How to Have a Migraine: A Step-By-Step Guide

Yesterday morning, after I’d gotten up early and stressed own self over adding polls to this here not-blog (good participation, by the way!), I got an email.

“Can you knock this out this morning?”

I wasn’t even at work yet, and already I was anxious. It’s this big, several-tabbed Excel document that I copy edit every month, and of course copy editing is what I do, but this is several rows long, like sometimes 20 rows, and if you know from Excel, it extends all the way to the letter M.

Some squares I have to copy edit. Some I don’t. Some I have to count characters. Some I don’t. And it’s so big that I can’t see it all at once and actually proofread the words in it at the same time, so I have to blow it up and then clunk around on the thing, wondering, “Did I already read that? Did I count characters for this one?”

And always they need it in like two hours.

I keep saying, “Ideally, I’d like five hours to do this thing” but there never are five hours to be spared.

So that makes me tense every month, and there it was, the dreaded spreadsheet. And did I mention I wasn’t even at work yet?

As I was in the middle of that, someone ran up to me. “Can you look at this real fast?” It was a magazine cover. You screw that up, and you cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars to reprint.

So I stopped the scary thing to look at another scary thing, and as I was doing that, my boss’s boss, fmr., came over. “Come back in 20,” I groused, and just as I was getting that cranky sentence out, the phone rang.


Then I finished my scary magazine cover, and my horrifyingly clunky spreadsheet, and addressed the request of my boss’s boss, fmr., and called back the poor person who’d phoned me (I explained to her all that was going on at my desk when she’d called. “You were surprisingly polite, with all that going on,” she said) and boom.

I got an email from a woman I used to work with. “I was hoping we could get a glass of wine or some coffee or something,” she said, and seeing as no one likes me (see above) I agreed immediately. “We can meet somewhere, but also I have four foster kittens at my house, if that’s a thing you’d enjoy.”

I mean, you come to my house right now, you’re gonna be covered in kittens. For some, that is paradise. We’re knocking on heaven’s door. And for others, it sucks. I don’t understand those “others,” either.

Anyway, she agreed that my pad was the place to be.

Meanwhile, I got an immediate-turnaround, emergency article, and it was all financial info that I didn’t understand, and unfortunately for me, there seemed to be a par-tayyy going on at another desk, with everyone talking and laughing, and I was totally Cinderella with her headphones on, tryina concentrate and sweep the hearth.

At 1:00, I finally got done, and headed home for lunch. I’d had one piece of toast all day, and I was feeling decidedly peckish.

But you know how your house seems okay until you know someone is coming over? “Aw, man, I should change the throw rug in the bathroom. Man, I should sweep this floor.”

Next thing you know, almost an hour had passed, and I STILL HAD MY COAT ON, and was taking out the recycling and scrubbing the stove top and oh my god.

I was already late for returning to work when I realized I couldn’t find two of the kittens.

IMG_4771.jpgI was missing goddamn Lexi.

img_4681.jpgAnd motherfucking Vicki, the tortoiseshell. Hey, June, why don’t you recover that chair.

Anyway, having had cats m’whole life, I wasn’t too worried. I looked under chairs, under desks, behind squeezy things.

No cats.

Matt the tabby and Trixie the black one were in their room, being good cats.

me supeer yer
mee 2

MY COAT STILL ON, I started shining a flashlight under things, and by the way, did you ever have your lights off and shine a flashlight on your hardwoods?

MOTHER OF GOD with the fur everywhere. I mean, maybe it’s because lately I’ve had nine fricking animals here, but good lord.

I wrote my boss. Current. “Minor emergency, working from home.” And then, even though I’d gotten everything done that was due, I did work. I figured maybe if I sat still, they’d come out.

Then I started having dreadful thoughts. What if I’d washed them with Edsel’s bed? What if I’d taken them out with the trash? I actually went out and searched the trash.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted and worried. “Ima get a migraine,” I thought, because I also hadn’t eaten, and I know the kind of day I had was like a poster: How To Get a Migraine.

Right at 5:00, I heard a mew. I’d been sitting on the couch, proofreading things, and when I get to work today, Ima be bored stiff, I got so far ahead of self. Really, you get a lot more work done at home.

Anyway, “mew!”

Where was it? Where was I hearing it? Was it outside? Oh, no, was it?



Those mother


were under the sink. And then of course I had to worry they ate poison, but if they did they seem to be thriving on it, so.

My chins and me carrying Lexi back to her room. Fucking adventure cat.

IMG_4985.jpgLater, my pal from work came by, and enjoyed her some kittens and an indifferent Iris. Or was appalled by them. Also, I did not ask her if I could put her in said not-blog, so I hope she does not kick my ass.

IMG_4982.jpgIt’s possible she was more appalled than happy.

Right as she was leaving, I felt the first twinge. It ended up being a two-pill migraine, and I went to bed about 9:00. Felt dreadful.

As I was drifting to sleep spooning Steely Dan (don’t tell anyone), I heard a


IMG_4983 2.jpgFucking adventure tortie, seen here with her good pal and biggest fan, Edsel, had escaped the room, despite the 47 pillows I’ve crammed in the space. Like a day in the sink wasn’t fun enough. Now she has to creep about in the night.

So that was my day, and am sincerely hoping today is more copasetic, especially given that I have a migraine hangover.



Published by


At one point, I was sort of hot, in a "she's 27 and probably a 7" kind of a way. Now I'm old and have to develop a charming personality. Guess how that's going.

42 thoughts on “How to Have a Migraine: A Step-By-Step Guide”

  1. I didn’t read any of the other comments yet so don’t sue me if someone else mentioned this, but you need to request to have two (2) monitors at work (if you don’t have that set up already). It will make your life easier. Plus, I love reading your daily blog. You really know how to write a relatable story. Love the foster kitten stories…little jerks.


    1. I do have two monitors, but the second is too small. I can’t even get them to answer my emails about important stuff, much less about anything I would actually want.



  2. I hope today was better than yesterday. Yeesh. Your kittens continue to make my day! Thanks for sharing them!

    Lovely post, Lovely June!


  3. I am now trying acupuncture for my migraines. I went for my needling yesterday, and last night, got a migraine. So far, not impressed. I did, however, get my chi loosened up, and seemed to have more energy today. So maybe that’s something.

    I didn’t realize that there were specific names for types of cats, aside from formal breeds. I learn so much from you people.

    And I think your girlfriend looks like a famous writer, but I can’t remember her name. So I agree with LNTL and also, have no memory.


  4. LOVE all the pictures of of the petses but especially love the picture of itty bitty on the back of coworker’s shoulder, made me laugh!!! Ack, those itty bitty witty kitties are sooooooo cute!! I want to eat them up! Now see, if I was coworker I would have left with all four tucked in coat pockets, under jackets…winter clothing makes it easy to steal kittens.


  5. Just because I am an Excel guru…you know you can highlight a cell once you’ve finished checking it, so you don’t have to wonder, right? Then just un-highlight everything before you return it to whomever?

    You hate advice. I know. Consider it a software tip, maybe.


  6. You have my sympathies for all the stress that brings the pain straight from hell to your head.

    I would let a vein to be on that couch with kittens in the presence of the illustrious June Gardens. #notcreepyatall

    I hope today is better since you got a lot done yesterday afternoon on kitten watch!


  7. Did I ever tell you about the time Albert (my Siamese) got his stupid ass locked in the microwave? And how I now live in fear?


      1. My microwave is over/above my stove. I was doing something at the sink, turned around, closed the open microwave door (I don’t know why it was left open) and left the kitchen. A little while later, I was down the hall in my bedroom and heard weird clanking noises, so I was going from room to room to investigate. I finally got to the kitchen, narrowed the noises down to the microwave, opened it and discovered a very annoyed Siamese cat, trying to get out. Idiot. Since then, I’ve been paranoid with the What If game: What if I had gone to bed? What if I had left the house for work? What if I had turned it on without looking (unlikely since it doesn’t have to preheat; I can’t think of a reason to put the microwave on without having first opened the door and put something (not a cat) in there). I’m told he wouldn’t have suffocated, but I think he would have and judging by his state after just the few minutes he was incarcerated, either he or the microwave would not have lasted very long.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. My Tortie, Teddi, is the most loving, laid back cat I have ever seen. My son often brings his 2 1/2 year old nephew to spend the night at my house. Teddi lets him lay his head on her, poke her nose ever so gently while saying ‘boop’, and kiss her while holding her still. She is amazing. The downside? My son is allergic to cats. HIs nephew lives with him and his wife. It takes many lint rollings to remove the cat hair from his clothing. He looks like a Furby from rolling on my cats, floors, and furniture. Whoo care ?


  9. I’m addicted to your kitten photos. Makes me want one so bad, but I dare not seek one out. I wish wish wish wish wish for one to just come across my path so that when I pick it up and take it home hubs can’t fuss because he would do the exact same thing. Thank you for sharing and letting me have a minute or two each day to drool over kittenses.


  10. I have a Tortie that my daughter brought home. Daughter has since moved out but left the cat. There are times when I think she’s the spawn of Cat Satan.


      1. My daughter had a tortie, and she was a bitch, but she sure made me laugh. She’d do something to get into trouble, and when you’d say, “Bella!” I swear she said, “Meeee?”


      2. Torties ARE little bitches, and my favorites. Best friend has a tortie with the longest, softest hair. She was rescued in a thunderstorm at the edge of a bar parking lot, half-drowned. Should have known then that the tiny kitten was trouble. She was barely eating on her own…they searched the area around the lot for two days for a mom/other kittens with no luck.

        That tiny fuzzball was undoubtedly the spawn of Satan. Pure, unadulterated evil. She does have a “real” name, but everyone simply refers to her as “Hell Kitty”. Quite fitting.


  11. Why, WHY, doesn’t anyone invite me over to hang out with their FOUR kittens?

    It’s not FAIR! (stamps foot and bridles like Suellen)


  12. Like the visitor’s wardrobe, honest, I would wear it in a heartbeat. And her oh yes pet the kittens as a part of visiting and stress control look.
    Kittens the new Xanax
    Hope you feel better today.


  13. Leaping lizard lords, lady, I finished the sentence about your feeling like Cinderella and was thinking what a shit day you had when you said it was 1:00. How could all of that happen in one morning?


  14. I’ve been retired for 11 years, but with your work description I felt like I was among the working class again. I had many days like that. At least I didn’t have kittens to search for during the stressful times. Or at all. Hope you are migraine-free and a little bored today.

    Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door… I like that song.


  15. I could not handle the stress of your job – I admire you! However, I’m sorry that it also seems to bring on your migraines more often than not. Love the picture of you friend imitating one of those cat trees … they are all over her!


  16. Stupid migraine!
    Love love love the continuation of the kittens.
    I have a way to make reviewing your spreadsheet so much easier if you’re interested.


  17. I don’t know why you don’t have a migraine on the daily, with that much stress in your job. Being the one who has to make sure everything is JUST.SO. would send me over the edge.

    My vacuum has a light on it, which is wonderful, except it illuminates all the dust and pet hair and I am always somewhat appalled at myself for not vacuuming more often. I mean, I get over it, but it’s briefly disturbing.

    Your co-worker looks like someone famous – I just can’t figure out who it is.

    Hope your head is better June, because it sure is pretty!


  18. I want to name a cat Fucking Adventure Torti. It rolls off the tongue.

    Sympathy on your migraine, hon.


  19. I hope you quickly recover. I hate days like that. On an unrelated note, I wonder if you might want to foray into the world of children’s literature with a series about Adventure Cat and Dainty Dog.

    I’d read it!


  20. Wishing you tea and sympathy and a much better day. My comment will be brief for once (yay) because I spent about 10 minutes searching for glasses that were on my damn face. My brain can not be trusted at the moment.


    1. Koala, your search for your glasses reminds me of the time I searched for my keys that were in my damn back pocket. Sometimes, my brain cannot be trusted either. I’ve been known to reach up and touch my face to see if I’m wearing my glasses.

      June, what a horribly stressful day. The kittens’ field trip to explore under the sink would have made me a nervous wreck searching for them. Hope today is much better.


  21. A kitten party. Can’t get any better. I don’t get the other, either. Missing kittens along would stress me, then add the work-related stress, not surprised at the migraine. Hope you feel better and have a light work schedule today.


  22. Those kinds of days make me fall into bed with exhaustion, and then not sleep because I’m over wired and over tired. I’m sorry for your migraine on top of it all.

    The pic of your coworker, fmr. makes me want to come over for wine and kittens.


  23. Sounds like a very annoying day. I hope today is better. If your friend does kick your ass it is really going to hurt with those boots she has on! Any word on Nancy?


Comments are closed.