Friday, August 20, 2010

Football, Other People and Onions

My google alerts has been blowing up my email with stories about an american football player, Percy Harvin of the Minnesota Vikings, who has migraines, and has been sidelined from practice. Poor guy. I mean, the migraines are bad enough, but to have every sports related news outfit commenting on it constantly has got to be stressful. Thankfully the paparazzi has not yet gotten wind of my mysterious chronic migraines, but I expect them any day now.

My boyfriend was born in Minnesota and still has family there. When he reconnected not too long ago, someone sent him a care package. One of the things they sent was a bright purple, adjustable, Vikings ball cap. Now, I'm the football fan in the house, and I'm a 49ers girl, if anything, but when my head started up with the crazy scalp sensitivity, that hat, on its loosest setting, was the only one I could wear.

Unfortunately, the Vikings had just been to the superbowl, so my bright purple ball cap was a political catalyst every time I left the house. I was a poser, or a johnny-come-lately, or a traitor. I was yelled at in the streets. Really. To those people, I made an uncomfortable face and said, "It's just a hat. I've got a migraine." If they said anything else, I didn't notice because I was walking away and had earplugs in.

Oh, but the earplugs. Amusement has been ensuing with the earplugs. So, I've been using them consistently for a long time now. I'm comfortable with them, my close friends and family are comfortable with them. Nobody really thinks about it anymore, until someone is talking to me for five minutes and I don't hear a word of it. This happens all the time! And some people get so mad! I don't apologize for it anymore. It's just as much their fault as it is mine, really, because who just prattles on without noticing my total lack of normal social response? Hilarious. Though, I imagine it's frustrating to have just wasted your breath, and have to repeat yourself. And it's probably embarrassing to some people because they feel purposefully shunned, as if my earplugs have it in for them. Or my migraines. Or me.

I get that same reaction with the scent thing A LOT. People get SO UNCOMFORTABLE when I tell them that their perfume/air freshener/incense bothers me. I used to apologize for this, too, but I've stopped that nonsense. And I've learned to kind of enjoy the space that hangs in the air after I announce the presence of an everyday toxin. It's a test of character for the people around me. Can they adapt? How will they react? With anger, disbelief, irritation, pity, or interest? The last is a delight, those people are rare. Nobody wants to hear about other people's problems. Not that I want to talk about mine all the time, but every aspect of my life is influenced by my head, and it comes up pretty frequently, so the people who roll their eyes every time I say migraine, it's noticeable.

Someone once asked me, "We have to make accommodations for you, now?"


Or I leave. I mean, pick one. And don't act like it's a surprise when I LEAVE. It's my health. And then they get mad. And I go from irritated to bemused, because, really, who should be pissed off, here?

But let's go back to the people who show interest. The ones who treat me like a normal person, who happens to have an illness and disability. Those people are so refreshing. They ask questions, they offer to help, they turn down or off any triggers that I mention. They wash their perfume off and put the scented oil bathroom tchotchke outside. And then, ideally, they let it go and we can go back to normal conversation. There are a few weirdos who want to talk about nothing but my head. They like to pat my hand and "comfort" me, quiz me about my treatments and my symptoms. I like to stand up and walk the hell out of there.


I had a really great breakfast this morning, green onion and tomato with scrambled eggs. I have read, quite frequently, that while onions are commonly a migraine trigger, green onions are widely accepted as the exception to this rule. Well, they are wrong. Green onions have led directly to an oniony feeling migraine. I knew I should have cooked them longer, but the exception made me cocky. Next time, they will be unrecognizable mush before I turn off the heat. Lesson learned: There are exceptions to exceptions to rules. And I need to go lie down.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Refrigerating regular onions made me less touchy with them, but not green onions - not sure why. I never got as ouchy with shallots, but garlic sent me to migraine land even faster than raw onions. My father said that onions were one of his triggers when he was younger.

steph said...

I'm really glad that I have not reacted to garlic. I LOVE garlic to a possibly disturbing degree.

Tallis said...

I wanted to let you know how much I value and enjoy your blog by passing along The Versatile Blogger Award.

steph said...

Thanks Tallis! :)