Friday, January 22, 2010

Headache remedy

I woke up at four o'clock this morning with a real whopper of a headache. Which is, I believe, my least favorite way to wake up, my favorite way being my husband leaning over my side of the bed and whispering, "Honey! Someone pushed a cashier's check for a million dollars under our front door during the night. Let's go out for breakfast!"

With the weather doing its weird thing lately -- temps in the teens, temps in the thirties, temps in the forties, sunshine, rain, sleet, snow and who knows what-all else -- it's just a fact that my head is going to hurt. It is my faithful barometer, one I've been able to depend on ever since I first starting getting sinus migraines in the second grade: My pediatrician thought I had a brain tumor or more likely that my GREAT BIG BRAIN was so smart that it was just, like, overflowing my head, I'm sure that's right, and sent me for x-rays. But just turned out that my sinuses hate me.

My headache remedy is this: I start out with four ibuprofen tablets and a cup of coffee or tea for the caffeine. The microwave heating bag Katie made me -- Katie, bless you a THOUSAND TIMES for that wonderful thing -- feels very good on my neck. After I get those first four tablets down, I eat something with protein in it so that I won't get sick. Those of you who get bad headaches, whether they're sinus migraines or some other sort of hideousness visited upon you, know that there's a delicate balance between so much PAIN that you get sick to your stomach, or so much MEDICINE that you get sick to your stomach. Keep a little bit of food going, I find, and nausea is held at bay.

I swallow two acetaminophen tablets about half an hour after the ibuprofen. Then I wait about an hour and if I feel any better at all, I just stay in a holding pattern, applying caffeine and protein-y food judiciously. I am violently allergic to both aspirin and naproxen sodium (Aleve), so those meds are both out for me. I'm not really a candidate for actual migraine therapy, so I don't need the high-octane medications that several of my friends use.

If I don't feel better, I take two more ibuprofen.

The best thing I can do for a headache is to keep as still as possible -- walking or driving just make things worse -- and trying to distract myself from the pain, which is what I'm doing right now. Unlike "real" migraines like my friend Beth gets, I don't see an aura, which is the typical precursor of a migraine headache, I'm told, and I'm not sensitive to light, but sound? I'd prefer that all three dogs NOT bark at every single passerby that walks by the house. And even though I deeply love Chris Daughtry, there's only so much of him I can take when my head hurts.

If I just sit and do nothing, it makes my head hurt worse because all I can think is "Ow. My head hurts." The best thing for a sinus headache is listening to the television. Reading is second. Being on the computer is third best, which is why I'm planning on logging off...




What's your remedy for a bad headache?


Krista said...

So funny...I have almost exactly the same headache regime. I have taken just about every migraine medication known to mankind, but after time it always seems to fade in effectiveness over time. So I'm left with something very similar to what you do, other than substituting soda for coffee. I cannot do coffee when I have a headache...instant vomiting results.

Kayte said...

Hope you are feeling so much better now. So sad to think of you not your usual cheery self.