I got sick the other day. Quite sick actually, and I needed a sick bed. About once a year I get a migraine, and about once every other year I get a bad migraine. I have learned to notice signs one is coming on. I have also learned the factors that precipitate one, though it’s usually too late for me to adjust my lifestyle.

Usually I get a migraine in the late afternoon or evening, and I can go straight to bed and shut the word away until I re-emerge on the other side. When I get a bad one the symptoms kick in during the morning.

The other day, I noticed the signs of temporary oblivion around 8am as I was driving into the office where I work for about a week every month. The office is about an hour’s drive from where I stay, in another country from where I live.

After about 2 hours of taking meds and fighting the inevitable, I informed the office manager in halting English – I can’t string a sentence together when I have a migraine, and forget the names of common objects and people I know well – that I needed to lie down in the building’s sick room.

There was no sick room, and no sick bed serving the 5 floors of office space housing the handful of companies. All the rooms have lights on that came on automatically. So, here I was, stuck an hour’s drive from where I was staying and not capable of much more beyond curling up in a ball. Eventually, I found a large bean bag, and the building manager opened up a disused room in the basement with nothing in it, not even a light.

After spending 2 hours in there, I felt well enough to drive to where I was staying, at which point I went straight to bed for 5 hours, until I had slept off the horrendousness of food poisoning-like symptoms and felt semi-human again.

You would have thought a large office building would have a sick bay though, wouldn’t you?

As a footnote to this sorry story, I had to take my first sick day in ten years. I had a suspicion when I wrote that post that it might come back to haunt me…

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