I decided, despite the numerous aggravations to my peace of mind lately, to stay in over the weekend and work on things that I could do on the computer, mostly shopping and research. I was still pretty pissed at myself for completely missing one of the classic symptoms of migraine prodrome, even if it’s not one of my own classic symptoms, and taking the risk of actually driving somewhere. I was also pretty pissed about the results of that situation, in general, and was chewing over what exactly I intended to do about it — if I could really effectively do anything. I somehow think that demanding the return of my stuff wasn’t going to get very far.

So I ordered another memory card for the camera. One day I will hand Agent Felix Delgado a receipt for that.

And then I took another look at my phone’s recording application, just to see if there was any way I had overlooked to recover the deleted file. As it turns out, the answer is no — once a file is deleted and purged, it’s gone for good unless I want to do warranty-voiding things of dubious legality apparently. I am not yet at that point. While fiddling around, however, I did discover something interesting: I had a new photograph on the phone itself from 12/3.

The last totally coherent memory I have of that day is of shutting down the recording application. It’s probably not impossible that I didn’t do that correctly and accidentally deleted/failed to properly save the file myself. I might have had the phone in my hand when the migraine hit — it’s not at all impossible that I accidentally triggered the camera if I seized during the course which, given the speed and severity, isn’t impossible either. The picture itself was pretty obviously not taken under ideal point-and-click circumstances in any case — blurry, shaky, super-close up, of the basement floor, a place where the soot had been washed almost completely away by the weeks and weeks of rain we had this autumn. Something was written on the floor. Pretty much the only thing that kept me from going back right then and there was the fact that it was after five and the sun was, for all practical intents and purposes down. Instead I downloaded the photo, emailed it to Rin, and asked if there was any way to make it clearer.

Then I very deliberately turned off the computer and walked away to do some regular homely stuff until the sudden-rush-of-excited-adrenaline shakes subsided. I watered the plant and thought about making dinner. Realized I didn’t want to eat anything I had on hand and walked down to the local grocery store to pick something else up. Bumped into Dr. McDreamy in the organic/vegetarian aisle.

Dr. McDreamy — not his real name — is one of the bereavement counselors employed by the coroner’s office — the very one, in fact, who hung with us back when Irene was coming through and whom I’d asked about the persistence of trauma-related psychological disturbances in what I hoped had been a sufficiently casual way when I’d started researching the life and times of “John Q.” While most of the grief counselors of my acquaintance are pre-doctoral and primarily certified by their professional guiding organization (the American Academy of Grief Counseling) — Granny Hanako is certified through the AAGC, f’rex — McDreamy is an actual PhD-carrying clinical psychologist who does counseling work as part of his practice, I’m assuming out of a deep and heartfelt commitment to the health and well-being of others, because otherwise he’d be raking down millions of dollars a year as a runway underwear model. Or any other sort of clothes, actually. Or whole or individual body parts. The man’s not hard to look at, is what I’m saying. Anyway, I bumped into him — it turns out he lives a couple blocks over — and we ended up chit-chatting about this and that and before we were finished checking out he’d asked me if I had anywhere to go for Christmas, since he knew I’d just moved into the area, and then invited me over to his place for the day.

….You know. Like you do.

So I went home and nuked myself some palak paneer and brewed a cup of tea, consumed both, emailed Rin to let Mom know she could stop wringing her hands about me being all alone at Christmas, and realized that I was still twitching. Twitchy. Energetically wired. And that this was only dubiously normal and good, given the circumstances and recent events. Restlessness and hyperactivity are prodrome indicators in a good-sized percentage of all migraneurs — behavioral/mood changes are, in general. My own most common prodrome symptom has, up to this point, been extreme physical and mental fatigue. So I took a shower and my interdiction meds and decided to make a conscious effort to get to sleep at a decent hour. Fortunately, one of the most helpful side-effects of amitriptyline is drowsiness — it’s one of those “do not operate heavy machinery” drugs — and, well, I don’t remember seeing midnight. Or even ten. I remember opening up my e-reader to get another couple chapters of the book I’m reading right now down and that’s pretty much it.

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night to the Demon-Auffenpinscher chorus, sprawled out on the living room futon, covered up in a blanket I don’t really remember getting. I also don’t remember falling back to sleep, but I must have, because when I woke up next the sun was high and my phone was beeping. Two texts from Rin (“So what you’re saying is that you’re dating Sebastian Vael for Christmas?” and “You bastard. You know I wanted him MORE.”) and a call-missed message from the office. My on-callness was being called, and so I went in.


~ by Dr. Nate Harada on December 12, 2011.

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