I learned three things yesterday.
1) Migraines suck.
OK, I didn't actually learn this yesterday, I've known it for some time. Yesterday just reinforced the knowledge.
I've had migraines all of my life. As I've gotten older, they've gotten less severe. Usually I just get head splitting pain in the front part of my skull and what feels like intense pressure right behind my left eye. Before it comes on I get depressed and moody. Afterward I feel like the inside of my head is bruised for a couple of days. Sometimes, I feel a little queasy. It doesn't happen all that often, maybe once every other month, and I can usually work through it.
Every once in a while it's worse. Much worse.
Yesterday was one of those days. I got the whole sheebang: pain, pressure, light sensitivity, and intense nausea. It was extremely unpleasant. Extremely. It lasted the whole damned day, getting worse in the evening. By the time I went to bed last night I was so unbelievably ill that I was considering going out to the shop and putting my head in the drill press in order to let some of the pressure out. Fortunately it didn't come to that.
This morning, I'm still a little queasy, but it's mostly over. The inside of my head feels the floor of a New York taxi cab - but other than that I'm much better. If the process holds true to form, by this afternoon I'll be manic with energy. Let's hope so, eh?
2) Despite the headache, I can still find humor in things.
I had to go into Anchorage yesterday, no choice. I had to pick up some items from one of the customers I do custom woodwork for. I went early, before the velociraptor in my head decided that it was going to bite its way out through my eyes. On the highway, I got behind a brand new, shiny red monster Ford pickup. I knew that the proud owner - the big guy in the driver's seat wearing the enormous cowboy hat and expensive Oakely sunglasses (you know, the sort of regalia that just screams asshole) - had just bought the vehicle because he had a temporary license plate in the back window and I could see tape from the recently removed dealer sticker on the left rear passenger window as he blew past me.
On the shiny chrome rear fender was this bumper sticker:
Hmmm, says I to myself - this guy has got issues. Seriously, brand new $40K truck and the first thing he does is slap on a "I heart crack whores" bumper sticker? What a complete asshole.
Then I remembered an internet add I'd seen somewhere. For this site.
And suddenly, despite the pain in my head, things seemed a whole lot funnier - because, really, he was just so damned proud of himself and that new truck, and I suspect he had absolutely no idea what was on his bumper.
3) Small furry creatures + Electricity = Crispy Darkness.
After I got home the headache started to get worse - and the nausea set in. Sitting on the couch didn't help, and I couldn't focus on the screen long enough to read, so I thought maybe some fresh air would help (sometimes just walking around helps). I went outside. Bright sunlight stabbed me straight in the eyes (yeah, what the hell was I thinking?) and the velocirapther reflexively kicked me in the cerebral cortex. Augh! So, I staggered over to the shop like a sickly vampire seeking the comfort of the tomb. I had no sooner stepped inside, firmly shut the door, and had gotten as far from it as it is possible to get in my very large shop - when from somewhere down in the valley came a ringing BLAM! and all of the lights went out.
Despite my diminished mental capacity, I was able to immediately figure out that a very loud bang followed by abrupt darkness couldn't possibly be a good thing. I wondered if the thrashing velociraptor in my head had severed the optic nerves with it's claws. Oh, good, I thought, I'm blind. Nice. A moment before I had been wishing for less light, and viola wish granted. The shop is extremely well insulated and sealed, with the doors shut it was exactly like the inside of Dick Cheney's heart (Shutup, I figured out for myself that I really need to go purchase some battery powered emergency lighting, I'll get on it, thanks). I felt my way through the pitch dark, banging into various heavy cast iron stationary equipment with lots of pointy and protruding edges, carefully protecting my head with my hands.
My neighbors, Boyd and Deb, were out in their yard and yelled over to ask if I'd heard an explosion. Ahh, good, thought I to myself - the bang I heard wasn't actually a blood vessel letting go inside my skull. And I can see. Things are looking up.
I went inside the house and unplugged all of the computers and the entertainment center. I spent a minute trying to remember how to find the electric company's number without an internet connection - yes, I actually considered calling my wife at work and having her look it up on her computer. Then I thought, oh yeah, phonebook, doh!
The guy who answered the help line laughed.
See the squirrels are thawing out, dehibernating, defrosting, reanimating, resurrecting - whatever you call it, the fuzzy little bastards are out in force and seem to have a particular affinity for electrical transformers. The electric company has had over twenty power failures in the last two days, all directly attributed to toasted rodent. Apparently one decided to commit suicide in the transformer that supplies my house. The help line guy said he'd send somebody right out.
I don't actually know how long it took to fix. I curled up in a ball on the sunroom sofa and went to sleep for a couple of hours. When I woke up sometime much later, the power was on.
Stupid tree rats.