Unwelcome ailments, feminist movements and ghosting friends.

I'm now writing this from my office room, sitting upright against a hard pillow on my sofa and swathed in a heated blanket.

Unwelcome ailments, feminist movements and ghosting friends.
Photo by Josh Eckstein / Unsplash

I'm now writing this from my office room, sitting upright against a hard pillow on my sofa and swathed in a heated blanket. It's bright outside and the grass is green. My rose plant is nodding its branches to the mild winds while trying to bask in the cool sun—such an oxymoron. But does it matter? I've rolled the shutters down to block the light out and deal with this headache. I can't even see any of it.

This however, reminds me of when I was 14 years old.

As a child, I loved cycling, was adept at identifying various species of birds, flowers and snakes. I looked forward to car drives, photo walks and dog shows with my father. I was a vocal participant of my school's eco club; I painted and meticulously cut out Young World's Artist's Corner and filed it in a clear yellow plastic folder. I loved concocting stories and talking until I fell asleep.

All of this changed quite suddenly. I started falling behind on my studies, I hallucinated a lot, I withdrew from my usual activities and turned uncomfortably quiet. There was a reason for this, but I'll talk about this another time. What accompanied it was a sharp, stabbing pain on the right side of my forehead and sudden blackouts that literally left me starry eyed 🤩 and a couple of fainting episodes during the school assembly. This went on for about six months.

On a particularly cool evening (I remember this because I insisted on keeping the car windows open) in November, my parents drove me to a swanky looking hospital. I was welcomed to the blindingly bright flood light at the entrance and remember wanting to puke. The neurologist tapped my forehead, ran a couple of blood tests, an MRI, and finally diagnosed me with severe migraine. I was given pills which either put me to sleep or kept me in a constant state of daze. I was told to avoid coffee, chocolate, potatoes, tomatoes, groundnuts, and a bunch of items that at one point I lost track of what I was 'allowed to' eat. I have no idea how I managed to get through my tenth standard board exam with so much going on but my parents have been, and will be my constant source of strength and support. I also applaud my younger self for keeping it all together through the chaos.

Over the next decade, my migraine became sparse enough to not impede my daily life. Like clockwork, in 2023, after 18 years, it returned with a vengeance—perhaps as an 18-year-old major? 🤣 I found myself searching the internet for solutions or writing to friends for remedies. The last week has been serious enough for me to drag myself to the doctor, yet again. I'll report soon on the findings of that!

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