You know the worst thing about the unexpected, is it is just that…unexpected. It started out like every other morning complete with me standing in front of the Keurig, utterly annoyed that it was taking so long to warm up. As I stood their piercing that green circle flashing around what was clearly the largest acceptable cup of coffee Keurig ever envisioned, I began to wonder if maybe when this cup was finished if I should go ahead and brew a second cup to be on standby. As the water poured out the machine, an aroma begins to fill the room with whatever delicacy flavor happens to be in that plastic tube, and I begin to settle down. See, just what I said, like every other morning.
I run into work carrying mugs full of coffee that are roughly the same size as military canteens taken into the desert and throw my stuff down. I quickly sort through my things and run toward my first meeting of the day, feeling confident that I am creating a “Pig-Penish” mess of paper disaster in my wake, but I don’t turn around. As I sit across from the woman in my meeting, I feel the tension in my body lock up. I’m immediately irritated, why did the Keurig take so long? The coffee will help, but I put it in a mug from my Father-In Law that I swear must keep it approximately 400 degrees, so drinking it is almost guaranteeing in ability to taste for the next 5 days. As I sit there swirling the coffee, I’m considering whether this, burn your palette off could be a new diet plan, and so I audition names in my head. “The Hot, Hot, Hot Diet” or maybe one of those trending one-word diets like “Scorched.” I decide to not drink it because as I was running by the break room, I saw muffins, and now I kind of want one. Having the roof of my mouth seared would remove most of the joy in eating it.
I breathe deep, allowing myself to listen to the woman sitting with me and just accept that maybe, just maybe I’m being taught a very remedial lesson in patience. As my meeting ends, and I fearlessly take a swig of the coffee, I begin to plan for the rest of the day. I subtly pick up random things that I have dropped down the hallway and it feels like the room gets smaller. I sit in my chair and breathe, but there’s a tunnel in my vision.
I can hear every word said around me, almost as if you were playing a 45 speed record on 33. The words are easy to make out, but it sounds slow. I want to respond. Words almost flow in front of me with bright colors and various game show fonts and brightness and I begin to grab for them. I’m trying so hard to grab the right ones, to organize them correctly, but the tunnel is getting smaller, my language sounding more slurred and my thoughts jumbled as I hold one hundred words that make no sense together.
I must go home. I know I don’t feel well, so I quickly gather my things and race my continued tunneling vision to my car and home, and I know that a migraine is coming.
It’s beyond the point to stop it, so I breathe deep until I get home. I push open the door and head straight for the medicine cabinet, begging out loud that I can start the medicine before the nausea comes. I fumble with the secret service style pill protection on my medication. I cannot get it open. There are layers upon layers that can’t be peeled or broken through, so I do what anyone in my situation would do, and I grab a knife. With pseudo Samaria sword precision, I bust open that medicine and swallow that pill, and immediately lay down. As I lay as still as I can, I close my eyes and see all the words that were floating by fall to the ground and the tunnel closes around me. I can’t see anything, I have no clarity in my language, all I feel is pain. Pulsing, crushing pain. With every heart beat another surge.
I must have fallen asleep because at some point I wake up. I gently rub my head looking for some sort of machete still sticking out of it, or a bruise from a level on head trauma, and I know that the pain is better, but not gone. I open my eyes to more jumbled words and a blackness covering everything. Still need more medicine.
As I simultaneously grab my head and my stomach I practice every controlled breathing exercise, like a Lamaze meets hot yoga, and begin to drift into sleep. My last thoughts are, I wonder if this is what dying feels like.
As I wake back up again, the tunnel of my vision has widened, the nausea has subsided, and I can move my head without feeling the need to hold it in place. Only one piece left, I’m still not thinking clearly. My words are jumbled, out of order and my thoughts are on the satellite delay and not I can’t correct them. I still see them moving in front of me in giant block letters, still see them dancing around me and I grab at each one. I fumble to speak and try to use my words slowly, carefully, intentionally, but I sound like a science experiment gone wrong. But the pain is gone.
I just want to sleep. Praying as I do every time, that this is the last one. That I will never again have the tunnel take over my vision and my words reign free over my head. I pray as I do every time, God, let this be the last one. Praying for no more migraines.