Thursday, 6 December 2012


Bleary-eyed, I awoke to a shaded room and the sound of thudding. Thud, thud, thud... There were no noises coming from outside or from the flat above. I raised my head, ouch! Throb, THROB! I laid back down to rest and brought my palms up to my temples. The right side was pulsating. Pulse, pulse against my fingertips. I was now locked into an uncomfortable position in the belief I would obtain relief; one hand pressed to my forehead, the other held on top of my head. I lay like that for what seemed like ages until the pain subsided. Slackened to dull thuds and throbs.
Last night, I had felt the beginning pounds, but prayed sleep would eradicate it. Poof, like magic! I was wrong. I attempted to move again, gingerly raising myself up and swinging my legs out of the bed. I was now sitting on the mattress edge. Ow! Ow! Ow! A stabbing pain sliced through my head like a sworded assassin was severing my blood vessels. I managed to stand and walk wobbly to the lounge-cum-kitchen. My vision was disturbed so that even the meagre light flooding in was too dazzling. I pulled the curtains across thinking perhaps it will ease if I do some stretching. Yoga might help me to release this tension, but in the middle of a simple stretch, a groan erupted from my lips, “Oh god, I feel sick...” Movement causing waves of nausea and my head to swim. Crest after crest building, then falling. I realised it was part of whatever I'd been afflicted with: an excruciating head, light and noise sensitive, and stomach churning.
For four days, this migraine occupied my head, like armed troops setting up camp, then ordered to move territory. Inside, the army was on the march, outside, I was immobilised. Stuck in bed with my hands clamped to my head or sitting quietly in darkened chambers. On days when my head was pounding less ferociously, I attempted some light reading. The letters on the page blurred and danced in front of me and my comprehension was absent without leave. Now this was torture!
By the end of the week, this constriction had faded. My vision was sharp, my head was clear, my stomach was like a calm sea, and movement was unrestricted. The army had finally deserted me! But I was not content to let this go; I wanted to know if these ill effects had an agent, and I think I may have traced it: Quorn. As a fledgling veggie, I had became sensitive to this fungus, but had recently thought why not give it another go, so I did. On that fateful night, I allowed myself a small portion: a handful of Quorn chunks in a stir fry. The brutal consequences as described above followed shortly after.
Most people will not experience 'the Quorn effect', but like any intolerance, it builds up. Don't make the same mistake I initially did and rely on it as the main substitute. I may have said this before, but I'll reiterate it: One person's choice of alternative meat is another person's poison.