Wednesday 29th April 2020


Day 3 of the migraine, OMiGaaaahd. Yesterday, about 5pm I hit the absolute PiTs. Having necked:

2 Alka Seltzer XS – dulled it slightly for about 15 mins

then another 2, this time dragged myself into making food to help with the effects. I say ‘food’ optimistically, the kind one can do if bleeding parapleeging, i.e. torn chunka bread or raw vegetable. No change

then hours later 2 Cocodemol industrial strength, once again forcing myself to cook a proper meal (awful, slurry-like) – no effect

then another two + more food (popty-ping) = still no shitting effect

Then googled it and read that a certain percentage of people lack the enzyme to process codeine and I was just needlessly exerting and poisoning myself. Like running an ass-ault course with an injury, a job interview with a hangover, getting trapped in a KKKlub on a mfing whitie.

At that stage, after lying face down for the good part of 2 days and nights, unable to sleep, and trying to write (horrible, problems with the website), and surf the domestic politix (don’t ask) I hit peeek MISERY. Went to the kitchen and necked 5 ibuprofen fuckitfuckem. Then proceeded to shut the door, turn on the radio and schlapp myself in the face. Like crazy slap.


Now there’s a fine line between a manly punching at the wall, for which I’ve learned my lesson via broken knuckles, and some kind of emo-Goth shower scene with a scoring of their thigh, tears and dribbling mascara. I think happyslapping’s a nice compromise. Let me convert you; I’ve laid scented candles the whole way.

Right, first off for all the stuff about calls for attention or a cry for help -and I’m sure that that goes on -this isn’t it. This is more bespoke treatment: try and envisage a spa break with WCW wrestler as masseuse. In the past, when witch doctors and soothsayers were a thing, if a part of your body hurt they’d then go and hurt a different area. Sounds fish head mad and for a large part it was, although cultures all round the spinner practiced that. Back in the day Mum got quite a prescription from the local quackery (Hainan island, 1950s, one of the poorest places in the world, in a jungle village unmapped). After she dislocated a knee as a child, the obvious medicine was… to beat her, on the legs. To this day her knee still has problems.

However, contrary to that scene (imagine taking a bat to an 8 year old girl with a dislocated leg) in this day and age it feels better to punch something rather than pay the local village schizoid to mete out their fantasies. Despite you’re adding pain to pain, it starts to subside immediately, into a numbing feeling.

Okay, as Dr. Jennifer Anistonopoulos famously quipped: here’s the science bit. The parts of the brain that process pain are the anterior insula and the anterior cingulate cortex at the back -and this is key -they don’t distinguish between physical and mental. Thus taking a paracetomol can assuage the feelings of rejection or malaise, and self-harm fans mention anguish can be bled out. After initial pain comes the comedown (in the best connotation of the word), of not just sensation but emotion.

It has been found to be a quick, instant relief, but not a lasting one. Hence why repeat fans start looking like Freddy Kruger. Yet an approach that’s proven quite consistent as traditional cures, popular with homeopaths around the world, throughout time. One example that’s survived is cold water swimming (far more hale and healthy than taking bench tools to yourself), a treatment for anxiety and depression that’s now prescribed by the NHS.

Okay here’s the non-sciency bit, as warning. Scientists don’t yet understand why swimming in ponds in midwinter (or for that case, any time of year in the UK) helps to blunt low feelings – even providing joy in bereavement. However they think it may have something to do ‘cross-adaptation’. When the body is forced to adapt to another form of stress, and either learns from the process or gets distracted by it. A bit like tickling the skin around an injection (to confuse the sensation as the needle goes in), or moving resources in war from one front to the other.

Exercising in general may run in the same lines, alongside the positive mindsetting and reinvigoration of parts. -Once again all this is anecdotal, and no proof yet other than in the pudding. It seems to work, we just don’t know how.

A great deal can also be said about the Placebo Affect, which puts your body into a positive, healing mode via a complex neurobiological reaction with the brain, and that science increasingly acknowledges as an option.

Thus it seems the logic of distracting the brain from the agony of a dislodged kneecap, by entertaining pain in a different part of the corpus may have some grounding. However, the execution can often be found wanting, especially the bit about mending one broken leg by trying to break the other, all the while covered in warpaint and screaming about spirits into the night.

Anyhoo, felt so much better. Next time I forget the Oyster, I’ll get myself punched in the face.

Recently people have been protesting the lockdown in the US, while rioting has occurred in the Parisian banlieues, plus looting in Italy. Apparently when inmates are let out of solitary, they start attacking each other, crazed. I remember Tom Bagley, the kid with ‘issues’ who, when bullied, would run at everyone screaming and spinning his arms. It was called the Invisible Skipping Rope or Thomas The Tank Engine’s Gone Mad Again Miss. Maybe there’s something to that, the distraction of acting out resolving the pain -exorcising it while exhorting it. Or maybe it’s just you know, Men.

The migraine ended at 11am, 3 days after it started. I can now catch up with life, and it’s been accumulating, collecting in increasing flurries behind the padded walls, and avalanche-prone once I open that door.

Ring and email Sainsbury’s Bank for the 7th time. Do my shopping (ran out near a week ago), and A’s too. Cut hair. Clean fridge. Clean kitchen. Wash up. Sort blocked sink (buy plunger, or find a promising shaped stick). Feed the pigeons (no, really). Renew Netflix. Ring back fam, they left messages I can’t access. Update voicemail (they’re going to the wrong address). Cancel night walk with Dave. Spend some quality time with A, who is lonesome from neglect. Write this piece of shit. Exercise. Cook. Chill. It’s been too long.

Talk to J about having an extra tenant move in for a bit, an offer to someone from Trafalgar Square, newly homeless. This has been absolutely eating me up the past few days. Be the change you want to see.

I mean how did we all cope when we had to insert 8-12 hrs of working and commuting each day, on top of the usual BS? It’s as if whenever we find a problem, we just distract it with another. Nowadays we have it in-yer-face, malingering, and we can’t get away. Time to braiK shit up. The schizzz.





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