On Sunday I woke up in a headachey fog.  This feeling was one I only remembered from long ago.  It had  been so long since I had felt so terrible I thought I must have been mistaken, that this sensation was just a trick someone was playing on me, that it would pass as soon as I got the joke, as soon as I laughed.

I did my regular headache self-care ritual, the things I do that keep these monsters at bay.  The advil, the hot towels, the extra bit of sleep.  But the beast inside my head would not quiet.  I got up and went about my day, convinced that this was all still just an illusion, a memory, a glimpse at a picture postcard of me from another time.

I went to Jackie’s to pick up Max.  He had spent the night with Jake.  I sat and drank water and tried to hold conversation.  I looked pale and puffy and not quite right to anyone.  And then it started.

It has been years since I felt this way, the vomiting, the fury that runs through my body causing convulsions, the intense pain that feels like knives in my head.  Its been years since physical pain has put me in the space of living breath to breath.  Even in the worst of it, I whispered to my sweet self…Breathe, you will come through this…You have so many times before.  Breathe….Now again.

A thunderstorm raged outside, thunder and lightening crashing down on one another.  I thought to myself, how nice of mother nature to move along in empathy of me.  As the rain fell heavy I fell asleep.  And when I woke there was a brief reprieve.  The rain had stopped.  I walked home and collapsed into bed.

Hours later the knives came back.  This time no warm towels, no calming tea, no amount of self care or breathing could contain the pain.  I was laying on the bathroom floor shivering but needing to feel the cool tile underneath my body.  I needed some relief from the fire I felt burning through my head.  I kept trying to think of cooling thoughts.

Odette came in and declared that she was not OK with this.  She was calling help.  I was too weak to argue (much).  I lay and whimpered while she called first one friend and then another.

In the hospital I lay, my dear friend stroking my back and soothing my forehead and whispering to me that my help was coming.  I wanted to believe her and lived one breath at a time.    The nurse came in an injected me with a pain killer.  There was one last violent fight–my body versus me and then slowly relief started to set in.  Tests, hydration, and then release…home to sleep a deep sleep.  Home to slip away into the quiet.

I woke better than I had been in months.  Years even.  The pain was a distant ache, I looked like I had been through hell and back, and felt tired and battle weary but lighter.  Something inside me had burned away in the fire, a distraction, a yearning, a seeking that had finally found rest.

4 Responses to “Headache”

  1. bella Says:

    you know I know how this feels. 🙂
    And you describe so well that feeling after the pain has come, and how it feels like something has been burned away, purged, and you are free and at rest.
    I’m happy you’re feeling better.
    and that you are taking good care.

  2. maggie, dammit Says:

    Good God.

    Oh, honey.


  3. Angie Says:

    Thanks you for sharing. I know that feeling of having something burned away as well. I’ve experienced it many times. Luckily it’s not always accompanied with such severe pain, although I’ve experienced that as well. Sometimes is happens with dreams I call my ‘purging dreams”; dreams so full of imagery and wild chaotic activity that upon waking I feel lighter, as if something toxic and previously unprocessed has been released. I’ve always felt extremely thankful for this process that seems so beyond my own capabilities. There’s a deep part of me that believes that this sort of thing helps me avoid much harsher, more debilitating health problems.
    I hope and pray you’re treating yourself gently today. You’re definitely allowed.

  4. Jennifer Ballantyne Says:

    Oh Meg, I feel so bad that I didn’t know this until today (August 13th):( Oh baby you sure had a headache this time huh? I can’t believe that they can hit people so badly, I mean I can actually because I am no stranger to pain and to what our own bodies can do when something is wrong, but I hate that you had to go through that awful pain. I am so grateful to Odette for getting you to Hospital and thank goodness for good strong pain killers. There is something to be said for modern medicine that’s for sure! Okay darling girl, I hope you are okay now and stay that way, you are away at your gorgeous lake holiday as I write this to you, I just feel really bad that I didn’t know. Anyway sweet friend, take good care and enjoy the rest of your time away. I can’t wait to talk to you when you get back, I miss you terribly. xxxxxxxx Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxx