e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


still up and down

The world's most persistent migraine continues to wreak havoc. After two weeks without a severe incident, I had a bad Saturday. Luckily, the neurologist called in a script for a potent painkiller, saving a trip to the e.r. The meds zapped the headache and I had a great Sunday (lunch at Anna's which did NOT include beef brains...turns out she was cleaning BEE FRAMES the day before; dinner at my in-laws) but then a lousy Sunday night. When I say lousy, I mean pace-the-floor pain. I didn't have to teach today, so I was able to sleep a bit during the day. A little bit behind on grading papers, but I'm not going to worry about it. After five weeks of this, it continues to be an up-and-down problem.

Hasn't stopped me from teaching at all, which is definitely a comfort. I was going to say "hasn't stopped me from work," but in reality, I've slowed down my writing--at least until Summer I term ends next week. I'm definitely hoping the headache doesn't keep me from the big Gories reunion show next weekend at the Majestic, or from getting back on the bike once Summer I ends, or from celebrating ten years (!) of marriage, or from any of the other summer things that make it all worthwhile.


leftover chicken and meds

A couple weeks we had our belated cinco de mayo party, for which I dry-rubbed and grilled a ridiculous amount of chicken breast. I thawed a couple tupperwares of the chicken, already seasoned with garlic and paprika and various other good flavors, and have concocted an all-but-the-kitchen-sink stew that smells pretty good. A cup of brown rice; a can of pinto beans; a can of crushed tomatoes; a bunch of diced onion, garlic, green pepper, carrot, and celery, all sauteed in olive oil; a couple bay leaves; and the usual fun mix of salt, pepper, dried thyme, and dried basil. It's simmering on the stove, as I grade papers at the dining room table. The place smells like a cross between a pizzeria and a New Orleans gumbo joint. The rice has absorbed a lot of the liquid and I just poured in a dollop of olive oil in the hopes that it crisps up on the bottom like the rice dishes my sister cooks.

In other news, I've entered day number fourteen of the Great Migraine of 2009. GM09 has already yielded three visits to the Beaumont E.R. and the consumption of more drugs than I've taken in my entire life. [Beaumont visit #1 saw my usual response to i.v. needles: a cold sweat, rapid drop in pulse and b.p., followed by, wait for it, a loss of consciousness. On top of everything else, fun to deal with my own phobias.] At the risk of stating the obvious, migraines are the pits, every bit as bad as how people describe them. I experienced near total relief during the third hospital visit, thanks to a cocktail of anti-nausea drugs, benadryl, and painkillers, and then had a couple really good days last week, but I've settled into a routine this week of tough nights (I can feel the "cluster" moving down my skull when I lay down), pretty good mornings, but bad afternoons. Definitely an improvement over the onset two weeks ago, so I'm counting my blessings and hoping GM09 is working its way out of my head. The dilemma: to medicate or not to medicate. I quickly nixed the vicodin (prescribed after hospital visit #1) after they prompted some middle-period Pink Floyd-worthy visions. The hospital's neurologist nixed all previously prescribed meds and has me on an anti-siezure drug, an anti-migraine drug, and I'm supposed to pretty much pop ibuprofens and benadryls at will. I hate taking pills. Hate it, hate it, hate it. I've got no desire to feel that post-med haze. Especially when they don't seem to help. I'm following the neurologist's orders but I'm going to run out of meds a few weeks before my follow-up visit appointment, and I'm not sure whether to call in a request for more. Urgh.