I’m reading, the sentences start to disappear, beginning of the aura, the visual disturbance, pulsating like a strobe light rave in my eyes. When they first happen in my 30’s, the anxiety would arrive with the flashing. Am I teaching? Driving? Out to dinner? Mind racing, knowing that the clock is ticking down, 30 minutes until the explosion, when the side of my brain becomes an internal wound, a bullet shot out from within. Four Advil, deep breathing, if I’m alone, but in front of students it’s like a bad acid trip, I avoid eye contact, their faces glittering, misshapen. I focus on voices, hoping the drill pounding starts after the class ends. When the migraines first began I ended up in the ER, a shot of sumatriptan in my butt, they offer me pills, but warn about the boomerang, tell me I’m just pushing the migraine off until later. Elimination diet starts me down the homeopathic path, no sugar, MSG, caffeine, alcohol. The migraines keep coming, I get philosophical, appreciate when they end, feel superhuman, like Teddy Roosevelt after his asthma attacks. My dad tells me that he got them too, genetic connection, cellular transfer of invisible suffering. I continue to track them and my diet; they come at least every two weeks, while sleeping, on Fridays, after eating sugar, when I’m tired, when I’m not tired. MSG becomes a known trigger, and I never get them when I’m outdoors, two truths in the guessing game: Causation of Pain. Now they visit less frequently, are less severe, I try to understand why. Is it the honey I added to my breakfast? Is it the extra writing I’m doing, the mental focus absorbing the energy of the migraines? Is some form of God taking them away because I’ve been pondering prayer more? Unanswerable, like so much of the everything is. Maybe they have left because I’m no longer afraid, acceptance replacing fear, lesson learned.

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