Unavoidable Collisions

From time to time, we find ourselves faced with tasks or situations we know ahead of time are going to result in a migraine. In a perfect world, we could simply avoid them, but it is far from a perfect world in which we live. The wife and I recently found ourselves right in the middle of one of those situations. In fact, we are still working through it all.

Rebuilding our home

It has been mentioned before, but our home was left in a less than ideal state after Hurricane Harvey. We have been putting band-aids on the best we could up to this point and just being grateful that things weren’t worse than it was at the time. Although recently we were put in touch with a group of volunteers wanting to help us rebuild our home. It took a great deal of planning ahead, but the time finally came this month for everyone to arrive and begin the work of rebuilding.

Alarms go off bright and early Saturday morning and we get out of bed and quickly move the last of the furniture as far out of the way as possible before what would end up being a team of over 20 volunteers arrive at our door.

Noisy construction

Ordinary people might not think about all of the different sounds associated with residential construction. Theses sounds include things like conversational sounds coming from everyone as they were all introduced and broken into teams, a work truck parking right next to the house to broadcast music to entertain everyone, air compressors churning to life for the nail guns, cracking sounds from pry-bars ripping out the last pieces inside the house that needed to go. Then outside there were sounds of demolition as it was quickly determined that the back porch of the house needed to be completely torn down in order to properly “fix” the issues it had and a decades old metal storage shed was being ripped apart.

Trying to prepare

We had done our very best to prepare for this event ahead of time. We tried to make sure that both of us had plenty of rest and made it a point to hydrate because those migraines are pretty fierce on their own. Both of us tried as best as possible to move from one group of volunteers to the next helping a little in each place and to avoid sitting with one repetitive noise for too long, but there really is only so far you can move in a situation like that. The migraines were inevitable. Everyone saw the effects on my wife before we made it to lunch, some expressed concern that she was going to ‘fall out.’ Being in south Texas, our heat is in the 100 degrees and the feels like temperature is well over 100.

Unavoidable smells

The smells made for a lot of interesting triggers all on their own. The combinations of Insulation, drywall, drywall mud, plywood and other lumbar along with a dozen different deodorants and perfumes. This is not a complaint about anyone that showed up. As far as we are concerned, each and every one of those people were angels for caring enough to offer their time and expertise to help us. These were just things we encountered that pushed the envelope for the migraines.

When the devil sneaks up

At the end of the day it was amazing to see the amount of work that had been accomplished. As the day had begun to slow down and one by one the volunteers left each according to other important things they had to complete that day, the pace of work slowed and the muscle aches and fatigue began to kick in. The migraine I wound up with must have been there for over an hour before I slowed down enough to realize it was there. Despite all of the other parts of me that hurt, I had completely overlooked a migraine and dismissed it as a pain associated with the day’s labor.

After showers, pajamas and dinner, however, what had been felt before as a mild throbbing in my head became the front and center of my attention. It was as if I had suddenly walked into a smoky bar that was playing really loud heavy metal music. In retrospect, I really wish I would have paid better attention to it sooner. As a result, my abortive medication had a very limited effect on the migraine, even after multiple doses. I have since spent the last few days fighting it off and struggling to sleep through it, averaging about an hour and a half each night.

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