In Bed

Lesson 20

In Bed by Joan Didion

 

Summary

 

'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 migraine. 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 patient feels sudden irritation and flush of blood into the brain. Migraine gives some people mild hallucinations (illusion of past). temporarily blinds, disturbance in digestive system, pain in sensory organs, sudden tiredness and weakness. Some people can't speak and see clearly. Stress, allergy, fatigue, sweating, sudden change in air pressure, an unexpected event, a flashing light or fire may cause migraine headache.

 

Joan Didion says that she spends three to five times a month in bed because of migraine. It makes her almost unconscious. So, she takes drugs to avoid it. At first she denied it, so, she used to lie although she passed one or two days painfully. She did all this to supe herself from inferiority, bad des, unpleasant tempers and wrong think. Didion didn't have any other physical problems like brain tumor. eyestrain, and high blood pressure. She always fought with migraine, 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 drunkard, can't see and speak clearly while living 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 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 good understanding with migraine. It never rooms to her when she is in trouble. When it contes, she does not fight against it rather lie down and lets it happen. She concentrates over pain which lasts for tent or twelve hours. When it is over, her anger and anxiety go with it. She opens the window, feel the air, eat gratefully and sleep well.

 

Difference between migraine and ordinary headaches

 

·      Migraine is one side pain but ordinary headache covers whole head.

 

·      Unlike ordinary headache migraine is hereditary and can't be cured.

 

·      Migraine is severe recurrent pain cuses tiredness, sweating, vomiting, stomach problem but ordinary headache occurs for short time and does not entse multiple problems.

 

·      People hce misconception for migraine, they define it as magistry, pretentious med blame sufferers for not using medicine but they do not argue in case of ontinary lundache.




Short Answer Questions

 

1. How does Joan Didion like to challenge those people who believe that migraine can be cured by taking some kind of pain-killer? [5]

 

2070 Set D Q.No.5c, 2071 Set D Q.No.5b, 2072 Partial B Q.No.5d, 2073 Set C Q.No.5d, 2074 Q.No.5a, 2074 Set A Q.No.5a and 2076 Set C Q.No.5d

 

The essay, "In Bed" introduces migraine headache with its symptoms and the methods of treatment. Migraine headache is medically a type of severe recurrent headache, usually in onside of the head, this is a physiological defect and is caused by the sharp fall on the blood in the nerve Hermon called serotonin. Migraine is a purely a hereditary disease and can't be treated by medicine. From a child to the adult person can be affected by the headache. This is not a serious disease A person suffers from the serious diseases like brain tumor and high blood pressure doesn't mean that he/she has got migraine. It has some symptoms.

 

Headache is not continuous if it occurs it lasts long some times. Migraine attack occurs almost four to five times in a month. It temporarily blinds during the aura. Mild hallucinations, false sense perceptions, and illusion nightmare are some other symptoms. Again, Didion says gastrointestinal, stomach ache, digestive gastric disturbances are the symptoms of the migraine headache. Overpowering fatigue, exhaustion tiredness, weariness, weakness, lethargy, are the symptoms. Aphasia, lack of language abilities, chilling sweating, and nausea, sickness of the stomach or the unsettling feeling in the stomach that accompanies the urge to vomit are the other symptom that Didion has enlisted in the essay. After that she offers the methods of treatment.

 

While talking about the treatment, she says the drug the lobotomy and other means of denial and treatment can't solve the problem. She gives a psychological method of treatment. She believes that we have to develop a level of adjustment with migraine instead of avoiding it. She advocates the migraine victims to concentrate in the pain instead. Like an imposed yoga we have to tolerate and make a good friend of ours There should be the understanding between the victim and migraine. This is only the treatment of migraine suggested by Didion.




2. What experiences does the author express about migraines? (5)

 

2066 Partial E Q.No.5a, 2074 Partial Set C Q.No.5d and 2075 Partial E Q.No.5a

 

Joan Didion has expressed her experience in particular and the migraine headache in general in the essay "in Bed." She has a migraine headache which she shares with her reader: Joan Didion has migraine three or four times every month. In the beginning, she was afraid to admit that she had migraine She was afraid she wouldn't get job because of that headache Joan Didion's parents and grandparents also suffered from migraines. Her husband had migraine. She went for the treatment but didn't get help She suffered a lot and wished for lobotomy She complains that people don't take migraine seriously. Many people think migraines are imagined They think migraine suffers make themselves ill by worrying too much This is partly true Joan Didion has learnt to live with migraines because she can't avoid them. She has built the friendship with migraine and builds a level of understanding between them. Thus, she has left fighting against it by denying. She has learnt to accept it, respect it When migraine has finished, Joan Didion feels better. She takes herself as a lucky woman.



3. Point out some popular misconceptions about migraine headache. [5]

 

2070 Set C Q.No.5b, 2071 Set C Q.No.5d, 2073 Partial B Q.No.5d, 2074 Set B Q.No.5d and 2074 Set B Q.No.5d

 

The essay, " In Bed" introduces migraine headache which is different from the ordinary headache, Migraine headache is medically a type of severe recurrent headache, usually in onside of the head This is a physiological defect and is caused by the sharp fall on the blood in the nerve Hermon called serotonin. Migraine is a purely a hereditary disease and can't be treated by medicine. From a child to the adult person can be affected by the headache. This is not a serious disease. A person suffers from the serious diseases like brain tumor and high blood pressure doesn't mean that he/she has got migraine. It differs from the ordinary headache in number of ways.

 

Migraine headaches are different from common headaches. To begin with, migraine headaches are inherited whereas common headaches are not Migraines have an aura period but common headaches do not have any Common headache can be cured by taking painkillers but if migraine headache stars, no painkiller can work. But it can be prevented it drugs are taken in the aura period Migraines have different symptoms in different people but common headaches don't have any symptoms Migraine is a physiological error but common headache is not Migraine is caused by a hormone called serotonin, When the amount of it in the blood falls sharply, migraine headache starts but common headache does not have any such chemistry Migraines are not cured. They can be prevented by taking drugs in the aura period but if once the actual headache starts, it goes on continuously for longer hours. Such headaches are very strong and unpleasant.



4. Why does the author call her husband unfortunate, but fortunate herself? Give reasons. [5)

 

2061 Q.No.5c and 2073 Set D Q.No.5d

 

"In Bed is popular essay by Joan Didion. In the essay she expresses her experiences in a meticulous way. While doing so in one area she mentions that she is fortunate because her husband has also got the migraine headache. Didion has said this not in the negative sense. It doesn't mean to say that she wanted her husband would suffer rather thinks that he might really feel the pain the writer has felt. He would not develop the mis-concept regarding the headache. She would not have to struggle to teach him about the headache. In other words, since writer's husband was also suffering from migraine, he would understand writer's pain very well. He also faces same pains as the writer. He doesn't blame the writer. Otherwise, he would say that her wife was pretending. So, the writer takes herself as fortunate.



5. What wrong concept do people have about migraine? Have the wrong concepts been corrected so far? Explain. (5)

 

2072 Supp Q.No.5d

 

General people have wrong concept about migraine. People do not take migraine seriously. They think that a couple of aspirin tablets can cure it. Migraine is an imaginary disease for them. People have migraine because they don't want to have medicine But Didion corrects such misconceptions. A migraine victim has to learn to live with it. Migraine has to be one's friend because we connote avoid it. When it is on its way, we should i.e. in her bed. Didion says we have to concentrate on it. She says we should stop worrying about any other anxieties. We should let it happen. When pain goes away, we feel better appreciate the beauty of nature and think it to be our luck.



6. What are the symptoms and treatment of migraine? [5]

 

2068 Q.No.4b and  2072 Partial A Q.No.5c

 

Didion's “In Bed” is deeply personal essay depicting the experience of a debilitating migraine in clear and graceful prose while maintaining striking technical accuracy. It explores Didion's struggle with migraine headaches and her journey to accepting their presence in her life. She clearly explains the history and science behind migraines and her personal revelations and honesty offer credence to her insights. The essay introduces migraine headache with its symptoms and the methods of treatment. Migraine headaches medically a type of severe recurrent headache, usually in a side of the head. This is physiological defect and is caused by the sharp fall on the blood in the nerve Hermon called serotonin. Migraine is a purely a hereditary disease and can be heated by medicine. From a child to the adult person can be affected by the headache. This is not a serious disease. A person suffers from the serious diseases like brain tumor and high blood pressure doesn't mean that he has got migraine. It has some symptoms.

 

Headache is not continuous if it occurs it lasts long sometimes Migraine attack occurs almost four to five times in a month It temporarily blinds during the aura Mild hallucinations, false sense perceptions and illusion nightmare are some other symptoms Again Didion says gastrointestinal, stomach ache, digestive. gastric disturbances are the symptoms of the migraine headache Overpowering fatigue, exhaustion, tiredness weariness, weakness, lethargy, we the symptoms. Aphasia, lack of language abilities, chilling. sweating, and nausea, sickness of the stomach or the unsettling feeling in the stomach that accompanies the urge to vomit are the other symptom that Didion has enlisted in the essay. After that she otters the methods treatment.

 

While talking about the treatment, she says the drug the lobotomy and other means of denial and treatment can't solve the problem She gives a psychological method of treatment. She believes that we have to develop a level of adjustment with migraine instead of avoiding it. She advocates the migraine victims t0 concentrate in the pain instead Like an imposed yoga we have to tolerate and make a good friend of ours There should be the understanding between the victim and migraine This is only the treatment of migraine suggested by Didion.

 

Thus, Didion concisely details what a migrant headache is what the symptoms are, and now treated Her matter-of-fact language successful depicts the pain and frustration of migraines without seeming as if she is trying to invoke sympathy.



7. Write about the suffering and bitter experience of Joan Didion as a migrainous person. [10]

 

2058 Q.No.4b

 

In Bed', an essay by Joan Didion depicts her bitter experiences suffering with migraine headache, which she inherits from her parents. She presents something unusual about the disease in a more philosophical and meditative domain of thought. In this meticulously styled essay Joan expresses her personal experiences so as to define migraine headache and serve with the alternative.

 

Joan spends her day in bed there almost five times a month because of the migraine headache She knows that she is going to be attacked by the headache when she feels some sort of irritation and flow of blood in the vessels of her brain. To avoid the attack, she takes some medicines and starts to work. In her earlier days, she thought that she would get rid of the disease just by denying it. Sometimes she even tells lies saying that she did not have the attack frequently. But the truth was that sometimes the attack was quite violent and long lasting However, she feels good that she does not have any other physical problems, such as brain tumor, eye strain or high blood pressure. She also tries to do all her normal work in spite of it. During the attack her right temple (head) would suffer extreme pain and tears would roll down from her right eyes. She would also vomit. Generally, the headache may also be caused by stress, allergy, and tiredness, an abrupt change in blood pressure, a flashing light or a fire drill It's strange that no medicine works effectively in case of migraine, especially when the attack begins. Some people may have hallucination, blinding effect, stomach problem, tiredness and pain in all the senses along with headache. They are even unable to do their normal work. During the attack Didion can't see and speak clearly. She looks as if she has drunk some wine. But the headache never takes anyone's life. It is interesting to know what doctors believe about a migraine sufferer. They said that the individual is ambitious, inward, and intolerance of unbearable pain But Didion's untidy hair and carelessness in housekeeping do not point out her migraine quality However her great effort to write and rewrite a single paragraph for a week reveals some sort of perfection

 

Finally, she accepts the diseases and lives with it. She develops a level of understanding instead of denying it When she has it she simply concentrates on the pain like an imposed yoga and waits for the time when it leaves her But after ten or twelve hours she gets some sort of refreshment and spiritual power. She opens the window and feels the air, eats gratefully and sleeps well. She feels as if she is blessed by God. Therefore, she is happy.

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