Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hole in my head

I get headaches. A lot. I would say on any given day, I have a headache. Sometimes it's just a mild reminder of "Don't get too complacent; I'm *here*" and other times, it's a full out frontal lobe assault. I don't get too worked up about my full head headaches (for lack of a better scientific term) since those are usually tension-related and will go away with a couple of painkillers, but I do get concerned when the headache is behind my right eye. I know that when it starts behind my right eye, it's going to stick around for a while and no amount of dosing with Advil or Excedrin and any other number of remedies is going to make it go away. Every now and then, these "right eye" headaches burst into migraines.

I can count my recent migraines (last five years) on one hand, primarily because I'm so used to these headaches, that I only keep track of the really bad ones. These are the ones when I can't get up without feeling dizzy, where light and noise are painful, and when I need to throw-up. And yes, nothing makes them go away except for time and patience. Thinking, eating, moving, reading, driving, writing -- all of those things are impossible when I have a migraine. I'm usually curled in a fetal position on my bed, blinds closed, covers over my head. Once, I ended up spending an hour on the floor of my bathroom, dry-heaving. That was the worst one ever. And like I said, I'm pretty lucky. I think I've had about 5 of these total in the last five years, and I've gotten much better at controlling/anticipating these types of headaches and learning how to treat them.

I would have to say the same about the "right eye" headaches, which probably happen once or twice a month. They used to happen with much greater frequency, but again, I'm learning to anticipate them, and distinguish them from other headaches which might be related to hormones or tension or dehydration or hang-overs. I can still function with "right eye" headaches, but at a much slower pace. I can tolerate external stimuli well with these headaches. Driving or sitting in a car is just painful though, and I'm generally nauseous. I sometimes have a hangover effect from these headaches -- I think of it as a "shadow" that lingers for another day or so afterwards. It's not really a headache, but more of a dullness in my head that reminds me of what came before.

I envy people who tell me that they don't ever get headaches. I had one person tell me that "headaches were all in my head" and I was like, "Um, *yes*." The thing is, I don't want headaches at all. I carry Advil with me at all times, drink lots of water, try to stay on a consistent schedule, and keep caffeine consumption to a minimal (2 cups/day in the morning). I try to avoid my triggers -- like alcohol (yes, I barely drink anymore) and lack of sleep or dehydration -- but 32 years of experience have taught me that headaches are just a part of Being Seema (tm).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More distraction

My uncle recommended Hayley Westenra to me some time ago and today, once again instead of writing, I went to find her on YouTube and came across this song -- "Beat of Your Heart." Very pretty. Apparently Hayley is also a member of the Celtic Woman group, which shows up on PBS every now. Also very pretty music. And actually, I think there was a Celtic Thunder -- the male version of Celtic Woman -- not too long ago. I'll have to go look up their videos as well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I'm supposed to be writing, but instead I find myself watching YouTube. And I found this video of Andrea Bocelli and Dulce Pontes performing "O Mare e Tu." Really gorgeous and haunting. Dulce's voice is really quite different and memorable.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I watched Hillary's speech tonight and really, really, really wished I was watching her accept the nomination instead. I've been torn since she stopped her campaign and conceded to Obama. On the one hand, I haven't really changed my mind about Obama, but on the other hand, I don't think I could bring myself to vote for McCain. I've contemplated voting for McCain, trying to find if there is anything we agree on, and with one exception -- McCain's stance on torture -- there's really nothing he stands for that will cause me to switch party allegiance. Right now, I'd like to write Hillary in on the ballot, since pigs will probably fly before Obama wins my state, so that could be a good compromise, but there's something to be said about being well-behaved and loyal and recognizing that there's nothing gained from petulant actions.

Hillary made good point in her speech when she asked why we were "in it." The campaign wasn't about her, but it was about America, and what we see as the key issues facing the country. I had more faith in Hillary's ability to develop a universal health care plan, for example, but I know McCain won't do it at all, so that leaves Obama as the candidate who is more likely to take actions on the issues I believe in strongly. For those of you Hillary supporters thinking of voting for McCain instead of Obama, remember that we have a Supreme Court that's one justice away from overturning Roe v. Wade, and that the international situation is tenuous; that we need universal health care and alternative energy policies, gay rights and women's rights, that we need to do something about the two wars started (and hopefully, not start anymore), and that at the end of the day, the Republicans have turned this country into a big mess. McCain isn't going to be the one able to mop it up since he'll continue the same policies implemented by the Bush administration and look where that got us.

I'm having a hard time accepting Obama, and I'm not thrilled at all about Biden, but at the end of the day, I'm a Democrat, and I don't want to see another Republican in the White House. As a Red State dweller, my vote doesn't necessarily count for electoral votes, but maybe as a statement on unity, I can bring myself to check the box next to Obama's name. We'll see. I'm still not ready to remove the Hillary sign from my car and replace it with Obama paraphernalia. Maybe when I can do that, I can take the next step in voting for him. Baby steps...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Writing prompts

I found this writing prompts website the other day and it actually helped me get out a 250+ word story that's growing quite large by the day. I just needed some help to get back into the groove. I wanted to take a writing class this fall, but I think my travel schedule is too hectic to contemplate the possibility in a cost-effective way. So I'll put that off until the spring and see how it goes with the writing prompt exercises.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It's not Everest

But K-2 is a mountain to be feared as well, and actually might be just as difficult if not more to climb than Everest. To wit, 9 climbers are known dead on the mountain.