Saturday, August 20, 2016

If I'm Lost, I Can Always Go Home To Find Myself

How can you explain being within a 5mi radius of the town you grew up in, yet not being able to find Target?

Oh the irony...

I think I've mentioned this strange phenomenon where I get all the symptoms of a migraine, yet my head only hurts at maybe a pain level of a 1-2.  I'm self-diagnosing that as a "silent" migraine.  Any formal dx would have to come from a doctor, meaning I'd actually have to go to a doctor.  Nausea, hearing and visual weirdness, word salads, taking upwards of "5 mississippi" to digest and answer questions, and this funky thing my brain does where it decides to 'not'.  Yet not completely 'not'.  Just some 'nots'.

For example:  My mental function was such that I could make sense of numbers and do high level things with them.  I could not, however, write a 2 sentence email in under 5 minutes.  And responding to a text message was a hot mess of bad spelling/sentence structure that would have made a series of clicks and grunts more coherent to those asking me questions.  "Answering questions" was on the list of nots, apparently.

See?  Migraine.  Without rip roaring, kinda-wanna-cry-but-that-hurts-too-much pain.

It seemed as if my thought processes cleared if I was up and moving around.  Therefore, when the nausea eased and my vision straightened itself out, I thought it may actually be a helpful sort of thing to take my daughter out to pick up the last of her college supplies.  We stopped by a produce stand in a neighboring town first, because I've been on this dinner cooking kick for the past several weeks.  Totally new for me since my very first flare and I have to say, I am enjoying it!  Well, until I set out from that stand to Target.

Italics symbolize the conversation my mind was having with itself:

Right turn here.  And there.  Left here.  Around the bend.  Where am I?  Oh crap.  Ok.  Right turn again.  A left should bring me out to...what the heck is this?  Wait wait.  Let me go back out the way I came.  Reverse all directions.  Back to familiar road from stand.  Right turn here again, because that is positively correct.  Right turn there.  "I'm sorry, Bean (daughter's nickname).  I know exactly where I am now.  Whew, I sometimes get turned around back on these roads!"  Left turn.  Wait.  Okay, no.  Just go right here.  Oh I love this song!  Am I out of bread?  I got 2 boxes of butter yesterday, but I should get more since I bought this corn.  Wait...where the heck am I again?  There's the airport.  "I'm really sorry, NOW I know exactly where I am.  When I was little, Mom would bring me here to watch the planes come in.  And Target is in front of the airport."  Right turn in front of airport.  Target isn't here, you idiot.  What the (not heck) am I doing?  It's near here, but I have no idea how to get to it.  I've been driving around for about a half hour.  I'm completely lost in my own town.  This is so embarrassing.  It's just like when the kids were little and...oh that's right...I know exactly what to do...

I admitted to my daughter that, okay, I'm lost.  And this had happened to me before (during a time of extreme stress).  What I'm going to do is...go home.  Home to where I grew up.  From there, I can find my way.  The twists and turns within my old neighborhood are easily navigated, stamped into my mind by love and warmth and nostalgia.  They bring back memories of no seat belts, Coke in glass bottles, listening to disco/soul music, and being with my mommy in our '72 Buick.  Walking to school, riding bikes to the family owned grocery store, buying individually wrapped pieces of their chocolate cake with caramel icing, and playing street hockey, frisbee football, and stick ball until I was called in from the top of the hill.

Home.  Circa 1972-1987:

There's something about my old home that helps me to restart, get centered, and clear the tripped circuitry in my brain.  It helps me to retro.  I remember talking about that (retro'ing) with my neurologist many years ago and she said that some people's minds will respond to stress by taking them back to times of comfort.

Stress?  Nah.  I've purposely not been allowing myself to feel that in light of my daughter going to college this week and my son getting his license.  When I've started to feel it, I've redirected my mind to something else.  Usually cooking.  Driving around looking for where they're selling that new cold brew coffee.  And laundry.  I have washed 3 towels, people.  That's just where I'm at right now.  It's like some strange version of nesting.  Maybe my beloved-and-now-retired neurologist was right.  Typical migraine triggers of stress...may actually now be "silent" migraine triggers.

I prefer these over the other layer of hell that migraines are.  Though, if I'm being honest and somewhat entitled, I'd love to not have the "migraine day 2, kinda wanna eat the top 2 rows of the refigerator, kinda wanna go to sleep on the kitchen floor" moments.  But first, kinda wanna hit the 'publish' button.  Ya know, so that anyone else who has these moments and feels a little crazy maybe doesn't feel so alone.  I'm with you.  Totally.

Thanks in advance for excusing any nonsense in my writing.  While day 2 is cognitively better, it ain't perfect.  Plus, kinda got jelly on my keyboard in an earlier feeding frenzy...and it's distracting...

Oh!  Here's an interesting article I found for those of us questioning our level of crazy and hesitating to call these things migraines, since the pain isn't particularly unbearable.  See?  We're not crazy.  Well.  Migraine crazy, at least.  I'm just not smart enough to paste this as a hyperlink.  Not today, at least ;)

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