Down and Out

I’ve been out of action for the last few days fighting a migraine, well fighting may be too strong a word. I lay there statue-like. My eyes are very light-sensitive when I have a migraine and so moving around even if I wanted to is a problem. In Costa Rica  even with the blinds closed the sun blasts its lovely light into the rooms around the edges of them. If you have never suffered with a migraine it is extremely difficult to explain to others the level of localised pain, my left eyeball always feels like it is swelling up to the point where it is going to explode.


I will have residual pain in the eye for days after the migraine is gone, a bit like an extended hangover without the nausea. I hate any light or sound and try to cocoon myself in a dark room. I’ve never had much luck with migraine medication but when I can keep it down (big problem), ibuprofen will take the edge off. Everyone that suffers is different but we all develop our own coping strategies. I can’t see very well at the beginning, I get weird flashes in my eyes, so eyes tightly shut, left side of my face buried in a pillow, and have the room as cold as I can stand it and try to sleep.

Three days later I am up and able to do things, I got out of bed for a short while last night but just lay on the sofa so that doesn’t really count. My Love knows after all this time to just check on me every now and again but mainly to just leave me alone to get on with it.

Today I am able to get on with things that have been mounting up while I have been lazing in bed – mainly hoovering up the dead bodies (see: Chance Encounters) which was a priority due to their number. Either ML needs to get his eyes tested or is being selective in what he sees, the latter being more likely, but the last time they were disposed of was by me at the beginning of the week.

Of course he could have been thinking of me and the pain I was in and not adding additional background noise.

A surprising variety of bodies for once, normally it is just ant bodies but I found a couple of spiders, a large beetle and something long and thin with many legs. They were all thankfully dead and the hoover soon cleared them away. There have also been apparently during my sojourn in the sickbed a number of scorpion demises – thank you ML and a large spider sighting.

But it moved too quickly to be splatted with the fly swatter so an additional spray of insect killer was liberally sprayed around by ML. I have convinced myself that its dead body is lurking either behind, under or inside a piece of furniture or one of the millions (slight exaggeration but not much) of pots that the owner of this house has chosen to decorate it with.

Another thing that had accumulated was the washing up – thank you ML although not as much as I would have expected so either he did some washing up or, more likely he has been living off lumps of cheese and crackers which only require a knife and a small plate.

He has been overindulging in cheese since the weekend as we have found a new supermarket. Well we saw it when we visited Playa del Coco the first time but as it was Christmas time and it was seething with people and ML absolutely hates crowds and queues in supermarkets we didn’t even get through the door. Well we took a trip there recently and if I could sing I would have burst into Oh Happy Days like the choir in Sister Act 2.

IMG_2933It was clean, bright, air-conditioned, and they had everything that my little heart could desire. ML was in heaven, the selection of cheeses and sliced meats were more than he could have hoped for. If he could get away with it he would be more than happy to live on cheese, crackers and fish sandwiches.

We were able to find all sorts of foodstuffs which we haven’t seen since we got here. gravy mix, couscous, English muffins, Heinz sandwich spread to name but a few of the things that found their way into our trolley.

There were recognisable brands and of lot from the US that I had never heard of. Also the US seem to do some very strange things with food, there seems to be lots of sweet things added to savoury food, e.g. baked beans.

Baked beans are one of the foods that I miss the most, so when I saw them I got so excited (simple things ………) but then I read the label. Who in their right mind would mix baked beans with brown sugar and hickory or baked beans with honey? I was so disappointed but I decided that honey was the lesser of the two evils and got a tin to try.

Honey Brown-Sugar-Hickory

Oh My God, I could feel the enamel on my teeth being eaten away by the sugar, I don’t think I have ever put anything that was supposed to be savoury into my mouth that was so sweet.

-mint-cakes-01It ranked up there with Kendal Mint Cake – if you are unaware of what this is it is an energy bar much loved by walkers, mountaineers and climbers, it is in effect a bar made of sugar, glucose and peppermint.

Edmund Hilary and his team carried bars on their ascent of Mount Everest, Ernest Shackleton took some with him when he led the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (also known as the Endurance Expedition) and more recently Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on their motorcycle trip around the world took some with them.

I persevered for a couple of mouthfuls but ended up throwing the abomination that was masquerading as baked beans away. When I read the info on the side of the tin it was to find that it contained 765 calories and they say a portion is a quarter of a can.

beans (1024x516)How can you have beans on toast with such a small amount of beans? Maybe a plate of beans on toast isn’t eaten in the US like it is in the UK – maybe we need to educate them on the joys of thick cut buttered toast with a tin of baked beans on top.

There was another make that said Pork and Beans so I may give them a whirl but I will not be trying the Hunt’s beans again.

The final accumulation was the ironing, ML had put the washing on and hung it up to dry but as when I was in the UK on my short visit it wasn’t ironed. It was neatly folded into two piles awaiting the iron.  At least he didn’t put the clothes on hangers and put them crumpled into the wardrobe this time.

See you can teach an old dog or should I say a dog in his prime (sorry darling) new tricks.

So I spent nearly 2 hours doing the job I hate most, it was only made tolerable by having the last two episodes of Call the Midwife to watch. I’m not sure how widely the show is shown around the world but I know a lot of BBC series are well known outside the UK. Anyway I won’t spoil it if you haven’t seen series 5 yet but I ended up with tears running down my face – not from the ironing although sometimes I feel like it but from the TV programme.

So now I am up to date with everything – well nearly everything if I was Super Housewife I’m sure that duster flicking and bathroom scrubbing would come into the picture. But as I am not nor never will be, the house is clean and tidy and so long as you don’t want to eat your dinner off the floor I’m done for the day. I’d much rather be writing anyway.

Living in Costa Rica

Blog Expat: living abroad


3 thoughts on “Down and Out

  1. I love your writing and plan to visit again:) I have also struggled with migraines while all of my work piles up. However, diet changes have significantly reduced the frequency and severity of my migraines. I’m posting about it if you want to visit.


    1. Thank you, I’m glad you have enjoyed my blogs, I have suffered with migraines now for over 40 years although I don’t get them as often as I used to. Mine are more often than not triggered by flicking lights especially sunlight through trees. I will definitely have a read of your page to see what you have to say.


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