02 November 2015


The problem with writing, with making bad things happen to characters in stories, that occasionally, when bad things happen in your own life, you start to wonder whether or not you have inadvertently cursed yourself.

In my case, it's gone down like this. In Comrades We, when Aiyen received Clarity's Sight, she sometimes suffers from headaches from the visions she has. By the time we hit Ley Lines (planned release: November 30, 2015), Aiyen's headaches have just gotten worse. She's living with chronic migraines, essentially. Whatever potions Maris, Brannan, and the rest of the healers' team at the university can cook up only work for short periods of time before becoming ineffectual. And the visions (and thus, the headaches) just keep on coming.

I'm not dealing with visions, but I am dealing with headaches. About a month ago, a nasty headache precipitated itself into a full-blown migraine on the way home from a trip down to Bellingham. I puked until there was nothing left in my stomach; my eyes and light were a really bad combo; the rest of my digestive system decided it needed to be grouchy, too; and my head wouldn't stop hurting. The next day, I had what essentially is a migraine hangover.

Two weeks of nearly-constant, nasty headaches later, and the doctor was telling me that I had classic migraines. It also turns out that the semi-frequent headaches I've had for years that I thought were sinus-related were actually migraines, so this is not a new thing. The severity is the new bit.
He gave me a trial prescription of some heavy-duty migraine medication, recommended getting enough rest, no skipping meals, and avoiding stress. Caffeine helps a bit, so I've been going through tea and coffee at a much quicker rate than usual. I've discovered that exercise helps moderate the headaches in my case, so more long walks and more yoga have been my answer for the moment. I'm also avoiding alcohol, since red wine triggers the headaches, and other alcohol briefly dulls the pain but doesn't really help (i.e., not a smart coping strategy). The fancy migraine medication works, but it exhausts me and comes with a couple minor side effects that I prefer to avoid if I can.

The migraines have tapered off enough that they respond to Tylenol better than before, and I survived our annual Halloween party with nothing more than a mild headache (unlike a birthday party the week before, where I found myself wearing sunglasses indoors). I keep feeling like I'm fighting a bad one off, though, so E. and I are currently indoors with the curtains drawn, the lights off, and my computer set to "very dim."

I keep wondering if Aiyen's complaint has jumped from the pages of the book into my brain - if writing about it in her story made it so in my own. Oh, I know - magical thinking - absolutely ludicrous - and yet, the power of the human mind is not to be underestimated. If I get the rest of her problems - actually reliable visions of the future - I'll let you know the lottery numbers.