Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Missed Deadline and Migraines

I really learned a good lesson during the period when I wrote for the comics industry. And that lesson was writing for deadline. You make a commitment as a writer and meet it. Later, that lesson came in handy for reviews and short story requests.

This month I missed my first deadline. It's because of the workload I have at my regular job, and impresses on me that I really need to get free of that to make my final push as a professional writer--to be a writer full time. I've achieved all of my other writing goals, but that one eludes me.

To try to make up for the missed deadline I spent quite too much time behind the keyboard this past weekend as I did my best to get the word counts to where I wanted to see them. By Sunday afternoon I was feeling weird, my head was pounding and my left (good) eye was aching like Hell. (I'm legally blind in my right eye and so my left eye strains to take up the extra work).

Since I hadn't had a full-blown migraine in well over a year, I didn't realize that's what was hitting me until I was well into the attack. I ended up passing out for several hours. One of the classic symptoms I suffer when I get one are lights and shapes in my line of sight. This is generally followed by nausea and headaches so debilitating that sometimes they make me pass out.

I slept right through the worst of it, but at one point my optic nerves were apparently firing full blast. I felt that someone was shining a bright flashlight directly onto my eyelids and this woke me in the night. I literally thought someone was in my bedroom shining a flashlight in my face. After that, things got better and I was able to go in to work today after taking some pain killers.

This afternoon I fell asleep for three hours right after getting home. Woke up and chipped away again at the novel. It's almost done.

A writer's life.

Wake me when it's over.


Mark Rainey said...

Ugh. As a teenager, I had blinding, agonizing headaches frequently, though I don't think they were true migraines (I suspect it was my skull growing faster than my brain). I never had the light shows that tend to accompany migraines. A month or so ago, though, the vision in my right eye went wonky -- like having a big blind spot. Then the headache came not long after. Not like yours -- more a constant, low-key throbbing that lasted most of a day, and left me completely enervated the following. That was plenty bad enough.

HemlockMan said...

Actually, that sounds like a migraine. Blind spots are a classic symptom.

I don't try to speak when I'm in the midst of a migraine because when I do I tend to make less sense than normal. The pathways of speech get blocked somehow and I end up babbling really weird shit that I even acknowledge as weird as I'm saying them--and yet there's nothing I can do about it. They say it's akin to having a stroke.