Migraine, Your Graine, Our Graine

Last night I was called upstairs by the raspy voice of my somnambulant wife echoing over the Linda Blair worthy cries of my child over the baby monitor. I was deeply committed to David Ortiz driving in an RBI in my childish Wii baseball game I have recently become addicted to, which is why my wife had to beckon me from my downstairs shelter as opposed to my usual slumbering at the edge of the bed at 12:30 at night. I vigilantly completed the trip around the bases and paused the game to attend to my fatherly duties of apologizing to my wife and desperately trying to keep my child from crying.

Little man Isaac had contracted a mild fever as a result of his immunization shots at the doctor’s office earlier that day. “Looks like the Jehovah’s Witnesses were right,” I told my wife to no real response at my witty and timely remark. My wife was herself suffering from a recurring health problem that had started rearing its ugly head around the same time that Isaac’s stegosaurusian thighs were pierced by a profusely apologizing nurse. I continued to reassure my wife that the fever was normal while I flinchingly inserted the thermometer into the tiny hole that has brought about so much destruction in the past. As a result of what I can only imagine was the sensation of a cold thermometer in the rectum, little Isaac’s little Isaac let loose all over Miranda’s semi-dreaming head as she mumbled comforting words to him. She looked up at me with the pee dripping down her hair and muttered the four words that I have heard more than perhaps any other phrase throughout our marriage: “I don’t feel good.”

It wasn’t long after Miranda and I were wed that I had my first exposure to this phrase. Miranda had been prone to the crippling condition of migraines ever since she was a teenager. No amount of medicine, physical therapy, or Haitian Vodou magic could cure her of this. I knew about this condition when Miranda and I were dating and after we were engaged. I experienced what it does to my wife around two weeks into our marriage. My sweet new bride would turn into a drooling, groaning she-beast before my very eyes. As the muscles in her neck knotted up, apparently trying several times unsuccessfully for the Pioneering merit badge, her face became skewed and altered and her once sweet and chipper voice morphed into an emphysematic Bea Arthur declaring the painfully obvious “I don’t feel good.”

As a newlywed man, I felt somewhat like a car owner whose beautiful, recently purchased automobile lost its acceleration and made a horrific growling sound only a few miles into driving it. The car also would be completely upset and disgusted that I would ever refer to it as a “car” or compare it to a “thing to be owned” and would forbid me from ever putting something like that on my blog. Of course, I learned to be sympathetic, though migraines along with the pains of menstruation and child bearing were part of the things that I could never truly understand. I tried to rub her neck, run a warm bath, even buy her Sharper Image shiatsu massagers but the only relief that they brought was in providing me with several opportunities to say “shiatsu” throughout the day.

The only thing worse than a mind-numbing, crippling migraine headache is one that is coupled with projectile vomit. More often then not, these two are paired together. They might be considered for common law status in some states. I remember my wife stumbling dizzyingly towards the bathroom and not making it a foot past the duvet before the issuance soiled our carpet. I remember cleaning up regurgitated chunks of the German Chocolate cake my wife splattered on the bathroom walls of my in-laws like a crime scene at a bakery. I remember nearly leveling a mile-marker frantically searching for some item in the glove box with a volume capacity capable of containing the oncoming spew. I have since learned from previous mistakes. At the first mention of the mantra “I don’t feel good”, I get the old towels out from the closet and create an awards show runway from the bed to the toilet to at least protect the carpet from the initial spillage. We always carry the “family size” barf bags along with us on car trips during migraine season. German Chocolate cake is officially outlawed in our home or elsewhere.

We have continued to look for solutions to the migraine problems that plague Miranda. Several months ago, we were about ready to undergo extensive tests that involved brain scans and sleep analysis, something that invigorates me with curiosity and fills my paranoid wife with dread. Just before we were scheduled to undergo the first round of prodding, my wife left for me a test of her own on the bathroom counter to discover, after a hard day picking up filthy coveralls from men with names like Guido, that we were going to have our second child. "Holy shiatsu," I called out from the bathroom. After a few weeks, we dealt with the morning sickness, which was significantly more controllable than the water willy of vomit that comes with the migraines. The headaches slowed to a halt just as the pains of hosting a human embryo began. In fact, the same symptoms had occurred with the birth of our first child.

I soon realized that through our simple act of responsible family planning we had discovered the long-sought-after cure for Miranda’s migraines. All of these years of pain and suffering and all that we had to do was keep Miranda in a constant state of pregnancy. It was just that simple. The positive effects usually lasted through the nursing stages, with only minor flare-ups here and there. I am not sure exactly what kind of diagnosis any “doctor” of “medicine” would prescribe to this, but I am sure that I am right in assuming that my wife secretes some hormone once she assumes her motherly duties which, if properly extracted, can cure the inconvenient migraines of millions of people.

I think about just how to extract this hormone as I finish putting on my feverish child’s diaper and usher my wife into bed before toweling off her soiled hair. I kissed her still mumbling lips as I tucked her in and heard her call my name, squint her eyes, and inform me “I don’t feel good.” I love my wife more than anything and I truly wish I could find the antidote flowing somewhere just below her skin if only to save her from moments like this in the future. I lay down next to her and whispered the only other repetitive phrase that might give “I don’t feel good” a run for its money—“I love you.” And then, ever so quietly, “I will find a way to extract your magic migraine juices.”


Kara Thacker said...

How sweet! I thought at the beginning that Miranda would definitely have use for your head else where, but by the end it came to a sweet end.
FYI the code on this was "foringig"

Rachel said...

Poor Miranda. She could consider being a surrogate mother and stay pregnant at least once every year. Good times! And, I am still in awe of your writing prowess. Props to you, Cameron.

mattandheather said...

Ok, thanks for the warning before hand, but being a mother and a wife, I was good. Has Miranda read this yet? :0) How is Isaac and Miranda, both good I hope.