deductive powers finally identify that I am having a migraine. Bring on the Frova.

I go through the same process with my insomnia. I have no problems falling asleep. None. In fact, I often pass out with television remote in my hand or with my face in a book. I don't even realize I've traveled to nod. My insomnia is the kind where I wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning and I'm wide awake. I can't go back to sleep. I lie there and will my self back to sleep with yoga breath and meditation, but my brain has engaged and it will not submit. It's like a puppy that's recharged it's batteries and now it wants to play. Only in the case of my brain - it wants to engage in catastrophic thinking. Which only makes it harder to get back to sleep, what with images of myself in old age pushing a shopping cart full of books and shoes.

After a few early mornings of pre-dawn thinking sessions that lead into days of complete exhaustion and crying jags, I take Ambien. This miracle drug ensures that I get 8 hours sleep, well 6, but for me that's a full night's sleep. And I will usually take it several nights in a row to get my circadian rhythms back on track. That whole wake/sleep thing that our brains are wired to do via our own natural biochemistry. And then I'm all good again. I can wake up at 6:30 a.m. and fiddle fart around with a smile on my face.

If were going to have children their names would be Frova and Ambien.

It's probably good I'm not going to have kids.

So it's time to take another Frova because I can feel the railroad spike heading into my brain and my left eye is starting to squint from the light coming through the closed blinds and the glare of the computer screen.

But I just have to give a shout out to Gary because today is his birthday. I miss the boy - and I often wonder what kind of a man he would've become. But maybe he lived exactly as long as he was supposed to because I can't really get my head around him as a grown up. I will always remember the 10 minute teeth brushing sessions that left the bathroom wall and mirror dripping with water, the enthusiastic love of music and all things music accompanied by tone deaf caterwauling, the exploration and deep love of wine and food - thank you for introducing my palate to phenomenal worlds of wonder, when I think of a '71 Chateau Margeaux I will always think of the last birthday party - 12 years ago today.

Happy Birthday Gary - we'll remember you always with much love.

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