The Medicine of the Future
Working in the entertainment industry can be a dream come true for many behind the camera and those in front… unless you’re a migraineur. Then it’s just hell either way. I should preface this article with the full disclosure that I am a comedian, and writer-producer. In the entertainment industry, physical ailments are consider especially heinous. In Hollywood, the dedicated talent who hide these ailments and keep moving forward are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories. *Bom Bom*
I am writing this article as a long time reader, a migraineur since the age of twelve, and a little more than twelve hours after being discharged from the hospital. My brain is still fried. My right eye will soon be in the trash if it doesn’t stop trying to pop out of my head. And my hands are shaking. At this point, I’m not sure if it’s from the lack of oxygen or the medication. But it’s definitely the least of my concerns as I contemplate suicide.
I am writing in the dark with noise cancelling headphones and my best shades on as the pain returns for the sequel: The Migraine Strikes Back; after the failed sequel: Revenge of the Rx Script. I am writing with involuntary tears flooding my keyboard as my migraine laughs at the prescriptions.
Migraine: Take every four hours? Challenge accepted! Let’s see who’ll last longer. There aren’t pills in the world, my friend. *insert evil laugh*
I am writing with what is left of the humor and joy this bastard is doing its damnedest to take from me. I am writing because I don’t know what else to do. Not another pill. I can’t do it anymore. But I will keep writing. Or at least keep typing. Because if I don’t, I’m afraid this will be the last thing I ever write.
I’ve tried every drug and every alternative therapy under the sun. I even tried religion—seven to be exact. I am afraid to eat because of the food triggers and vomiting. I am afraid to sleep because of the night terrors. I am afraid to live because of the pain and depression. And I am tired of it all. It’s hard to find life worth living when the idea of scribbling “I love you too” on your arm with a knife seems less painful.
I’m not sad. I’m not a coward. I’m not weak. It’s not “just a headache.” I can’t tell you how many friends, jobs, loves, passions, and opportunities I’ve lost to this disease. I didn’t become a comedian by choice. Life decided to turn me into a joke. It’s only fair that I return the favor. But when you have an aura migraine during the middle of a set, or nine, because the spotlight decided it didn’t like the shirt you were wearing, you give life the finger, quit your job, and decide to work behind the camera.
“Another job? Are you okay?” they say. You smile and nod, then reply, “All is well,” as you kindly refuse to burden them with your reality—”life is hell and I’m dying to live it.” But is it worth it? I hope by the time I finish writing, I decide the answer is yes. But the truth is I’m on the fence. And boy, does the grass look greener ever than before on the other side.
I wrote a poem:
No one will get the better of me. Not even Life in her killing spree. Migraine be damned if I die at her hands. For I’ve come prepared, I’m a resourceful man. I don’t have any tricks. I don’t need to hide. I have the medicine of the future… Suicide.
Clearly, I’ve lost my wit and will, they’ll say. On the contrary, I have the both in spades. It’s the desire to suffer that I’ve lost. Live, I can. But suffer? Mitch, please. Mitch is what I call my migraine when it starts to act like a you know what.
Remember Humpty Dumpty? He had a migraine too. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men… should have been shot for yelling, “Give him water.” Thank Apollo, that made me laugh. That’s right. I’m practicing that old time religion now.
One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door. Five, six, pick up sticks. Seven, eight, lay them straight. Nine, ten… don’t let the pain win.
I have an idea for a new script. I refuse to acknowledge that my migraine has given me inspiration.
I asked if it was worth it, the pain, living. I still don’t know. But at the very least, I have a reason to write if nothing else. I’m going to rewrite that poem. Give it a new ending. Better, I say. To all my migraineurs:
No one will get the better of me. Not even Life in her killing spree. Migraine be damned if I die at her hands. For I’ve come prepared, I’m a resourceful man. I don’t have any tricks. I don’t need to hide. I have the medicine of the future… Distract thyself. Keep moving forward.
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