This weekend I accomplished little except to rest and ride out the pain of a migraine. Migraines are the in category of “headache”, but in my experience, more than the head is involved. Of course pain anywhere in the body never affects only that body part. Being connected as one united organism, the whole body is affected, though some parts more than others. When a migraine comes upon me, it could start in the neck (left side, usually), or behind my left eyeball, and it often moves down into the shoulder blade and leaves my whole body aching. Any normal movement – pouring myself water, hugging my husband – leaves me breathing heavily, grasping for oxygen, and I yawn profusely. My vision gets blurry, and the pain makes it hard to think. When it’s at it’s worst, I break out into a full-body sweat and succumb to dry heaves.
The title of this post comes from an old-fashioned phrase. If someone did something inappropriate, rude, too bold, it could be commented that the person had “some nerve”. “The nerve of that guy,” was another phrase used. I wonder about the origins of that. Could it be that people really thought that there was a nerve in the person’s body that was responsible for their behavior? I don’t know how migraines come about, but the pain feels like it could be following the line of a nerve – some sensitive nerve, fritzing out like a frayed cord – that reverberates its malfunction body-wide.
It seems odd that one nerve, out of the billions (I think?) nerves in the body, could cause such havoc and completely disable a person for a whole, sunny weekend.
But it also makes sense. No nerve is an island unto itself.