Patt Morrison

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Ow! My Head!

As a migraine sufferer -- a ''migraineur,'' or in my case ''migraineuse,'' according to Andrew Levy's book ''A Brain Wider Than the Sky'' -- I was just as absorbed as a whole lot of you were to hear particulars about the affliction that is so painful and so isolating that the word ''headache'' practically trivializes it.

Levy is a lifelong ''migraineur,'' and has charted its appearance throughout history, in likely sufferers from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, Virginia Woolff and Ulysses S. Grant. In some cases it's hereditary, like mine, and some are triggered by weather, visuals, or foods like red wine and chocolate [two of my four major food groups]. Whatever the cause, it's a perfect ''nerve storm,'' a whole-body experience that can extend to nausea, hallucinations, temporary blindness -- well, I'm getting a little queasy just writing it down. Dr. Andrew Charles, who runs the headache research and treatment program at UCLA, took your calls about kinds of migraines and the varieties of treatments that are out there. [Alexander Pope used to inhale caffeinated steam. Works for me.]

You had almost as much to say -- all of it enthusiastic -- about a measure by California Democratic Congresswoman Anna Eshoo to regulate the maximum decibel level of TV commercials. A small thing? Hardly. One guest said, it generates just about the biggest number of complaints to the FCC. As it stands, commercials can be as loud as the loudest moment in the TV show in which they appear, so if something goes ''boom'' in ''Grey's Anatomy,'' that's how loud the commercial can be. The new rule would require them to be no louder than the show's average decibel level. An adman with Saatchi & Saatchi says he thinks those loud commercials are counterproductive -- his clients don't ask for them, and he suspects it may be the broadcasters who are cranking up the sound.

If this reaches the floor of the House and the Senate, will the only ''no'' votes come from TIVO users?

Tomorrow, we'll preview next week's court date as the LAPD argues that it's time to end the federal consent decree, and Comedy Congress welcomes back the returning and hilarious Honorable Gentlelady Aisha Tyler.

-- Patt Morrison

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