Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

No Surprise?

Tonya had a migraine, as did Cori. I’d been fighting one for a couple of days now. But I knew that it was inevitable that I’d have to surrender to the bloody brain sometime within the next couple of days. As long as I could hold out through the reading.
Professor Showcase (Carnegie Mellon University) Professor Showcase (Carnegie Mellon University)
Another overly busy week had come to an end. In addition to the usual overwhelming work load associated with administering a test, on Friday evening, after finishing my grading, I participated in the Professor’s Showcase, run by Emerging Leaders at Carnegie Mellon. The headache started on Thursday evening after the review session, which didn’t surprise me. I’d had sufficient experience with headaches to evaluate them and predict their progression quite accurately. I knew I could keep this one from escalating to the point where I lose functionality for another day, possibly two. I was pretty sure I’d be able to keep it under control through Friday evening, but I wasn’t as sure about Saturday evening.
The professor showcase was a lot of fun, interesting talks, singing, dancing, and I gave a reading—I read an excerpt from my book “But My Brain Had Other Ideas.” I breathed a sigh of relief the next morning when I found that I was still able to function through the headache.
I knew there was a decent chance I’d make it through the Neurodiversity Open Mic Night organized by ASAN (Autistic Self Advocacy Network), which was to take place that evening. I debated whether to go to yoga in the afternoon—would it be beneficial or detrimental? In the past, yoga actually helped my headaches, but the drive there could be a problem. After Joyce offered me a ride, I decided to chance it.
As I’d hoped, the restorative poses during the yoga class alleviated my headache. It always seemed like magic the way yoga took care of headaches resilient to pain killers. Feeling much better than I had over the last couple of days, I thought there was a good chance I’d make it through the evening with no hint whatsoever of a headache.
Even though I knew that the bloody brain never lets me off the hook completely, I dared to hope that this time, maybe, just maybe I’d get away with it. And I did, until the following morning. No, I was not surprised when the bloody brain hit hard with a headache that reared with every motion and confined me to my bed for the next few hours, at least in theory. But in practice, with my eternal optimism and wishful thinking, I felt a brief twinge of disappointment, with a sprinkle of surprise on top.