Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Through the Looking Glass

Did I tell you that the neurologist told me that people with migraine are more sensitive to environmental stimuli than people without migraine? As in, when a weather front moves through, I can expect to get a headache or feel dizzy. Fun!

Did I also tell you that he told me that if you put a bunch of people in a completely darkened room and send a burst of electromagnetic energy through the room, that people with migraine are likely to "see" a flash of light at much lower energy levels than people without migraine (if they see one at all)? More fun!

But really, I'm not sure how to take in all this "you're special" information, when all along I've thought I was a pretty normal person. Being sensitive to Mother Nature's whims and the pull of electromagnetic energy makes me feel kind of, otherwordly, like I'm not really stepping on the same ground as most other people, or am experiencing it a whole 'nother way. What if your reality is waaaay different from mine??

It's like when I was a kid, I thought "what if the color I call blue is not really the same as the thing some other person calls blue? What if I'm really seeing is what they'd call red, but we all have agreed from babyhood on that this is what blue looks like?"

It's like hearing your own voice on a recording, and realizing that what you sound like to everyone else is not at all what you sound like to yourself.

It's like looking at yourself in film and seeing all your little idiosyncracies the way other people do, and hating yourself for them.

It's weird.


Maybe this whole "different way of looking at the world" is why I'm no good with recreational (read: illegal) drugs. There are very few substances I can actually ingest that don't throw me for a total loop.

The pain pills I was given after having a HUGE plantar wart carved out of my foot when I was in college? I took one, and 45 minutes thereafter I had to quickly hobble to the bathroom to upchuck all the coedeine-y goodness, then rinse and repeat every 45 minutes for 8 hours. I wound up taking aspirin thereafter, to good (and GI-sparing) results.

The funky-looking joint I smoked while on my way to a party my 4th year in college? I wound up reacting very badly indeed to the PCP that I suspect was hidden therein, and froze stock still in the backyard of my apartment building while trying to feel my arms and legs and to regain my vision. My boyfriend at the time was very patient as I totally freaked out for the hour and a half that it took to regain my senses. We did not go to the party because I was shaking so badly, once recovered enough to see and feel, that I could barely make it back to my bed.

The morphine the docs gave me before having the c-section that resulted in the successful delivery of a lovely 8 pound 9 ounce baby boy almost 9 years ago? I puked right there on the table as I was getting stitched back up, and for several hours thereafter (when I wasn't sleeping).

The dope I smoked while experimenting with the whole pothead thing? This was the ONLY illegal substance I could ever deal with, because, in my science terminology, I could "titrate" it by taking little puffs and building up the buzz if I wanted to. Same with booze - a drink, then a pause, then another maybe (OK, probably), up to a point, at which point (usually) I realize I'm "done" and it's time to stop or have a hangover of unpleasant proportion.

However, a BIG "no thanks" to the cocaine and ecstacy and mushrooms that passed before me during my wild years - there was no titration possible, therefore Tiffy no takee the drugees.

And as for hallucinogens - I've been told I should NEVER try them, and can not agree more. Me seeing melting walls and dancing musical notes and shifting perspectives and talking plants? No thanks.....My reality is crazy enough. I don't even need a GOOD trip.


But still, electromagnetic pulses! Bring 'em on! I like the pretty lights!!!


Anonymous said...

Wow! I coulda wrote dat. Well, not nearly as well, but I coulda said it all. I'm the same way -- so envious of people who can pop pain pills post-surgery. I threw up anesthesia and pain meds for four hours each C-section -- yes, C-sections, which hurt really really bad until you throw up, at which time they hurt o-my-effin-god-REALLY REALLY REALLY bad...
Fortunately, I have an incredibly high pain threshold. Because the druggies no likee. (Had to echo the bad Chinese as well...)

tiff said...

After my C-section I took 4 Tylenol and that was it. I think I'm short-circuited somewhere, because there was no real pain. For that matter, I didn't feel pain for the "regular" delivery I had a year and a half earlier, so there's more convincing proof I'm some sort of neural freak.
Where's my sideshow???

tiff said...

WN - maybe we're just more highly evolved, with the pain thresholds and all. This is my story and I intend to stick to it. :>

Anonymous said...

Works for me!

rennratt said...

The 'idea' of the pretty colors is one thing. The reality is quite another. I am surprised that your doctor didn't recommend high UV sunglasses. I can't attend CONCERTS without them, as the laser light shows (or even standard lights) can induce migraines in me (I get the clusters). After a while, you will be able to predict the weather better than the weatherman. (I can. If my right side looks like I'm having a stroke, the air pressure is changing and a storm is coming through!)

Sadly, no drug seems to be STRONG enough for me. Tylenol and other OTCs are the equivalent of 'Oh, you have cancer? Here, have a tic tac!'

I had to stop the pot and booze in college; they killed my creativity and made me paranoid. All the other stuff just scared the mess out of me.

tiff said...

Ren - I know what you mean about the flashing lights and too much visual input....I tend to "close down" if I'm over-stimulated either by noise or visual stimuli. My husband, who thrives on a vibrant atmosphere, doesn't really "get" why I need more peace and quiet than he does.
The last system that came through the other day found me nurturing a lovely squeaky sinus. I think I need to become more in tune with that and start my new career as a cranial weather forecaster!
I have a really good paranoid story I can tell, and it's not even about me. Perhaps a future entry!