I am remembering my first bad headache.*
I was in my early teens. The pain at the top of my head had been nagging me all day. Slowly building. By nightfall I was miserable.
This was before I could swallow pills. Strange, but true fact about me: I did not learn to swallow pills (even the smallest ones) until I was in my early 20's.
There were no painkilling options besides pills in my house.
I went to my mom seeking support and sympathy. She put me in her bed with a cool damp washcloth for my head and put the movie, The River Wild, on. I remember my misery being manageable because the movie distracted me just enough from my pain.
Since then I have had a lot of bad headaches.I don't remember most of them. A few stand out not so much because of the pain, but because of the circumstances. But that first headache. It was my introduction into a new and terrifying world of pain. Pain for seemingly no reason. My body revolting against me. And the pain was so significant that it has stayed with me some fifteen years.
I used to be afraid of pain. Terrified. Purposely avoiding anything that might cause me even the slightest twinge of discomfort. Now I know better. I know about what the human body can withstand and survive. And when the pain subsides, go on to thrive. And days like Tuesday, when my head hurts with the pain that almost no pill** can cure, it is that knowledge that I cling to tightly.
*I am going with the very medically accurate term "bad headache" because sometimes my very bad headaches are migraines, sometimes they are sinus headaches, and sometimes they are just my body screwing with me for funsies.
**I have tried lots of different stuff. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Most consistently what works like a miracle straight from God is a massage (too expensive) or a Walitin D + generic OTC Painkiller cocktail (which is also too expensive, but then again so is everything). I have tried a variety of prescriptions and some have worked fantastically with few side effects, but those definitely fall under the category of too expensive. You know what is surprisingly cheap? Suffering. Suffering is a crazy good bargain. Also, you save gas because who wants to drive around when they are suffering? And you save on groceries. Because of the vomiting from the pain. Now that I think about it, suffering is kind of awesome and practical.