Autohemicraniotomy

Kage Baker had migraines.

Bad ones, too – nausea, pain, light sensitivity, and a mixed grill of synesthesia to top it off. Kage would see sounds, feel colours, smell textures – and, to her outrage and dismay, they were all nasty. Some people in the literature wax rhapsodic over the altered perceptions native to angels and facet-eyed bees: she got stuck with a smell of antique cabbage every time she saw the colour phthalo blue.

I, too, get migraines. I think mine are unfair because I never had a damned one until menopause hove on my personal horizon – and though menopause has come and gone and I rather appreciate most of its changes, the migraines have stayed. I just get a headache and weird background disturbances. However, Kage was hard put to be really sympathetic when I started to complain – and Kimberly, too, has suffered from them most of her life. But both of them have been kind enough to bring me lavender oil and cups of strong coffee when I am stricken, and not tell me too loudly to suck it up and stop whinging ….

At the moment, though, I am alone. Which is actually all right, as the noise level is pretty low when it’s only me and a cat with a tiny meow and velvet feet. My usual visual disturbance of black and silver thorns twining all over everything looks pretty good on my friends’ oaken furniture and nice drapes, too. The perfumes of the garden are filling the house without weird alterations, thank goodness, and I can just recline in the dimness of my bedroom and suck coffee through a straw.

And that’s about all I am doing this evening. When it gets darker, perhaps I can sit up and enjoy a little more of the twilight here under the sycamores and buckeyes, and breathe in the scent of the datura. That’ll be more than enough excitement for me.

More interesting adventures tomorrow, I hope. For now – off and out and more caffeine, Dear Readers.

Everyone have a nice night.

 

 

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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5 Responses to Autohemicraniotomy

  1. Tom says:

    So sorry, Kathleen – this is no way to treat a lady!

    Like

  2. Kate says:

    Oh, well, Tom – I’m not much of a lady. I am well-educated and have been taught exquisite manners – but, I don’t always bother to use them …

    Like

  3. mizkizzle says:

    As a migraine sufferer since childhood, I feel your pain. Literally. I get the kind with aura, light sensitivity, wonky vision that makes things look much bigger or smaller than they really are, and for extra fun, vomiting! I find fast, fast relief from a subcutaneous injection of sumatriptan (it comes in sort of an epi-pen thingie, that you use to inject yourself.)
    If your cardiologist approves, you might want to try it out. It works in no time flat, and it doesn’t knock you out, like some of the other migraine medications do.
    It does make my brain feel sort of tingly, but I like to think it’s the blood vessels opening wide and saying “aaah!”

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    • Kate says:

      The sumatriptan was a wonderful idea – that made my cardiologist blanch. Turns out that when you have a wonky heart, all kinds of perfectly lovely drugs are off the menu. The lack that bothers me the most is decongestants. I’ve developed all sorts of herbal remedies for things other people pop a simple pill for … and, historical re=creation or no, I miss the convenience! Also, people look at you funny when you always carry a menthol inhaler with you – though I had one interested stranger ask me, seeing me take a discreet sniff of my nose stick, “Is that some kind of e-coke?”

      However: caffeine and lavender and sleep in a dark, quiet place usually do the trick for the migraines. Eventually. I actually have it pretty easy since I don’t throw up.

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      • mizkizzle says:

        e-coke! How funny! I hope you said it was, and no, you wouldn’t share.
        Too bad you can’t take sumatriptan. It’s a true wonder drug, although cardiologists tend to approach it with caution, as apparently it can kill you or something.
        Lying down in a dark room with a cool. damp cloth over the eyes works pretty well if you can’t take anything stronger than black coffee for a migraine, although it always makes me think of the horrible whorehouse madam in East of Eden.
        I hope your head is better.

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