“In Bed” is a personal essay; however, there are some traces of public concern. Didion describes migraine headache in general and her own in particular. Thus the essay hints us that ordinary/personal feelings are fit for artistic creation. She has talked about migraine in such an effective way that both the sufferers and non-sufferers can know something on migraine. Migraine headache is a part of her life.
Didion suffers from migraine 4-5 times every month. When it is on its way, she feels irritated and flush of blood on her. In the past, she would take drugs to avoid it. Else she would not perform any jobs.
When she was young she was afraid to reveal that she had migraine. She thought that she would miss opportunities of jobs and scholarship. She took migraine as a disease of imagination and was caused by her bad attitudes, unpleasant tempers and wrong thinking, but not as a chemical problem. The pain was a shameful secret for her.
Actually, she had no other problems like brain tumor, blood pressure, eyestrains. She ignored migraine and kept on working. When it caught her tears would run down her face. She threw her up in a bathroom, went home and put ice pieces on her head to lessen the pain. At times, she wished for neuro-surgeon and cursed her imagination.
Later she came to know that migraine is a hereditary disease, it transfers into children from parents. Her parents and grandparents suffered from it. She had it first time when she was eight and was studying in a school.
Things that activate migraine are stress, allergy, fatigue and sudden change in pressure, accidents etc. a hormone named serotonin causes migraine. People take medicines like methysergide that have some side effects.
Effects of migraine in general are hallucinations, short time blindness, and stomach pain, pain in sense organs, serious fatigue, and loss of speech and problem in hearing. One becomes even unable to perform common routine jobs, very much painful.
Effects of migraine on her are she drives through red lights; sometimes she loses house keys, spills whatever she is bolding; she cannot concentrate on her jobs and write coherent sentences. She feels as if she had intoxication of drugs or alcohol. However, she says that one does not die of migraine.
Misconception on migraine: People do not take migraine seriously. They think that a couple of aspirin tablets can cure it. Migraine is an imaginary disease for them. People have migraine because they don’t want to have medicine.
Migraine personality: He/she tends to be ambitious and is shrewd looking, intolerant of error, rigidly organized perfectionist. But when things don’t go the way they imagine them to it can cause migraine to be effective. But it does not mean that all migraine people are perfectionist and all perfectionists have migraine.
Her ways to cure migraine: In the past, she would to take medicines and even had injections. But now she has learned to live with it. Migraine has been her friend because she connote avoid it. When it is on its way, she lies in her bed. She concentrates on it. She stops worrying about any other anxieties. She lets migraine happen. When pain goes away, she feels better; appreciates the beauty of nature and thinks her to be lucky.