In Bed Summary And Important Questions

In Bed

-Joan Didion

Summary Of “In Bed”

“In bed” is a subjective essay written by an American writer Joan Didion. In this essay writer describes her personal experiences of having a migraine headache.

The writer has migraine 3-5 times a month. In the beginning, she hesitated to share her problem thinking that it would reveal her bad attitudes, unpleasant tempers and wrong thinking. She used to continue her everyday activities, ignoring the pain. When the pain was unbearable, she would try to lessen her pain by putting ice on the right temple. She even wished to have an operation of her brain to get rid of the pain.

Both male, as well as female and the aged, as well as young, can have a migraine headache. The writer first had it when she was eight years old. It is a hereditary disease. She has it because her grandmother’s and parents had it too.

Fall in the level of serotonin causes a migraine headache. Some medicines like methyser-guide can be taken as a preventive but they have quite a lot of side effects. Once a person suffers from it, no medicine touches it. It brings quite a lot of side effects like mild hallucinations, temporary blindness, pain in the sense organs, fatigue and stroke-like aphasia.

When the writer has it, she drives through the red light, loses house keys, drops whatever she is holding, cannot make correct sentences and looks as if she is drunk. The patient of migraine headache has to suffer not only the pain but also the criticism of people. The people who don’t have migraine think that is some imaginary disease and can be cured by simple medicines. The writer corrects this popular misconception of people saying that this is neither imaginary nor simple medicines like aspirin can cure it. The doctor says that the patient of migraine headache has a special type of personality call migraine personality. Migraine personality tends to be inward, ambitious, intolerant of errors, rigidly organised and perfectionist. The writer partly agrees with the doctor saying that she is perfectionist though not rigidly organised.

At the later stage of her life, the writer has developed an intellectual response to her headache. She has also developed an understanding with it that she can have it when she is in minor problems not when she is in serious problems. When she has it, she no longer denies it. She simply goes to bed and lets it happen. She concentrates only on the pain. Tears start flowing down her eyes. It lasts for 10 to 12 hours. After the pain of migraine headache is over, she recovers her freshness again.


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