Upstaged

 

The lights seemed brighter than usual that night. The music louder than remembered. The movements blurred. The words slurred. The heels on the wood rung jackhammers in his head.

He clenched his teeth and dug his nails into the worn velvet of his seat to keep from squirming.

She’d worked so hard for this.

The years of training. The months of practice. The weeks of rehearsals. The days of excited anxiety as the premiere neared. The long awaited curtain calls.

He was not going to let his daughter’s performance be upstaged by a migraine. Or a stroke. Or an aneurysm.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

61 thoughts on “Upstaged

      • Indeed. I hope he had some good meds… and it didn’t affect his stomach too severely. Memories of walking round and round the room, windows open for the air, quilt around me for the warmth, and hugging a bowl. Eventually, exhausted, I would fall into bed. And I was always okay when I woke. There is much to be said for the decreased levels of oestrogen with menopause!

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      • Oy, poor munchkin that you were … This sounds like a migraines a friend of mine suffers. I’m fortunate that mine aren’t so ‘gastric’ (though I can lose sight in one eye for the duration and sometimes feel like I CERTAINLY feel better if a certain a quarter of my face got lobbed off). I’m glad this isn’t your reality anymore (or so much?) and … yes indeed yay to the hormones finally being off the merry-go-round!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I eventually discovered, makes no difference taking meds if you don’t take them soon enough. And if you do take them soon enough then over-the-counter painkillers are as good as anything. Otherwise, you learn to ride the pain. Yea, I’m glad I don’t get it like that any more. I do get the visual disturbance though… those wonderfully scintilating psychedelic jagged arcs. Last about 20 minutes. Then gone. Apparently it has nothing to do with migraine, and is genetic (my father has them)

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      • Scintillating sctotoma can come with or without migraine. It can be a sign of migraine. It can also be a co-occurence with migraines or more prevalent in migraine sufferers. But it does not always mean a migraine (so basically, there’s some elusive connection/association but no real understanding of what the heck that thing is …). I get them, too. Often. Sometimes they herald a migraine. Often times not. So I don’t treat them as ‘migraine apocalypse heralds’ … As for medications … some do well on a prophylactic daily thing. I don’t take that, but I do find that I benefit from taking something to knock if off course, which really helps. Not an OTC, but with few side effects, so that works for me. I’m grateful that I have a way to manage it. I think half the battle won is to not feel helpless about it, have some things you know you can do and/or ways to endure it.

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      • Yeah, I know. I cannot see much when they happen, but they pass, and for the most part aren’t a big deal. If I were driving now, it would probably tricky to continue driving, but since they are gradual, there’s a ‘warning’ that would allow me (had that been a current reality – one needn’t drive in NYC …), to stop at the side of the road or some other safe place till it passed. Nuisance, as you said. πŸ™‚

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      • It was the frequency of migraines in my 20s that decided me not to drive. In those days, the first sign wasn’t the scintilations but holes in my visions through which things disappeared… like half a head, or a car!

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  1. Na’ama Y’karah,

    Bless his heart. I understand about migraines. I get them…usually just the aura, but they can throw everything off kilter. But I won’t belabor that. I could feel his determination and pain. Well done. Hope he can hang on for her. (and that it’s “only” a migraine).

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I think many of us know migraine in one way or the other, directly or ‘by proxy’ … Yes, I hope he soldiered on and I do hope, as you do, that it was ‘only’ a migraine. To be fair, a sense of doom can often accompany a bad migraine, and it is not unreasonable for a person to wonder whether it’ll kill them … Some people take their lives when they have unrelenting migraines, but fortunately, most migraines are not in of themselves a life-risk per se (especially when other issues have been ruled out), miserable-making as they can be. …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, it helps to remember that it IS neurological in origin AND affected by a lot of other systems … and that if other issues have been ruled out, it is most likely ‘just’ a migraine. But that doesn’t mean that if there are new symptoms or a more severe one out of the blue, one doesn’t ‘go there’ in their mind. It would make sense to, really. xoxo

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    • Yeah, he is. And … migraines are very commonly one-sided, and can include all of what you listed and then some, in all kinds of combinations … There ARE better treatments today, at least for some forms of Migraines. some of them manage to prevent or minimize the number and severity of migraines. Others help ‘abort’ a migraine before it reaches a peak. I hope one day there will be an outright cure, yes!

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  2. You tell this story very well, Na’ama. I love the opening paragraph with “The movements blurred. The words slurred.” You used many short sentences but the story still flowed – I’m not quite sure how you managed that – I’ll have to study a bit harder!
    It was a lovely inventive take on the prompt too. Having had a daughter who had several professional roles before she was 10, I can really empathise with “The years of training. The months of practice. The weeks of rehearsals. The days of excited anxiety as the premiere neared.” What a good dad you describe, enduring the misery of migraine so his daughter could enjoy her hour of triumph!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Penny! I’m so glad you liked it! I’m a run-on, paragraph-length sentence person myself … and I find that these flash-fiction challenges are fantastic practice for helping me balance longer sentences with short ones. So, YEAH to having it work! πŸ™‚ Sometimes the recipe comes out better than other times, and if this one came out yummy, I’m gratified!
      And … yes … so many parents sit through these rehearsal sand recitals, string screeches and dance bobbles … It’s a work of love, ain’t it? πŸ™‚

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  3. All I can say is, Oy!

    If that’s what happens, and what his worries are, at nice events, besides being a schmendrick, better he should maybe not go to the events, and just watch the videos later, and let the family know how proud he was of them. Keep it simple.

    Randy

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    • Indeed if this was something he’d known ahead of time, but if it came upon him while already in the theater, I guess the options are more limited. Either way, I hope he ain’t a schmendrick but mensch … πŸ˜‰

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      • Maybe, but it certainly sounded like these episodes were not new to him since he worried about it. If it was new, it seems to me that it wouldn’t have crossed his mind. But what do I know? Certainly I don’t know this guy and hope he is a real mensch – at least for his family’s sake.

        Randy

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      • Ah, you raise fine points, Randy.
        Perhaps he should’ve known this situation could’ve been a trigger. Perhaps he’d been in similar conditions without issue before. Who knows. In any event, I do hope he handles it as a mensch and not a schmendrick … πŸ˜‰

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    • Oh dear is right … and … I know about migraines, too. I think any of us who know of them – personally or through loved ones or both – can relate to at least some of that piece … And, I hope this dad got through the performance and out the other side with migraine gone before the after-party …

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