Monday, March 19, 2012

How To Have a Headache If You're Me

I got a headache today.  This doesn't happen often to me, and it usually has a pretty clear cause.  Today, for example, my right contact lens kept itching, and it was driving me crazy, so I pulled it out and tore it in half.

Naturally, this happened before 10am when I had a whole day of student conferences scheduled.  Conferences about papers.  And, no, of course I don't keep a pair of spare glasses at work.

As I'm pretty damned stubborn, I held the conferences and graded papers with only one contact lens in, and by the time I drove home, my head was throbbing.

Now, according to my mother, a normal person would take a couple of pain relievers, lie down for a while, and the headache would go away.

But I'm stubborn. 

I don't like the idea of taking unnecessary medication, which is, by definition, any medication which I don't absolutely have to take to avoid limbs dropping off.  So, unlike the rumored normal person of which my mother speaks, I tried the following techniques to rid myself of the headache:
  1. Complain about the headache
  2. Drink a glass of water.
  3. Complain more about the headache.
  4. Take out contact lens, put on glasses, and try grading papers.
  5. Rub temples sensuously.
  6. Look up "headache cures" on the google
  7. Look up "symptoms of a brain tumor" on WebMD
  8. Panic about possible brain tumor
  9. Grade another paper.
  10. Whine about headache with slight catch in voice.
  11. Pet the cat.
  12. Surf internet desultorily.  
  13. Rub eyes.  Wish for chocolate.
  14. Whine pathetically about headache.
  15. Have water and ibuprofen shoved into my hands by Mom, who murmurs about the uselessness of higher education 
  16. Take ibuprofen.
  17. Look up possible toxic effects of ibuprofen.  Read effects aloud to Mom until she slaps me with a washcloth.
  18. Realize headache is gone.
 The sad part about this whole thing is that I go through it every damn time I have a headache (plus or minus a cat and a washcloth).  Clearly, something is wrong with me.

Possibly a brain tumor.


  1. You know it's a pretty good thing you're not me, since I have a headache 24/7, unceasing and relentless, with varying degrees of intensity. (michelle)

  2. Michelle,

    Yes, I might have done something violent under those circumstances. Violent and sarcastic.