Headache proofing the house

I woke up with a bad migraine around 5 a.m. with a sinking feeling that this was not going to be a good day. Sensory things worsen my headaches, movement, light, strong smells and noise. Movement isn’t much of a problem, lie still, get the cat to not walk over my head and I’m all sorted unless I have to go to the bathroom. Smells are easy to control indoors. We use green cleaning materials, ask regular visitors not to wear perfume or strong deodorants and use air filters rather than air fresheners. Now that the paint smell is gone, smell is easily controlled.

Noise is not that hard to reduce any more either. We live in a very very quiet neighbourhood and having lived here for six weeks now, the neighbours have caught on that noise is a problem for me and are even quieter than expected. The noisiest thing is the doorbell, but with family using the back door and Chris being able to see the approach to the house from his desk and pre-empt any noise, it rarely rings. The bedroom is my noise free room with no electronic equipment, a window overlooking the large back garden and as such, the most bothersome noises are absent or avoidable.

Light is a problem. The bedroom has a medium size window, but despite a black-out blind and lined curtains, it still lets in an awful amount of light. I dislike having the door closed all the time, it’s a small room and spending hours to days in it makes it feel like a prison cell. As such, we’ve placed a dark curtain over the glass half of the front door, which takes care of that pretty well. There’s also a dark curtain over the glass half of the back door. We now have dark curtains in the living room which doesn’t quite fit across the very large window, but it’s almost there and until I can afford black blackout lined curtains, it’s an acceptable improvement over the old unlined beige curtains. The kitchen has a light yellow curtain in its window  and is still in need of a dark blind across, but I don’t venture into the kitchen on headache days so it can wait. The new nursery has lovely dark curtains, how I adore my in-laws for being considerate when choosing it, but the bathroom is a feast of white and brightness. Wonderful. I hate bright bathrooms. I have an old blue curtain lying around and am hoping we can somehow affix it despite the bathroom being a wet room not only in the practical sense. It’s humid and wet and not waterproof, adding a curtain isn’t going to be easily done, then again, also not impossible.

I always imagine other people moving into a new house thinking about what would look pretty where. I no longer do. As much as I would like to, my first thought is always making it as painless and illness friendly as possible. I love window shopping on-line for useful and pretty things; when I have bad headaches, one of the things I do whilst lying in bed is think how I would decorate the rooms if money was freely available. But somewhere along the line it became less important. Not dislocating joints are important. Not having a week long migraine because it’s triggered again and again is important. Keeping the front door cover up with ducktape, really not all that important any more. Migraine can be nightmarish experiences, but lying deadly still in my bed today in at least semi-darkness, no audible noise, the smell of bland clean air, I was satisfied, until I had to go to the bathroom.

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