Migraine in Paradise

¡Whining while in paradise alert!

I woke up yesterday morning and didn’t want to move my head – it hurt and I was groggy.

I am prone to migraines but always maintained the false belief that I only get them in Canada (especially in Calgary with Chinook pressure changes).

In St. Lucia, I have had a headache about once-a-week that I could loosely attribute to lack of sleep or rain. This one was different.  My head hurt, I was disoriented and groggy – familiar symptoms but not while living on a tropical island!

I felt I needed to get to work for an important meeting with team members from education and social development units. It was to look at current and future programming for youth in Eastern Caribbean countries.

While I was leaving home, a Nazareth song popped into my head, “Woke up this morning…”

On the way to the bus, I met the guy with zero short term memory who makes hats on the beach.

“Where you heading?” he asked as we shook hands.

“To Castries”, I replied without being able to explain.

“Do you have any small change? I’m hungry”, he asked.

All I could say this time was, “No, sorry, I need to get to the bus.”

The bus driver looked at me from across the street and I waved my hand. It’s nice that they will wait for you to get to cross the busy road allowing you to sit down before leaving.

I dropped my coffee mug under the bus, reached down and got grease and dirt all over the shoulder of my white dress shirt – this day was going to suck.

During the morning meeting, I tried to hide my pain and disorientation.  I had trouble following the discussion and will need to follow up to figure out what exactly was covered.

On task I took away from the meeting was that we were going to populate a grid of youth programs and projects in OECS countries funded by governments and by international organizations like UNESCO, UNDP, USAID, etc. I found and created a list of programs but could not deal with the overwhelming nature of looking at, and completing, a grid – it was too much for me that day.

After a discussion with my supervisor, I headed home at lunchtime with my dark sunglasses covering my eyes. My eyes were sore, sunken, red and were steadily streaming with tears. Not tears of emotion or pain, exactly – kind of like the tearing that happens from sleepiness.

Today is a public holiday (Corpus Christi) and even though my supervisor said not to work, I will need to prepare for the first of five 2-hour lessons Amanda and I are teaching at a secondary school to create awareness of sexual exploitation. She has me taking part in skits where I will usually play a bad guy. While the skits are important for learning, acting will be easy for me.

Yesterday I was in bed from about 2:00pm to 5:45am this morning.  Now that I’ve been up for nearly, three hours, the post migraine fog is lifting and I am starting to again enjoy life in the tropics.  Now if only the loud weed-eater could stop…

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