anne mikolay 2012 120I've suffered from migraines for so many years, by now I ought to understand how they work. I don't. In fact, though one might consider me the ultimate migraneur, a sort of poster child for these nasty “headaches”, I, like my fellow sufferers, remain baffled by these neurological events. All I know is this: drastic weather changes trigger my migraines. While you may rejoice as the temperature abruptly rises from 30 degrees to 50 degrees, I do not. This past week, the creeping onset of spring has wreaked havoc on my noggin.

So what does a migraneur (too fancy a word for the wretched condition) do when in the throes of the unique brain fog/pain that is migraine? We drop out of sight for a few days (weeks or months) and lay on the sofa with ice bags on our heads. We live on tea and toast because everything else makes us nauseous. We manage to do a little laundry or a bit of needlepoint and then crawl back to the couch because too much movement intensifies the pain. We watch through the window as squirrels frantically prepare their nests for their spring litter. We nap with our cats and dogs contentedly curled beside us. And we contemplate the world and all its changes. In doing so, I've had an epiphany: our world must be experiencing its very own migraine. Why else is it so screwed up?

Warning: the following is disturbing. On March 11th, WABC News reported a 52 year old grandmother in Chicago cut off the head of her seven month old granddaughter because the child would not stop crying. The woman has been charged with first degree murder and ordered into a mental health institution (too late!) for evaluation. Who does this?! Nobody can tell me the recent be-headings in the Middle East have not planted a despicable seed in the minds of the evil and the disturbed. And while Internet photographs and videos of ISIS slaughtering Christians are commonplace, public outrage fades quickly. Apparently, people recall what Jennifer Lopez wears (or does not wear) more easily than they can recognize a photograph of James Foley (look it up).

On March 15, the New York Daily News reported sixteen year old female gang members engaged in a beat-down on a fifteen year old girl (“beat-down” was not a familiar word when I was a kid) in a Brooklyn McDonald's while witnesses did nothing to stop it, and instead filmed the attack with cell phones and posted it to social media. Oh, where to begin This is wrong on so many levels! A college student writing a thesis on the sociology/psychology of gangs or the negative impact of social media could have a field day with this one.

Far less disturbing, I suppose: WABC News also reported a 32 year old Florida woman was arrested and charged with indecent exposure for dancing naked in Dunkin Donuts. I guess everything really does run on Dunkin.

The world needs a potent anti-depressant abundantly laced with mega-doses of sensitivity and empathy. How else will we check our downward spiral? Yes, I sound like a defeatist, but, hey, I have a migraine.