A few months ago I posted the first draft of my poem Love is a Lesion on Your Brain – it’s a love poem to my husband but because straight-up love poems aren’t exactly the kind of poetry I write, it takes a different form, talking about my love and appreciation for him through the lens of my chronic headaches. I’m excited to announce that the edited version of my poem has been published by Germ Magazine – read it here.
I’m less excited to announce that after many months of being blissfully headache-free, I tried to come of my medication with disastrous results. I was fine for a week and then the freight train that is my headache came barreling back in. I immediately went back on my medication but it took several days to bring the headache, which is usually about a 6-7 on a pain scale of 1-10, back under control. I’m mad because I completely brought this on myself – I thought that after being on the medicine for nine months I could safely stop taking it. Apparently my brain doesn’t think so and I was severely punished for my foolishness. Even though this medicine has a couple of side effects I don’t like, the big one being weight gain, carrying an extra ten pounds is really not that big of deal when compared to the agony of a headache that literally never ends. So I’m once again faithfully taking my medication and I won’t go off the medication without my doctor’s consent. As such I decided to write a love poem to my headache medicine, letting it know just how much I love and appreciate it.
Amitriptyline: A Love Poem
I lasted a week
off the meds, the blissful cool
of a clear head before the railroad spike
drove itself through my temples,
the intensity blooming across my forehead,
making me clutch the bottle in my eager hands –
a slave to the medicine that added pounds to my frame
but keeps the pickax from erupting in my brain.
I close my eyes against the grinding constant,
knowing in a few days the pressure will leave,
the tight fist will loosen its grip on my brain.
I vow not to lapse again.
I vow to stay on the medicine eternal.