04 January 2013

Abreaction

Artists interpretation of visual 'prodrome'.
1.
I get headaches with startling regularity.


2.
Yesterday, as we were getting ready for bed, I turned to J and mentioned that I hadn't had one in over a week.

Not one since I got back to New Mexico after Christmas.

Not one while away for Christmas.

The regularity of my headaches is something I have come to expect. To understand and hate. I get them, I deal as I can. I always have Advil on hand.

I carried a big bottle of those oddly candy-coated brown pills in my bag everywhere in NY. I have one in my cabinet here in NM.

Advil was the first over-the-counter ibuprofen. Introduced in the US in 1984. It was available by prescription from 1974 onwards. Before 1974 it was only available in the UK and Europe. It was discovered by the research wing of Boots in the early 1960s.


3.
Boots was founded in 1849 by John Boot in Nottingham.

In June 2012 Boots announced the purchase of a 45% stake in the company by Walgreens. The plan is to introduce Boots to the US and Walgreens to the UK and China.

The two companies have signed a deal to merge within 3 years. The deal will cost Walgreens $16bn.

Walgreens was founded in 1901 by Charles R. Walgreen, Sr. in Chicago.


4.
The halo, or prodrome, before onset is a well-documented effect. Everyone is a little different. I have strange visual artifacts and a pressure that can only be described as 'skull heaviness'. It is like I can feel the weight of the bone around my brain.

My brain weighs about 3 lbs. with a volume around 1260 cm3. The skull on average weighs about 2.2 lbs.

Science has no answers for what 'causes' migraines. Dodick and Gargus call them 'increased excitability of the cerebral cortex and abnormal control of pain neurons in the trigeminal nucleus of the brainstem.' in their  2008 Scientific American article Why Migraines Strike.

Basically it is your brain loosing control of itself.

Control is the problem.

Migraines make it so I can't go outside, can't read, can't eat. They turn me into a person who sleeps all day. The make me pop pills like candy.

Using the verb 'strike' is appropriate. Migraines feel like they have lives of their own. Depending on the person they will arrive and depart in different ways. I know about a day before when I'm going to get one. After, it feels as if there's a soft spot on the left side of my head.

A fading bruise, the moisture after a kiss.


5.
There is a Walgreens in the background of this photo from VJ Day.

6.
From the OED:

abreaction, n.

Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌabrɪˈakʃn/ , U.S. /ˌæbriˈækʃ(ə)n/

Etymology: < ab- prefix + reaction n., after German †Abreagiren (J. Breuer & S. Freud Studien über Hysterie (1895) iv. 233; now Abreagieren ), use as noun of †abreagiren (see abreact v.). Compare French abréaction (1913). Compareabreact v.

Psychiatry.

Discharge of the emotional energy associated with a psychic trauma that has been forgotten or repressed; the process of bringing such a trauma back to consciousness, esp. as a psychotherapeutic technique; an instance of this.


7.
I awoke with a migraine.

I had none of the usual clues to its arrival. No visual fuckery. No weight on my head.

I felt light-headed yesterday. Felt under the weather.

I thought I was getting the flu.

The last two months have been stressful. A move, unemployment, etc. Perhaps this is just all of that catching up. Filling out the empty spaces where my mind was occupied with a job, with New York's never-endingness.

Perhaps it was just a migraine.


Quick Side Note:
Treehouse has a rundown of the Best In Journals 2012.