I hate headaches …

June 5, 2008

I suffer a lot of headaches. I have since I was in high school. The frequency and strength of my headaches increased dramatically when I was in my mid to late twenties and have pretty well persisted until now.

It doesn’t help to have sinus issues and live in southern Ohio, have various animals in and around the house, spend a lot of time in front of the computer monitor, and have numerous stressors that spike periodically that seem to put me in a cycle of day after day of dulled throbbing and occasional shooting pain through my right temple. Nor does it probably help to have a brain that seems unable to slow down except via prescription, or, in my younger years, alcohol or pot.

I’ve been to several doctors over the past couple of decades, general practitioners and even a neurologist who specialized in headache and migraine treatment. I’ve tried medicines to prevent the headaches, and medicines alleged to alleviate them when they strike. At one point I was even on an anti-seizure medicine that had a side effect list that gave me a headache.

I’m also one of those lucky people who suffer not only from regular run of the mill headaches, not only sinus headaches, but stress headaches, clusters, and periodically, migraines. Luckily, the migraines are few and far between. One of the first doctors I went to was fascinated by this variety and seeming delighted to have a full lab experiment in one walking package.

My father very, very rarely gets these goddamned things. My grandfather, grandmother, and aunt and uncle on my mother’s side suffered from them. My mother used to, but as she’s gotten older, she claims to have them less. I can only hope that this is one of the few benefits of my own aging.

Disrupted sleep is probably the biggest trigger for me, although I suspect there may also be a food allergy or two involved. I need 7-8 hours sleep every night. If I wake up several times during the night, I know I stand a good chance of having a headache the next day. If I sleep late, it’s almost guaranteed. Combine both,, waking during the night and sleeping late to catch up, or taking a nap in the morning after I’m already up, and I’m pretty well doomed.

Having a headache for most of the day makes me cranky, but more, it simply wipes me out. I’m burnt, fried, shot, kaput, and can barely think let alone function by the time night time rolls around.

Yay, me.

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