In the Car
Today I can drive. Yesterday I could not. The steering wheel in my hands is warm as victory. Driving can trigger vestibular migraine. Driving is sensorially taxing, a rush of movement, sound and light that sends my mind spangling into vertiginous places. As I drive my field of vision lights up with crimson and blue spots, raining fragments of silver, moving like crazed fish. My muscles begin to clench. My hands become weak and uncoordinated. I lurch. I cease to be able to focus, see straight. I can’t take in what I’m looking at. The rushing ribbon of road makes my eyes throb and my brain cramp. Now I can’t comprehend our conversation. I can’t hear you. Consumed by the high-pitched ringing of my ears, nerves, skin. There’s a riot in my brain. Eyes drift out of focus, my jaw locks. I fall into a blizzard of my own senses, competence erased. I pull over to rest. Driving is a nauseating act of will, movement, a kind of screaming. The bodies trajectory through space, a sensorial assault. But you wouldn’t know it. On the surface I look ordinary. On the surface I am just another person at the wheel moving from A to B.
my sombre clothes blockish frame my middle age this greying mane these rapid breaths and busy hands these blinking eyes determined jaw these trembling limbs my singing brain familial hymns: allodynia hyperalgesia. Migraine