I've just got over a migraine that arrived, unannounced and unwanted on Friday night and has only left my brain-building today (Tuesday).
Yeah Yeah, I know I've written about it before (see: http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2005/09/mr-migraine.html) but Mr Migraine is such a regular visitor that I believe he deserves another mention; kind of like Burt Reynolds - just when you think he's gone forever, he pops up in another movie as compellingly awful as ever.
Again, the hungover-without-the-party-of-the-night-before feeling is upon me, with the slow trudge up two flights of stairs to the office leaving me gasping and dizzy. A cup of strong coffee is brewed gingerly by me with extra effort not to clink glasses, splash water in the sink or create any ancillary noise. Bugger it - the glass jug has a crack in it and there's no girly milk left in the fridge - surely I don't have to negotiate those bloody stairs again....
I do, and hope that the strong dose of caffeine will unfold my face, clear my eyes and give me a couple of relatively perky hours in which to be vaguely productive. A blowfly has flown through the outdoor area and is stuck in my office as a kind of counter balance: every bash of his multiple-eyed forehead against my window is eerily symbolic. I just wish he would stop bouncing against the back of my neck when he darts past.
Sadly, my no-chocolate diet of, oh, three whole days is thrown out the window when Mr Migraine is in my post code. Besides, it's also my personal mission (that I take very seriously) to sample every new flavour and variety of chocolate bar on the market. Luckily for me, Kit Kat Chunky has released Cookie dough (tastes like peanut butter, but even more fattening) and Honeycomb (Bertie Beetle doesn't need to lose any sleep). Those two brown babies slide down like silk, aided by slurps of scalding hot coffee. Bliss arrives for a few moments at least and is just long enough to stop the goblin inside my brain squeezing my left eyeball in his gnarled grip and take a tea break instead.
Just as I'm beginning to get into the swing of things by answering a few emails, nodding pleasantly to my work mates and even return a few calls, the other - ahem - 'less sociable' end is vying for my attention. The joys of eating codeine like candy is that they leave you feeling gassy, bloated and with constipation bad enough to make passing one leaden rabbit dropping an hour-long event, punctuated with sighs, groans and bashing of one's head in frustration against the wooden loo door. It also means that I have to surreptitiously creep around the office and explain to any other visitors to the toilet at that time just what I was doing and why. There are no secrets in my work place!
I have Love Chunks on my side though. He kindly decided to work from home yesterday so that I could lay in bed with the sheet over my eyes, wondering just I do in my everyday life that ends up producing so much pain. He walks Sapphire to school and brews me a strong coffee, quietly sticking his head through the door every now and then to see if I need anything. "Nah," I mutter, "Just grab your tennis racquet and put me out of my misery. I'll give you ten points if you can lob my noggin right into the dirty clothes basket."
He somehow doesn't (even though my incessant whingeing would be a big enough excuse) and I manage to get up and have a shower whilst waiting for Sapphire to come home from school. As she enters the front door, it's like our home has been hit with a tidal wave of sound, vision, emotion and even smell. "HEY MUM! MU-U-U-U!? Are you OK now? I'm starving hungry - can I have an iceblock?"
"No? How about some nuts, can I have some nuts?"
"Goody!, they're my favourite snack apart from chips, strawberries, chocolate milk and marshamallows you know Mum. Hey I did my show and tell today Mum and told them how much Helen was swearing on Sunday and how Kent's pinata took ages to split open at his party and how all of the lolly bananas fell onto the floor and got dirty so I didn't want any and when the porta-loo got full you had to chase it as Lana's Papa was towing out of the paddock...Hey Dogadoo, Dogadoo! Whoohoo, you're so licky - Come outside with me - I've got the tennis ball!"
The kitchen is still resounding with her presence - even the chrome on the bar stools has wilted somewhat and the lid of her lunch box is still rocking on the sink, right where she flung it.
"Muuuuum, can you come out here please? You said we could make up a fairy ring where the gum tree used to be...."
"Oh, okay," I answer weakly, pausing to put the kettle on and reach for three teaspoons of instant coffee.