I walked to my parents' house this morning.
They live about three quarters of a mile away, crossing two busy streets and three residential. It was very warm, already well into the 80's at noon. The sun was high and hot, and I carried an umbrella as shelter. My head started throbbing with every step only halfway into the walk, so I stopped and sat on some benches to rest. The heat can wear me down fast. I medicated with marijuana and drank water. Caught my breath. When my head had settled down a bit, about ten minutes later, I resumed walking, but at a slightly slower pace.
As I meandered, I looked at everything around me, trying to absorb the moments. I have weeks when I can't leave the house alone, so every second of independence is precious lately. I read the posters on the utility poles, admired the front-yard gardens, took pictures of flowers and things on the street, and generally tried to be of the world. My head was nagging at me, I felt weighed down, nauseous and still had mild head pain with every heel-strike, but the moments distracted me.
I saw someone walking toward me in the distance. I stared as they approached, trying to make out the figure. Is it a man? Nope, don't have to worry about being street harassed, at least. OH, she's smoking. SHIT. Crossed the street, passed the smoker, crossed back. Caught a whiff anyway, but at least I didn't have to suffer a toxic cloud. Turning my head to check for cars triggered some short-lived wooziness. Someone else approached, but they looked safe. I couldn't have anticipated the haze of cologne that surrounded the teenage boy. I went dizzy, ill and a little gray around the edges immediately, and I held my breathe in a panicky bid for survival. He passed, I exhaled and tried to regain my composure before I fell over from the brain overwhelm. The world slowly came back into focus, over a few seconds, and I continued on.
I arrived at the house without further incident and plopped into a shaded, breezy chair in the backyard. A walk in the heat is always taxing, and this one was a little worse than usual. My nerves were fried and I felt irritated by the playful shrieks of nearby children. I was sweaty and achy-tired and still vaguely nauseous, so I took another toke and drank some more water while my body cooled itself down. Luckily, after about twenty minutes of quiet and water, the bad mood lifted and my symptoms died back down.
It was a long, relaxed visit. I talked with my mom about our lives, joked with my brother about Doctor Who, laughed a little too hard more than once and looked at the lights a few too many times.
I medicated with an iced coffee (seriously) a few hours in. The caffeine made me hyper, which can be dangerous. In my chemically-induced fits of activity, I can easily hurt myself and not really feel the effect until later. Caution is my friend with caffeine.
I used the coffee buzz to do some light, mostly seated, gardening. Still, it knocked my head up a few points, so I needed another long, quiet sit with water and marijuana. Then we baked. They baked, really, I only assisted a little, and was starting to feel rather confused and nauseous again, after only a few minutes of hand-mixer whirring.
I got a ride home not too much later. I was very thankful for it, since I could hardly walk straight at this point. I could medicate some more, but overdoing it can trigger repercussions, so I opted to hold off until I could be back home, in my comfies, with minimal triggers undoing all the magic the pot can do.
Upon arriving home, however, I realized the dog needed a walk. Not giving my brain the time to protest, I grabbed the leash and a baggie and headed back out the door, followed by the happiest little dog you'll ever see. It was a short walk, but still spoon-sucking. Bend to attach the leash, walk down the stairs, walkwalkwalk, bend to pick up poop, walkwalkwalkwalk, back up the stairs, bend to detach the leash. It sounds easier than it is, despite my yoga-inspired bending techniques.
Back in the house, and safely in my comfies, I'm bone-tired, but cheerful, in pain but coping. A good day can go a long way for pain management.
Now, a shower and some light yoga to keep my body from curling up into one big fetal-shaped cramp. My head will hurt for the rest of the night, I'll sleep with an icepack as a pillow, and might wake with a migrainy hangover that could bloom into something really spectacular if I happen to catch the morning rays wrong, or if our neighbor walks past my window smoking a cigarette (AGAIN).
But it's just another day in my head.