Thursday, February 26, 2009

No more smoked salmon for me, thanks

I loved smoked salmon; in fact I adore it. When it's on special at the supermarket I joyfully scoop up a packet or two after checking that the use-by date wasn't the day before, and look forward to having some for lunch in fresh multigrain bread slathered with cream cheese, cracked black pepper and tiny capers.

However, two days ago, said favourite lunch decided to contact my old arch-enemy, Mr Migraine, and play a few hellish games with not only my head, but also my stomach, colon, eyesight and ability to stand upright.

I have never seen Mr Migraine in person and don't get those 'flashing lights' that some other sufferers get as a warning, so he's an invisible figure to me. He's reduced to an imaginary but thoroughly malevolent troll-like creature in my mind.

Quite literally in my mind. He somehow made his deliberately clumsy entrance into my brain cavity (no doubt quite easily via my ear canals) with a red hot poker in one hand, an egg beater in the other and a metal nut-cracker wedged in his teeth. He then proceeded to frantically jab, whack, thrust, whirl and beat his instruments of torture against the back of my eyes (favouring the left one mostly), cheekbones, hairline, forehead, jaw and teeth.

To pass the time whilst curling up in my dark bedroom in the foetal position, I chose to think of him as the satanically violent version of those 'Coke Adds Life' bikini-clad airheads who used to run inside a huge inflatable beach ball in the 1970s except that these days there's only one person inside who's actually bigger than the ball and gleefully elbowing hard enough to turn the once-round sphere into a mangled chamber of dents, lumps and pulsating pain.

For added amusement, he then decided to hurl himself in a devilish stage dive directly into my grey matter and make sure he deliberately flayed about in the rubbery ooze like a drunk at a pool party. With my eyes clamped shut I could imagine the scene very clearly.

Unfortunately, he was in an even more foul mood than usual and decided it was time to spitefully squeeze the 'Nausea and Vomit' segment of my brain before skipping off to give the 'Eight Hours of Agony' and 'A Dozen Urgent Trots to the Toilet' buttons a good going-over as well. This is when my decision to have smoked salmon for lunch was apparently not a good one.

During Mr Migraine's visit I discovered that the laws of physics don't seem to apply to the amount of food I've eaten compared to the actual volume that furiously spurted forth a few hours later. My body seemed to be personifying Dr Who's tardis, and that bile-tainted, befouled flaccid fish kept visiting me via the emergency exit trajectory over and over and over again.

For those of you who are not migraine sufferers, I can barely explain the physical skill and dexterity involved in making it to the toilet in time to crap out your entire lower body weight whilst clutching at your splitting head in agony with one hand and keeping the sick bucket steady on your thighs with the other as that satanic salmon sandwich flies out with added pungency and fluid. Then try and work out which part of the body should be cleaned, wiped and covered first whilst ensuring that the other spillages and eruptions are not splashed onto your clothing, eyes or nasal passages.

This is not to say that Mr Migraine is victorious every time. No, he does not always achieve his maximum aim of reducing me to a moaning, curled-up wreck hiding in the darkness hearing the happy sounds of Love Chunks and Sapphire's chatter in the other end of the house but unable to join them because it is too loud too bright too noisy too hurtful too thumpy too glarey too painful too....

No, several days earlier Mr M was obviously feeling a bit lazy and decided to send his apprentice over to do the dirty work instead. With his warty little mitts carrying fruit knives and maraccas and his mouth full of thumb tacks, he growled, "Get over here, RumpledForeSkin. I haven't got the time to be holding your hand all day. You can bugger off and go find Kath Lockett and start giving her The Treatment, you miserable, snivelling little phelgm ball!" At this point, RumpledForeSkin meekly agreed and nervously bowed out of the room, glad to be out of Mr M's way.

Like all apprentices, he'd learned to be polite but also extremely wary. Similar to all other spotty juniors, he is the lowest in rank, the weakest in power and the most eager to please, and therefore would have been the butt of many jokes and the butt of many drunken passes at Friday night work drinks. RumpledForeSkin would also have been sent to the post office for a 'verbal agreement', given the phone number of the zoo to ask for a Mr G. Raff and been laughed out of Mitre 10 for requesting a can of striped paint. Har hardy harrr.

Therefore his attempts to rouse up a migraine in me were timid and ineffective. His little taps behind my eyeball or against my temples gave me ample time to find my tablets, slurp down a double espresso and slow my pace down to a crawl. Rumply-babes was then forced to go back to head office, vainly trying to work out how he was going to complete the days' paperwork: "Umm, she was already dead.....Erm she no longer works there....... She was willingly listening to Robbie Williams on her ipod.....the Cold and Flu guy had already arrived and had cordoned off the area....."

Sadly, Mr Migraine was not satisfied. He got very pissed off with RumpledForeSkin the day before yesterday and shoved him aside roughly, yelling, "I'm going to go and do the bloody job myself!"

Which he did. Extremely well.



River said...

Kath, I'm so terribly sorry to be reading this. I'm a sufferer myself, although I do get some warning symptoms, and rarely get to the levels of pain that you have. Only a couple of times have I had the vomiting, and that's because I've taken the medication on an empty stomach. Now I sit in the darkest corner I can find and force down at least half a sandwich, followed by the two tablets. Then I crawl into bed and sleep for around six hours. Usually that's it for me, sometimes there's been a residual heavy head feeling which can kick off another episode, so I've learned to continue the medication on those days.
About the volume of food eaten and expelled, this is becuase said food is now accompanied by several ounces (feels like pints, doesn't it?) of gastric fluids. This leads me to think that perhaps you could do your (mostly fluid) expelling in the shower? Cleanup would be a matter of turning on the taps....
Is it possible that your apprentice session is your early warning system? I seem to recall you've mentioned something similar. If this is the case you could try continuing the medication you take then for a few days and see if that keeps the major event locked into a stadium far, far away from you. Similar to me continuing my medication to avoid a kickback event.
I very much hope you are feeling much better now and able to joke and laugh with Love Chunks and Sapphire again.
P.S. It's possible the salmon was tainted even within it's useby date, such things happen, when foods are not kept refrigerated. I myself have seen shoppers carting fridge items all over the store in their trolleys, then changing their minds and returning the items to the fridge section. sometimes they just chuck them on the nearest shelf....

Miles McClagan said...

I think the migraine was really a manifestation of a craving for a delicious Big M...

The Blakkat said...

Get yourself to the nearest doctor the next time the warning signs strike and get yourself an injection. My mother has done this for years. She also uses suppositories for just such occasions when other, more traditionally taken medications, won't stay down.

I've had one or two episodes like you've described and it truly is an earthly manisfestation of hell. I'm glad you're on the other side of it.

Word Verication - foach. For some reason it just kind of resonates with the migraine theme

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks River. The shower option did occur to me except that diarrhoea was on the agenda as well and the thought of *that* sludging around my ankles didn't appeal! You're right too in that the earlier migraine was clearly a warning that Mr Migraine was merely cracking his knuckles ready for the Big One. Shame I only realised that afterwards!

Miles, Miles, MILES. Now my queasiness has come back!

Thanks Blakkat, I reckon I'll do that next time. Just need to work out where my nearest doctor's clinic is.... How are YOU going?

Baino said...

oh Kath you make it sound hilarious but I can't imagine how awful migraines must be. You'd think by now that someone would have come up with some sort of relief. The injections sound like a possibility if you recognise the warning signs early enough (word verification is on form tonight "reneshat')

ashleigh said...

I get em very occasionally, as does SWMBO (worse than me) but in both cases far, far less severe then you.

It does actually sound this time like you might have had a spot of food poisoning, and I have heard of that triggering migraines as well.

I can imagine though that the smoked salmon might be off the menu a while. Much like I can't eat a Caramello anything. I ate rather too many at approx age 8, and spent about 3 days throwing up. I've never been able to touch one since, and thats a *lot* of years ago.

Whilst you write extremely well and make it all sound rather funny, its not! Stay well!

Terence McDanger said...

Jesus how your sense of humour wasn't sprayed out from either end with the rest of it I'll never know.

Don't get migraines but have had the food poisoning once or twice. It's no fun being the possessed kid from the Exorcist.

sonjetta said...

Oh dear! Sounds almost like Lady Salmonella joined the party too. Felt ill just from reading – but when I got to the part of RumpledForeSkin I desperately wanted more.

I hope Mr M, RFS and Lady S will respect your privacy for a very long time and stay in hell, where they belong!

Kath Lockett said...

Oh Ashleigh, caramello for you and tinned peaches at six years old and St Agnes brandy at seventeen years old for me. Just typing this out makes me feel sick.

Terence, sometimes just blogging in your own head is better than staring too hard at the contents of the toilet bowl.

Thanks Sonjetta. Thankfully Mr Migraine doesn't visit me too often or tends to leave his buddies Chunder and Trots at home most of the time.

Heather said...

Hey Kath, sorry you've not been well. Love the pumpkin photo, first saw it a while ago - made me laugh then as now.
I've been reading your blog since the BBQ and have been meaning to drop by and say how much I enjoy it. Have you checked out Twitter yet?

Deep Kick Girl said...

Oh Kath! I never know whether to laugh or cry when I read your migrane stories. Having recently seen a friend go through an episode much like you're describing at close quarters I have an new and much more sympathetic attitude to these horrors.

Hope you're feeling better now. I'm thinking of you.

drb said...

This one makes me wince.

Sorry Kath, you poor thing. :-(
Very Glad that you were better by the time I spoke to you.