May 3, 2015

A migraine devoured my day today. It started as a headache in the mid morning, but I knew it had bigger plans. I did what I could to try to keep it at bay – lying down for nap, using a heat pad around my neck and drinking lots of warm water, tricks that have worked in the past, but not today. Just before lunchtime, the throbbing in my neck and the sides of my head was telling me that the pain was here to stay. I tried to eat the lunch David had made but was feeling so nauseous that I couldn’t stomach much. Over the course of the afternoon, I moved from our bed to Theo’s bed to the couch, hoping to have the magic nap that would release my head from the pain and my stomach from the nausea. But, though I was able to escape the pain for a few minutes at a time, every time I woke up, so did the pain and wooziness. Half way through the afternoon, there was a knock at the front door. David was out helping a friend in need, and Theo was watching videos and isn’t allowed to answer the door. So I heaved myself off the couch and staggered to the door. “Who is it?” I asked in a feeble voice. “It’s Susy,” came the gentle reply. Phew, a friendly voice – not a stranger trying to sell me something or get me to sign a petition or give money.

I let my friend in and though I was pleased to see her, I was barely able to crack a smile. I explained that I had a migraine and she instantly understood my pain. She too has suffered many migraines; in fact just a few weeks ago, she’d had one caused by a vicious stomach bug. I invited her to join me on the couch, where I lay back down and we caught up for a bit, until I had a couple of coughing fits and asked her to do the talking. She told me that her son Luke was out skateboarding near the lake with his friends. He’s 12 now so can be more independent, which makes her life as a single mother much easier. She had been able to spend the morning at the flea market, one of her favorite pursuits, acquiring things, she joked, as quickly as I’m getting rid of them. She showed me a lovely blue ring and some metal bangles she’d found for next to nothing, and then told me about the latest article she’s working on. Susy is a world-class journalist who used to write for the Times in Paris. Here in Los Angeles, she writes for USC’s alumni publications, and covers many fascinating topics from housing for the homeless to music to science.

At some point in our conversion, I must have drifted off. Susy sat patiently as I dozed and, when I woke up, she offered to make me some tea, which I drank thankfully. Before she had to leave and get back to her article, I wanted to give her something for coming by and being so caring. I’d given her a book before (January 19), but today I wanted to give her something more personal and pretty – the sort of thing she might enjoy finding at one of her flea markets, so I gave her the third pair of earrings that I’d created out of my one pair a few weeks ago. She put them on right away and they went perfectly with her dress and hair, which she was wearing up in loose, romantic bun. Shortly after she left, my nausea got the better of me, and I ended up in the bathroom. The tea had stirred things up, and my body had decided to expel whatever had been messing up my system. I began to feel better, and only have a headache now as I write this. Thanks to a surprise visit from a dear friend, I felt cared for, I managed a nice Giveaway, and I was able to purge myself (I hope) of the bug that had tried to destroy my day.

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