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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spare Me

Spare Me

Please---no more. No more asking:
Are you drinking enough water?
Are you stressed out?
Are you resting enough?
For the ache to go, I'd sleep all day waking only to hydrate.

Please---no more criticisms:
You're high-strung no wonder you have a headache
You were a spoiled child
Hmm, you ARE anal  
You only want attention
For the ache to go, I'd cloister and isolate into zen.

Please---no more prescriptions:
You should do yoga
You should eat organic
You should align your chakras
You should find God
You should exercise more--or not so much
For the ache to go, I'd gulp every 'should,' camp in church, meditate to stupor.

Please---no more armchair psychotherapy:
Think positive
Identify your self-defeating beliefs
Are you mad at your mother?
"Were you abused as a child?" 
For the ache to go, I'd lavish love to Self and more.

Please---to all you doctors:
Don't look at me, your eyes loaded ammunition suspicion
In the ER, don't deem me drug-seeking
In your office, give me more than six minutes 
Dare not assess my 'perfectionism': don't ask about my bowels
In your notes, don't write neurotic
Bite your tongue and forget telling me to take vacation
Dare to be clinician stellar nay extra-ordinary
Do it for yourself, do it for us
Educate your Self.

Please---no more "help"
I've heard it all--
What's more--done it all
Can do little more
Except live, and live some more--
Day by day pregnant with pain.

Nothing easy about it
Please---understand I'm ill-at-ease
Only because I have a dis-ease
In my brain and not my heart
My brain hurts because of my genes
My heart hurts because you blame me
Please---spare me. 

Hope Expensive

Hope Expensive

I hope not for one hundred percent pain-free
Who could imagine such a state
I ask only for: 
Slack here and there
This way and that, bit by bit
Not for months of zero ache 
Not for weeks of free nor for days at a time
Not even one solitary day.
I ask only for few hours
So I can breathe
Hours I may lean on, slump tilt toward
Hours to make a plan, follow through and through and not flake 
Only for reliable hours I may rest
Those hours to squeeze droplets of minutes and seconds
Minutes to blow big bubbles juicy
Seconds of sitting stilled hush in my head
All silent whooshing quiet.

I hope not for normal
Only for sleep through the night
Without migraine knocking at 3:30 a.m. knocking my crawl out of bed
Hope only for function in the a.m.
The occasional social hour or premeditated romance in the p.m. 
The impromptu lunch, chill talk all punctuated ease
Light and laugh, giggle and chill 
Not anxiety about ferment and aged this and that.

I hope not to be party girl
Only to accept a wedding invitation here and there
To stay for the dance and song, stare at a movie screen sans ear plugs
Without shielding eyes at lights flicker and glare
To sway through the day some grace and sway, lilt without drug-haze.

I hope not to be career woman ambition one hundred.
Only to eke a wage
I hope not to be meds free for philosophy's sake--
My body no temple
Only to see my client clearly, no fiorinal nor codeine 
Listen to my friend without oxycodone
Make love to my husband, out depakote drain
Play with my niece, no excedrin stimulate in sight
How to still pure virgin when--drugs, drugs and more to the gills?

I hope not for zero ache.
Only for less heavy head, less bowling ball
Instead more cotton candy-like atop my neck
For more mellow stabs and thrusts milder pricks and jabs
For thunderings and hammerings not so relentless
For nausea less gripping
For diarrhea more solid.

I hope not to be like others, those normals
Others who use comb on scalp brush on hair without a care
Unafraid of tenderness and prickly
Others who move freely bob head swaying 
To and fro music and all else joy
How to afford such hope expensive? 

I hope cheaply:
My head no echo no noise no loud, no red inflame
My head whispers shhh and sparkles green lit yellow
Artery smooth sans spasm, face unwhipped, no tearing eye 
What fatter joy?

I Hear Everything

I Hear Everything

No certainty---
Half a dozen pains not of a kind: know not how, when, where, nor why 
Uniform they're not, the aches of my head are their own 
I hear my own ears
I hear dust settle
I hear a feather drop.

One is hammering and bashing to back of my head Bam! 
Electric busting loose gears, iron grinding wanton and then some
Gnawing and all-knowing, hurt chewing snarls from within, spits with spite
Venom-laced cackling and chortling, whipping abandon
Welts blazing rivers down my neck, angry raking scabs scarlet
Secretly silent and isolate, no starlet I
Needing others, seeking only social outlet
My efforts to soothe in vain, meds no main for pain trail
I hear a hair die
I hear a butter fly. 

Two is band elastic squeezing tight
Clinging stainless to forehead and crown alike 
Bony plates squeaking in spirals, scratching and smarting with me shrill 
Serpents slither and splinter, chewing sinew and flesh to rot, acid putrid
Spiders crawling across scalp, worms biting flesh zig zag and slant side to side
Wheels whirring mayhem and straight ahead storm skewering asunder and thunder  
I hear a cloud clear. 

Three is one sided pulsating temple, shoots lightening white
Kneading shoulder, only bitter, no sweet, only sweat
Deeply aching one jaw, one artery swells throbbing 
Swollen tremor more than teats milking
One vein gnarly popping lurid green, no easy feat for skin chocolatey
One eye bursts tearing rheumy, hot as only evil can be, darker than me
One head, one pain, one ache--lashings of mockery, all glee
I hear the sun set.

Four is base of skull cracking and crackling, banging and boring through 
Steel drums echo, battering horns ramming, eating me alive
Neck wringing and writhing, neurons noising stubborn for weeks 
Slushy ice, coldly blue shattering shards glass sticky, shoved up my nose
Poundings pokes and pangs by the feverish dozens, fervently frozen
My head one hundred and one tons 
I hear my heart beat.

Five is days before blood pours off vagina, knifing shiny sharp cuts
Red inside out, violent vicious skewering head, mottled witch-like
Shriek synapses spreading wildfire, phish sans shush nor hush
Vomit stink dank in dark velvet, secret nights of tender 
Wretch retching, cold hurl in toilet, innards twist and churn, no churl I
Knees on tile cold and hard, throat shredded raw in wail, bleaker than black
Havoc in universe, chaos in vertigo, virulent of my stupid beloved hated head 
I hear the stars align.

Six is all calm, then one thousand and one needle pricks piercing to scalp
Pinching only a second or two or a millisecond or three                                      
Too good to be true, too soon to celebrate, foolish girl, silly pipe dreams
Slap-whack rage furious swearing simpleton upside down my head
This time for twenty-six seconds
As in the drooping arc of my head,
I hear a petal wilt. 

I hear ears of other people
I hear my nail grow
I hear honey combed
Then all quiet again for one hour or two or a day or three
Till the next strike and the next, and the time after a blur
My only certainty.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Peninsula Headache/Migraine Support Group

For 2010, I'm forming a support group for those of us who suffer from headache in all its myriad forms, e.g. migraine, chronic daily headache, cluster, carotidynia, etc. It's a safe space to come together, give and receive support; we'll be creating a community  where we identify with each other, without judgment. 
It's often isolating to live with an 'invisible illness,' and an aim of this group is to help you feel understood and empathized with. You can expect to be validated and have your experience be treated as legitimate, rather than minimized or belittled (as many of us have encountered). 
The group is free, and all are welcome, regardless of your treatment protocol: preventive medications, pain killers, alternative remedies, lifestyle management, or a combination of these. 
The format is free-flowing, and will vary each meeting, with no set agenda: we'll collaborate on what our needs are, depending on how we're feeling (physically and emotionally). You may attend once or be a "regular," you may choose to share your story and your Self, or feel free to simply sit quietly and absorb. 
I hope you'll join us!
For more information on the group, please click on links below:


My Psychotherapy Website:

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hello!--HOT, HOT, HOT--and then some :-)! Speaks to turning to the other for what we lack within . . . yin and yang, black and white, black and white . . . such "opposites" are of course,paradoxically illusory

By Amy Lowell

You are ice and fire,
The touch of you burns my hands like snow.
You are cold and flame.
You are the crimson of amaryllis,
The silver of moon-touched magnolias.
When I am with you,
My heart is a frozen pond
Gleaming with agitated torches.

If this doesn't make a case for "seeing with the heart," . . . the last line clinches it


By Ted Kooser

She had turned her face up into
a rain of light, and came on smiling.

The light trickled down her forehead
and into her eyes. It ran down

into the neck of her sweatshirt
and wet the white tops of her breasts.

Her brown shoes splashed on
into the light. The moment was like

a circus wagon rolling before her
through puddles of light, a cage on wheels,

and she walked fast behind it,
exuberant, curious, pushing her cane

through the bars, poking and prodding,
while the world cowered back in a corner.


Unapologetically strident, bordering on defense, damn proud of it, as she should be: a gorgeous study in inhabiting racist experience: highlights the arbitrary nature of linguistic markers as denotation and connotation


By Gwendolyn Brooks
 (first black writer to win the pulitzer prize)

is a title,
is a preoccupation,
is a commitment Blacks
are to comprehend—
and in which you are
to perceive your Glory.

The conscious shout
of all that is white is
“It’s Great to be white.”
The conscious shout
of the slack in Black is
"It's Great to be white."
Thus all that is white
has white strength and yours.

The word Black
has geographic power,
pulls everybody in:
Blacks here—
Blacks there—
Blacks wherever they may be.
And remember, you Blacks, what they told you—
remember your Education:
“one Drop—one Drop
maketh a brand new Black.”
        Oh mighty Drop.
______And because they have given us kindly
so many more of our people

stretches over the land.
the Black of it,
the rust-red of it,
the milk and cream of it,
the tan and yellow-tan of it,
the deep-brown middle-brown high-brown of it,
the “olive” and ochre of it—
marches on.

The huge, the pungent object of our prime out-ride
is to Comprehend,
to salute and to Love the fact that we are Black,
which is our “ultimate Reality,”
which is the lone ground
from which our meaningful metamorphosis,
from which our prosperous staccato,
group or individual, can rise.

Self-shriveled Blacks.
Begin with gaunt and marvelous concession:
YOU are our costume and our fundamental bone.

     All of you—
     you COLORED ones,
     you NEGRO ones,
those of you who proudly cry
     “I’m half INDian”—
     those of you who proudly screech
     “I’VE got the blood of George WASHington in MY veins”
     ALL of you—
           you proper Blacks,
     you half-Blacks,
     you wish-I-weren’t Blacks,
     Niggeroes and Niggerenes.