I know when it’s coming.

First you will see an aura. You will try to focus your vision. You will blink a few times because you’d think something caught your eye, like dust or something. It feels like you’ve been blinded by a flash of light from a camera which has been taking pictures of you nonstop. Everything looks blurry. It just doesn’t go away. You try to close your eyes and you see a flash of lightning, or a spark of electricity. When you open your eyes, it’s still there. You become sensitive to light so you seek comfort in the dark. But in the dark, the light just keeps getting bigger. As soon as the light gets bigger, a throbbing headache comes next. It feels like your head has been cut down in half. One half doesn’t feel anything  but the other half is so painful you’d want to bang that part into a wall and break it into pieces. Then you’d feel nauseated. You can taste the bitterness from the bile which is slowly forming and coming out of your stomach into your mouth. All the contents of the day’s meal come pouring out. The urge to vomit is so strong that you continue to gag even if there’s nothing left but a hole in your stomach. The pain in your head is so terrible you’d want to scream. It feels like your head will explode any minute. Then your head will feel numb, heavy. No matter how much pain killers your take, sleep is the only thing that will make it go away. Sleeping in the dark curled on the bed…Then you’ll wake up with a heavy feeling. It feels like an elephant just landed one of its foot on your head that left you wondering what just happened.

That’s what migraine feels like.


For the Love of Allergens

I’m done with Toplexil syrup for 5 days. Sleep was hard to find for the past days after Toplexil. It’s been my sleeping aid. I had antibiotics for 3 days but cough is still there. Went to see the GP 3 days ago and she prescribed another cough syrup (Sinecod) for 5 days and the oh-so-expensive Aerius (Desloratadine) for allergy, also for 5 days. One cannot buy oral medications per piece here. So I bought 30 tablets (1 pack) even if I only need 5. Thank goodness for insurance. I don’t have to pay for anything. I only have to pay 30% for the medicines prescribed.

Actually, my cough isn’t that worse anymore. But I’m too hard-headed (I think). I ate chips and I coughed nonstop. Then I ate peanut butter sandwich. I coughed nonstop then vomited what I ate. Then last night, I ate sea foods. Guess what happened.

What else am I not allowed to eat? I’ve been avoiding chocolates and sweets. I’ve been avoiding ice cream.

What more, my blood pressure’s shooting up. From 100/80, my highest BP had been 150/80. Been tracking my BP ever since. I must be getting old, shucks.

I hate medicines. I couldn’t even swallow a tablet without gagging. I just hope I would be better soon.

For Coughing Out Loud

November 17, 2010

Still with a bad sore throat. I’m taking Toplexil cough syrup for dry and irritating cough now, which is making me drowsy, and Strepsils for my sore throat. It helps in a way but early mornings are the worst. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t swallow, and coughing is like a heavy burden. My lymph nodes are all swollen.

My colleague from USTH, R, is back from vacation and he lost his cell phone so I called N instead (another colleague from USTH) to ask if he can send me R’s number. N and I haven’t been talking and seeing each other not as much as R and I do. The first and last time I saw N was when I arrived here in UAE. When N answered his mobile I asked him right away. Then he noticed my voice and asked what happened. Then I cried and I don’t even know why. Probably because we haven’t been talking much and he doesn’t know what I’m going through. I just told him that I’m sick. Then he said he’ll send me R’s number through text.

I’m not planning on calling him. I just wanted to know his new number so I could store it in my phone book for future use. But I sent him a text message nonetheless, when N mistakenly sent me a text message intended for R. I told him I’m okay and that I just wanted to get his new number that’s all.

I’m not hungry, and even if I did, I don’t know how I can swallow. I just satisfied myself drinking ginger lemon tea (with my nose pinched coz I hate the taste), coffee, and alphabet chicken soup (that’s what Mom gives me when I’m sick, er…as a child). C gave me Vicks vaporub which I use at night before going to sleep. My cough is worse during early mornings at night times. I swear my roommates couldn’t sleep from my non-stop coughing but I know that they understand. It’s just too embarrassing when I can’t prevent myself from coughing too much. I just want to stick my hand down my throat, pull my lungs out and throw it away in the garbage.

Climate change. I didn’t know I’d get sick by it. All I know is that it’s hard to get sick when you’re away from home.

Inside My Head

I’ve decided to add a new category called “Ella’s Diary.” I used to write down my thoughts in a notebook but I’m too lazy to write and decided to type everything in Microsoft Office Word. I have to unload fast.

November 15, 2010

8:10 am

Woke up with a terrible sore throat. I heard my roommates scuttle as they move around the room preparing for their trip to Dubai. It’s the start of the Muslim’s Eid holiday and I suddenly realize how pathetic my work situation is, as always. I’m probably the only one in this flat who will be working on a holiday. Everyone’s either going to Dubai or someplace else, to celebrate this week long vacation.

I thought I won’t have a voice. My throat’s so painful I couldn’t stop coughing. I feel like I’m gonna be sick anytime. C noticed how bad my coughing was and told me to drink tea with ginger and lemon. All I had was tea. So she took a ginger out of her cupboard in the kitchen and peeled some pieces into my cup of tea. There was no lemon, she said, but it will still help ease my sore throat. There’s nothing like a good old home remedy. Now I was wondering, I’m a nurse but I couldn’t even treat my own sickness. I forgot to buy Strepsils yesterday.

I could smell the ginger in my tea and instantly I know I couldn’t drink it. But like a good little girl who obeys her Mom, I took a small sip. Hmmm, it’s not so bad after all.

I continued sipping my ginger tea watching my roommates prepare. They’ve rented a car. They were talking about their itinerary. Everyone was talking at the same time I decided to drown their voices by listening to some music instead. I’m not jealous that I’m not included. In fact, even if I don’t have work, I’d prefer to stay at home because I’m not feeling well. I was thinking of what I am going to do as soon as they leave. I don’t even feel like making some breakfast because I’m not hungry. So I just sat on my bed and stared into space.

Today is Dad’s birthday, if he was still alive. C said she didn’t know I have a deceased parent. I can feel her sympathy. Well I really don’t share much about my suppressed memories. Just when I was thinking about Dad, I heard Celine Dion’s version of Luther Vandross’ Dance with my Father on my laptop, then at the same time, my cell phone beeped and a message appeared on my calendar, “daddy’s birthday.” I couldn’t help but smile. Dad…of course I remember. I may have forgotten the date you decided to die, I might not have been there to visit your grave on All Soul’s day, but I do remember your birthday. I wonder how you are today if you were still alive.

My throat doesn’t seem so sore anymore. My roommates have long gone as I am writing this. Now I’m alone.

I just hope time would move fast so I could be at work.