Ode to the migraine By: Jill Pertler My dear migraine, I pay tribute to you and the impact that you have on my days and my nights. Your existence cannot be ignored or disregarded. You demand attention. Immediate attention. And for that, I pay you homage. Your ire and energy can ignite from numerous sources. Changes in the weather, light, certain foods, smells, motion, noises, hunger, sleep deprivation and (of course) hormones all can prompt your presence. One could even go so far as to say you are trigger happy but I would only choose those words with your permission. I can count on your popping in about once each month (more if we are lucky). You arrive, like an uninvited dear friend bringing homemade cookies except without the friend or cookie part. You are reliable, though. I have to give you that. Migraine, what would I do without you? You relegate and regulate my life on the days when you are near. You bring out the best of inefficiency in me and institute the necessity of an afternoon nap. You are at the core of getting nothing done. You descend on me in the middle of the night, like a bad dream, waking me from my slumber and demanding immediate attention. Who wants to spend time sleeping at two in the morning? Certainly not me. Not when I can hang with you. I'd much rather waste time napping later in the day. You are the essence of life, dear migraine. You remind me again and again of your presence by throbbing and stabbing near my temples and at the top of my head. Your painstaking thrusts at friendship make it impossible for me to forget I am alive. Every sense is heightened during your visits. My eyes throb in the morning sunshine and I exclaim, "Let there be light not!" My ears ring with the tintinnabulation of your pinching, piercing, pulsing, pelting pain. My fingers tremble from the shear power of your command. Nausea overcomes me. The thought of tasting and/or smelling food is abhorrent; yet my mouth waters and stomach churns in the miraculous irony that is you. When it comes to the senses, you touch 'em all. It's a homerun for you migraine; you ought to be proud. It shouldn't and doesn't matter that the inner core that creates your identity your name happens to rhyme with pain, stain, drain, bane and insane. The plethoric negativity is a minor coincidence, and you shouldn't take it personally. (I'm sure you don't.) Migraine headache you are mine and mine alone. You aren't a you-graine or a them-graine, but solely a migraine. All for me. In the ambiguous world we live in you are a breath of fresh air or at least penetrating pressure in the temple. How wonderfully personal you are. I would thank you for coming into my life, but words can't complete or convey my message. Migraine, you are what you are. Those who know you will agree with me. Those who don't may not understand. Let's hope they never do. Jill Pertler is a syndicated columnist and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication" at booklocker.com. She also offers writing and design services at marketing-by-design.home.mchsi.com . Follow Slices of Life on Facebook. Email Jill: firstname.lastname@example.org.