Monday, September 29, 2014

A Week Goes By

I had this plan to write two posts a week until the end of the year. Ever since I changed the format on our blog archive, and I could see the number of posts we've done per year, I was determined not to let 2014 be the fewest Dharma Bum posts ever. We ended 2005 with 360 posts; we ended last year with 76. The worst year was 2012 with only 67. Yikes. But plans went awry when I spent one entire night last week sleepless with another serious and painfully bad headache. I've been getting them once or twice a year, and I just had my second one this year. I think they may be migraines. My father had them, and my sister has been suffering with them since she was a teenager. I am beginning to notice the early signs of onset. One is a heightened sensitivity to sound, and the other a discomfort with too much light. Then, POW, a headache hits that won't let me sleep for an entire night. Most over-the-counter pain meds don't really do much for migraines. And to be perfectly honest, I don't like to take medication. I have been taking one 325 mg of acetaminophen daily just to cut down the ongoing pain from the degenerative arthritis in my neck. That's it. Pain is a pretty terrible thing. So, my plan to do a second post last week slipped away. 

Fortunately, though, really grand things happened on the day after the headache. We had 2 1/2 inches of rain (that's 6.35 cm). It rained all day, a good steady downpour. It was wonderful, certainly not drought ending, but enough to assist the thousands of firefighters fighting several huge blazes in the state.

While it is unlikely the rains will continue. The day of rain helped to quell a bit of the fear and quench a bit of the earth, if just for a day.

So, all of northern California was pretty ecstatic by this record rainfall. Of course, I loved the skies. All those clouds and the intermittent sunlight produced opportunities for iridescence and rainbows, and just plain ol' beautiful sunsets.

Life is good when the headaches have gone, the rains come, and fall is in the air.


  1. Sorry about your headaches. (I used to get them as well until I realized they were the result of caffeine withdrawal. Now I can manage them much better. Sounds like yours have a different source.)

    Glad to hear about your rain. Crossing my fingers you'll get more. And maybe a little will fall in the Ozarks.

  2. Lovely photographs.

    So sorry to hear about the migraines. I had ocular ones, with partial blindness in one eye but no painful headache. My mother and my daughter had go-to-bed ones with pain and nausea. Hope you can get something for relief.

  3. Nice skies.

    I sympathize on the headaches. My mother and brother had debilitating migraines, which improved with age. I had a series starting in college which culminated in a bad one, after which they seemed to almost disappear. Now I get the aura (blind spot, squiggly lines and such) but if I take ibuprofen immediately, I don't get the headache, but I end up the next day with a hangover.

  4. Great images, Robin Andrea, especially the third image of the golden clouds.

    Kali used to get migraines, too; we think they were related to menopause because they stopped when the other symptoms of menopause ended. Kali got a prescription for a drug called Imitrex, which helped immensely. You may not want to take drugs, but Kali sure was glad to take an Imitrex when the headache started.

  5. Pablo-- I wish I knew the source of these headaches. What I do know is that I don't have any sense of doing anything differently (same wine with dinner, same chocolate afterward, etc), but something triggers a migraine. I wish I knew what. Yay RAIN!

    NCmountainwoman-- I have never heard of ocular migraines. They sound pretty scary. It is interesting how migraines do run in families. My paternal grandmother also suffered with them. My mother (and I, for a little while) worked at the California Medical Clinic for Headaches. It was amazing how many people suffered from so many different kinds of headaches.

    Mark P-- Interesting about your mother and brother's migraines improving with age. My headaches started late in life. My sister has been suffering with migraines since she was young, but lately has noticed some vision issues with it. I admit to living in fear of headaches.

    Scott-- Glad you liked the photos. I posted that sunset pic on Facebook with a note about enjoying living in town like this so there is a wonderful juxtaposition of mundane street view with spectacular sky view. I don't know why I like it so much, but I do. Like the telephone poles and wires with rainbows, it just pleases me.

    My sister has tried many, many migraine medications. I have tried none. Mine occur so infrequently, which is how I desperately hope it will remain, that I just try to get through it. I do live in fear.

  6. Aww robin I am so sorry about your headaches. Sure sounds like migraines. I had them for ten years then outgrew them with menopause. I do hope yours are going to be very short lived.
    Really loved that last photo. Just beautiful.

  7. Arkansas Patti-- I am just surprised that the migraines started so late in life for me. It's really not supposed to be this. Aaargghh. Glad you liked that photo. The light was so amazing that evening, it literally lit up every room in the house.

  8. Bleah, sorry you've been suffering. You know, I sometimes get headache/sinus pain, even pain referred into a tooth or two when a weather system arrives. It's weird, like having a barometer in my head! Well, getting good rest helps, maybe half a benedryl tablet before bed, and lots of water.
    Our brains are so complex, good thing they seem to be resilient as well...

  9. Isabelita-- It's so true about headache/sinus pain feeling like toothache pain. The whole inner networking of nerves really can confuse where pain originates. It's wild stuff!

  10. Love your sky in Arcata, especially that double rainbow! What a relief for California to have some rain.

    Sorry to hear about the headache. Hope you can figure out what triggers your headaches. Mine were pretty awful until the last two years. I live in fear of headaches, too. My mother had migraines and both of my sisters have them.

    My headaches lasted for 3 days exactly but weren't classic migraines, even though they were totally debilitating. I was offered migraine medication, but it didn't help.

    I get really bad headaches if I spend any time in libraries or used book stores. Old books trigger headaches for me. Mold is a headache trigger for me. Washington is really moldy. I have an air cleaner and a dehumidifier in my home.

    I don't drink coffee anymore, and if I start to get a headache I take 2 over-the-counter Excedrin which has a caffeine equivalent of 2 cups of coffee. That has been my elegant solution for the last 2 years whenever a headache starts to come on.

    Life feels so sweet after a headache leaves!

  11. am-- I am so glad that you found relief. Interesting about old books and mold being a trigger. The day I got the headache, we had been looking at a 100 year old house to buy. It was quite moldy. Makes me wonder if that might have triggered it. The use of caffeine for headache relief has been around a while. I remember when I worked for the Headache Clinic, the doc would prescribe Cafergot, a combination of caffeine and ergotamine, for some patients.

  12. I'm sorry that you get migraines. I know that they really suck. I don't get them myself, but my wife and 3 of our 5 kids do. I'd rather have my various aches and pains any day, then migraines.

  13. Pat-- I started getting migraines pretty late in life. My sister has been suffering since she was a teenager. It's truly a nightmare of pain. I'm so sorry for your wife and the kids. I hope they find relief.