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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thar She Blows

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I,
But when I can't get out of bed
I know the wind is passing by.

I've always been some who loves weather.  Good or bad, I find weather fascinating, and of course the more unusual the weather, the better.  (Living in the temperate Pacific Northwest means we don't get much in the way of dramatic weather, but the mechanics of local weather are still really interesting.)  I'm a religious reader of the newspaper weather page and regularly monitor the position of the barometer.  In some other life, I must have been a meteorologist!  My mental health even had a weather component: before I got treatment, my hypomanic episodes were always in the spring, and even now I find myself so much happier and productive on sunny days.  Still, that hasn't dampened my enthusiasm even for, well, dampness.  The only weather prior to the onset of the daily migraines that I was never keen on is bright but overcast days.  I'd much prefer rain over glare!

Things have changed now.  Much of it has to do with the extreme light sensitivity I have to contend with because of the headaches, but there's one big new problem: wind.

Well, it isn't wind so much as what wind represents: changes in barometric pressure.  I don't have much of a problem with ordinary rainy day levels of low pressure, but the transition from high pressure to low, especially if it's rapid, can be miserable.  (I don't have nearly as much of a probably when the pressure change goes the other way.)  Change in barometric pressure is the one migraine trigger over which I have absolutely no control.  I am, therefore, at the mercy of the wind.  We had an unusually windy early spring that made life quite miserable for me.  Even if the migraines aren't terrible, I tend to be much more worn out and prone to low moods when it's windy.  I clearly recall one early afternoon where I was feeling fine after a particularly satisfying full night's sleep when suddenly I became incredibly sleepy.  I couldn't keep my eyes open!  It seemed utterly illogical, but I had to surrender and get back into bed.  Not long after I lay down, the wind started to blow and a migraine came rising out of a skull like a cobra.  THEN it all made sense!  I've had similar instances when my mood has suddenly dropped or I've abruptly lost all of my drive and next thing I know, the wind has picked up and the headaches along with it.

I'm thinking of this today because the wind came up in the night and virtually pinned me to my bed.  After a mighty struggle, I was able to get up to feed Mr. Gorgeous and let him out, but rather than being able to get my day going at least a little bit, which is usually possible even if I've had difficultly waking, I've been lying on the couch ever since, feeling like someone turned up the gravity or my bones turned to lead overnight.  I took one of my acute migraine pills when I got up, knowing the correlation between headaches and wind, so while I'm not in nearly as much pain as I so often am when the wind blows, I'm feeling pretty wiped.  It's died down just a trifle here the mid-afternoon and hopefully I'll be starting to perk up a bit and won't have to cancel on family friends who are going to take me out to dinner tonight!  However, I definitely won't be taking Mr. Gorgeous to one of the many lakeside parks to rustle up some more admirers or photographing Mouse in the strawberry patch or any of the other things I had on my agenda.  As I said, the weather is the one migraine trigger over which I have absolutely no control, so it's frustrating that it can completely upend my days and I am helpless before it.

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