Family friend: Oh Victoria, you're positively blooming! How many months are you gone now? Five?
Victoria: Actually, it's my older sister, Jo, who is with child. Canapé?
(stuffs face with devilled eggs)
True story, Secondary School: circa 1992 (i.e I'd be 12)
Victoria: Um, Isabella, I can't carry all this heavy games equipment because of my special tummy condition.
Isabella: What condition?
Victoria: (sticks out tummy as much as possible) I don't want anyone to know, so you can't tell Miss Hamilton, but basically, I'm literarilly pregnant, so you're going to have to carry everything...for 6 months. Sorry.
********Apart from proving that I was a chubby and evil lying teenager, (sorry Isobella, I still feel guilty!) the above does demonstrate that I'm pretty good at being mistaken for a pregnant lady. Oh yes.
And last week, I wanted so badly for someone to think I was pregnant and give me their seat on the tube. But, alas, they did not. I think it was karma payback for Isabella.
I was having a very bad case of migraine hangover (postdrome phase), so I felt as if I was walking around in waste high water, with sacks of sand tied to my feet, and generally battered and bruised. Standing on a crowded rush hour tube, I kept thinking my jelly legs would give way. And because we migraineurs 'look' fine no one is going to offer up their seat unless we make a fuss and ask for one - and obviously that's not British, or sensible. i.e I was just too embarrassed.
I know I'm not the only one who finds travelling on the tube, in the foggy mists of a migraine hangover, incredibly hard. A friend of mine recently tweeted she had to stop on her journey to work, and hide out in a Starbucks to rest - she was so drained. And it's not just when you're in the hangover phase.
Having a migraine on public transport is no picnic. Another friend recently got into real difficulties on the tube. Again, there were no seats in the busy rush hour - and just as one seat came up - a pushy commuter snuck in under her - sending my friend over the edge. Already feeling dis-orientated, tears started to flow (a symptom of her migraine), and to block out the fluro lights (her biggest trigger) she had to cover her eyes. At this point she got a seat, and a kind person did help her out at her stop. As my friend sat covering her face, (I've done the same many a time) worried passengers finally began to pay attention and asked if everything was ok; she explained she was having a migraine. A man in ear-shot said "Oh, a headache." She responded that she couldn't feel her face, this was no headache.....
Anyway. Back to me. So there was I was, jostling along on the tube, debating whether or not I'm going to have to get off at the next stop just so I can find somewhere to sit down, when the red sea of commuters part....and makes way for a pregnant lady bearing a badge with the sacred words "Baby on Board". She is offered about 6 seats. I evilly eye her as she smugly settles into her seat. You can barely tell she's pregnant (which, by the way, is why these badges are amazing, I've had MANY awkward incidents offering my seats to ladies who were not with child.)
Above is an example of one of the badges, which I'm sure many of you will have seen. They're everywhere (probably because Katherine Middleton - right - was recently seen sporting one!) They've revolutionised train travel. No more half hearted debating do you stand up, don't you, do you just avert your gaze and leave it to some other poor sucker to decide.
I think these badges are great and here's my proposition. I want one too. I actually, physically, want one. You can claim them from your local train station, so I was considering just getting one and wearing it on bad migraine hangover days! But then.... maybe poor pregnant ladies would feel hard done by, and also this doesn't do much for furthering understanding of migraineurs and what we go through. So, let's have a migraine badge!
This month's Migraineur Of The Month (Migraine Chick) has already made some rather funky Migraine badges. But she calls them buttons, or pins. Because she's American. She can't help it.
|Image from http://migrainechickie.blogspot.co.uk copyright DL|
And most importantly, well, for my immediate transport purposes, it might get me a seat on the tube. I think my 5 year old niece has a badge making kit so I'm going to start immediately. What should our badges say? 'Migraine On Board - Be Kind.'
Let's brainstorm (excuse the pun) people! Give me your best suggestions.....