Summary of In Bed | Magic of Words | Grade XI

Summary of In Bed: Joan Didion

‘In Bed’ is an essay by American writer Joan Didion. In this essay, she describes migraine headache, which is recurrent one side pain and hereditary disease. Didion shares her personal experience of migraines. Migraine can’t be cured permanently. It can be prevented by using drugs and injections. Although it gives severe pain but does not take life. When it attacks the patient feels sudden irritation and flush of blood into the brain.

Migraine gives some people mild hallucinations (the illusion of past), temporary blinds, disturbance in the digestive system, pain in sensory organs, sudden tiredness and weakness. Some people can’t speak and see clearly. Stress, allergy, fatigue, sweating, a sudden change in air pressure, an unexpected event, a flashlight or fire may cause migraine headaches.

John Didion says that she spends three of five times a month in bed because of migraines. It makes her almost unconscious. So, she takes drugs to avoid it. Al, first she denied it, so, she used to lie although she passed one or two days painfully. She did all this to save herself from inferiority, bad attitudes, unpleasant tempers, and wrong think.

Didion didn’t have any other physical problems like a brain tumor, eyestrain, and blood pressure. She always fought with migraines, which would cause tears at her right face, vomiting and extreme pain. So, she used to wish for removing a part of her brain. She had her first attack when she was eight years old. At present, she accepts it peacefully. She seems like a drunkard, can’t see and speak clearly while having a migraine.

Generally public or non-sufferers think that it is an imaginary problem and patients refuge to take medicine. Didion’s grandmothers and parents had a migraine. Her husband has also migraine So, she is lucky. At first, she tried a lot to remove it by using two injections daily but it was not cured. Now, she has a good understanding of migraines. It never comes to her when she is in trouble.

When it comes, she does not fight against it rather lies down and lets it happen. She concentrates over pain which lasts for ten or twelve hours. When it is over, her anger and anxiety so away with it. She opens the window, feels the air, eats gratefully and sleeps well.

Difference between migraine and ordinary headaches:

  1. Migraine is one side pain but ordinary headache covers the whole bed.
  2. Unlike an ordinary headache, migraine is hereditary and can’t be cured.
  3. Migraine is severe recurrent pain causes tiredness, sweating, vomiting, stomach problem but ordinary headaches for a short time and does not cause multiple problems.
  4. People have misconceptions about migraines they define it as imaginary, pretentions and blame sufferers for not using medicine but they do not argue in the cause of ordinary headache.
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