Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pleased to Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name

My wife and I were having a conversation concerning the reason I write my blog, and she suggested that I let you, my readers, in on the "why". As you have probably guessed, even though this blog tends to go all over the place, it keeps circling back to things that make me want to scream. A friend of mine, blogger and photographer extraordinaire Mark T., used to highlight his blog with pictures of rolls of duct tape. The more angst, the more rolls of duct tape were needed to keep his head from exploding. Sometimes I have felt like stealing the concept for this blog!

Therapy. Therapy for me, mainly, and maybe inspiration for you. That's the idea of the blog. And not just psychological therapy; but physical. Oh yes, there is a physical reason for me to blog. Let me give you the history:

Years ago I used to write poetry on a semi-regular basis. I've posted a few of them in this blog, and will post more as the mood warrants. Writing one usually began with feeling a very strong emotion, and the deep desire to express it. I'd grab a pen or keyboard and start pouring it out. I would know the poem was complete when the emotion subsided. There were times when I would find myself typing a word or phrase, getting up from my chair to pace - with tears pouring out of my eyes, to sit and type another word or phrase, and repeat. I guess I'm an emotionally-intense person.

A few years ago I found myself being jarred awake, about an hour and a half after falling asleep, by an "evil Tiger Woods" with a nine-iron to the side of my skull. At first I thought they were migraines. Migraines that were so bad that if I had a gun within reach I would have put the barrel in my mouth and pulled the trigger. After about a month of these, and being deathly afraid to fall asleep, my wife and I started scrambling for anything that might stop them.

One of the symptoms was that my jaw ached really bad. We contacted the dentist, thinking that maybe my wisdom teeth were coming in. I had one removed in Navy boot camp (1984), so I thought maybe one of the others were causing the issue. Nope. My wisdom teeth were fine. I did have wear on my teeth - the dentist determined I had been grinding them. So he gave me a bite guard to wear when I went to sleep.

Ever use one of those things? First off, you drool like a St. Bernard. Second, you try to fall asleep, with the fear of choking on the damn thing. I never had the choking issue: I clenched that thing so hard that when I woke up in the morning I had to pry my jaw apart to remove it (it had suctioned my jaw together). Clearly this was not helping.

We tried sleep aids. Now, I'm not much into strong medication. I don't even like getting intoxicated - I like maintaining control. So we started with something that the body normally generates: melatonin. This stuff gives me really weird and vivid dreams (who needs Netflix??), but doesn't eliminate the grinding. Someone at work suggested Ambien, so I talked to my doctor. What I was prescribed was what I call an Ambien knock off: Zolpidem. What this does is calm your brain down when you sleep.

Here is what was happening: when I fell asleep my brain would run like crazy and I would stress. I would start grinding my teeth, which would tighten the muscles that ran from my neck up the side of my head and WHAM! Migraine. Or, more accurately, a tension headache. The Zolpidem helps my brain from running like crazy, which eliminates the first link in the chain of events. I don't take it every night (as prescribed); only when I feel my jaw getting achy, or I don't get a good night's sleep the night before.

Now why the blog. My wife, my dear, sweet, beautiful and scary-smart wife, suggested that I do what I would do to express the emotions I was feeling. But instead of poetry specifically, just write. Let it out. Get it out of your head. There was one small problem with that concept: I already write. I'm one of those guys with an AWFUL memory. I journal EVERYTHING (or as much as I remember) already. So just writing won't do it. So, I took inspiration from my wife's blog and started one of my own. Not only do I write, but I expel. I get it out of my head and out "there". There is an old cliché that says, "Joy shared is doubled, and sorrow shared is halved." I've got the whole world to share with. And thanks to you, my readers, I have not had a migraine/tension headache ever since.

There you have it. Now on with the rants!!

© Emittravel 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment