I Talk about My Heachache but It's Really Not Boring ... Well, Maybe

I first have to say thank you to those who expressed their sympathy over my recent headachiness. I have had migraines since I was a teenager, but this is the worst in a long time, since I was in college, in fact. I remember it like it was yesterday ... though in fact it was about ten (TEN!) years ago.

At that time, I did not yet have a car, but I was living in the upperclassmen dorms, so I was doing all right. I had had a headache for two days and my ears were stopped up and I was feverish, so I borrowed my roommate's car and went to the doctor (this was going to cost my father a lot of money, so I didn't tell him until afterwards).

It turned out that I did in fact have a fever and the doctor went into a bunch of gross detail about how the fever was melting wax in my ears which was then stopping up my ears, or something. I tend not to listen to doctors because they give you a bunch of nonessential information when what they should be telling you is, "Here are some happy drugs. Take them; they're free!" Not only did he jabber on about earwax and other disgusting stuff, but he then proceeded to take what I can only assume was a tapestry needle of some sort, stuck it in my ear, and rooted around in there for a while before he pulled out a teeny-tiny, almost invisible glob of earwax.

"How's that feel?" he asked.
"What?" I yelled, because ... get it?

I left the office with an irrational fear of crafting tools and a prescription for Imitrex, for my migraine, and headed off toward the Walgreens. I was wandering around the store looking at all the As Seen on TV products when I heard this: "Mei Flower, please come to the pharmacy," and I was psyched, because I thought my medicine was ready and then I could go back to my dorm room and pop some pills and go to sleep and wake up all fresh and new.


The pharmacist was really nice, probably because I looked like I might die at any moment, and she said, "I can fill this prescription for you, but it's going to be $200." My chin hit the floor (because, $200?? Add a couple more zeroes, just for fun lady; I AM A COLLEGE STUDENT) and I think I swooned for real because she was like, "I-can-see-if-theres-a-generic-brand-or-you-could-try-another-pharmacy-whatever-you-want-to-do-is-fine-why-dont-you-sit-down-for-a-few-minutes."

When I recovered, I said, with as much dignity as I could muster, "Let me call my mom and ask her what to do." This was in the days before everybody in the whole world had a cell phone, and naturally Walgreens didn't have any pay phone, so I had to go over to the Schnuck's and stand outside waiting for a particularly disreputable-looking person to get off the phone. Normally, I would have wiped that thing down with antibacterial gel until the plastic had melted away, but at the time I was already sick and also getting a little desperate, so I just grabbed it and started shoving coins in the slot. (Making a long-distance call on a pay phone may just be one of the most pathetic things you can do, by the way. It just made me feel ... I don't know ... destitute. Well, that sounds snobbish, so ... good one, Mei Flower).

So when my mom answered, I immediately began sobbing right there in public, at Schnuck's, and since my mom is a mom, she was able to translate everything I said into recognizable words (this is a talent I do not have. I cannot understand my own students sometimes when they are speaking English. Although, come to think of it, MY definition of "English" and THEIR definition of "English" sometimes don't line up. However, I am not willing to be a mom just so I can make sense of my students' language; that is a little bit TOO dedicated). Of course I was also having problems hearing her, because of the deadly combination of pay phone, random public nuisances, and the seemingly incredible masses of wax pouring into my ear canals.

She told me to just get the prescription, get myself ready to come home, and she would come get me and then we would fill the prescription for a reasonable amount of money (five dollars, WOO!) and she would baby me and pamper me until I was all better. Talk about a good deal, there. So of COURSE that's what I did, because I am not stupid.

Back to the present day: this headache I had has lasted four days. That's right, four days, people. I HAVE SUFFERED (though not in silence; that's not my way).

I have taken non-prescription drugs like they are candy (like Tic-Tacs, to be specific, because when I was a kid I would pretend that Tic-Tacs were medicine, but then I would have to take a "pill" like, every six seconds, so if Tic-Tacs actually WERE medication, I would SO have had my stomach pumped).

I have tried sleeping it off. I have used cold washcloths, hot washcloths, putting my head under the shower spray, sitting up, laying down, moving, not moving. I even glanced at the electric screwdriver, but I have this fear of dying by myself, because I think my cat might eat my face, so I discounted that pretty quickly.

Next time, I am just getting the Botox.

[Silver lining: I did not go to school for two days (this will bite me in the butt Monday, so it's maybe more of a charcoal-grey lining. Ooh! Or, like, tarnished silver, that I have to polish myself. No! Like that cheap PLASTIC silver, that comes on those rings that come out of vending machines, and it turns your finger green and then chips off so you have little silver glittery pieces on your face or in your hair for days. Yeah, more like that).]

Yesterday, I took so much medicine that I was too hopped up to sleep and didn't go to bed until 4:00 a.m. Even then, I didn't sleep well, and also I had weird dreams, like there was this one where I was hunting down a killer and my posse and I divvied up weapons or something. I don't know.

I got up at 8:00 to get ready for my knitting class (oh, I still went. I paid $40 dollars; I'M GOING) and took some more drugs before I left.

I still had a headache after the knitting class, so THEN I decided it was time to go for the Imitrex. I went to my parents' house and said to my dad: "Shoot me up, doc."

See, my migraines are hereditary; I get them from the Flower side of the family (my mother would tell you that EVERYTHING bad came from the Flower side, but I do believe the Firewater Love and stock in casinos came from HER side, right Mom?). My dad gets them all the time, and he carries around his Imitrex needles like they are Epi-pens or something.

I've never had an Imitrex shot before, but, once again, I was desperate. Also, my ears were all stopped up, and ever since that stupid doctor all I have been able to think about in terms of my ears is rivulets of streaming earwax coursing through my head. I KNOW.

The injector is not actually a needle, but one of those spring-loaded things, like the thing the Red Cross lady pricks you with when you give blood. So I had psyched myself up for the shot and I was totally ready, and right before he pressed the plunger, my dad goes, "This may burn a little."

Now, if he had given me time to respond, I might not have gone through with it. However, my dad, he knows me well, and he knows I am a big ol' chicken, so he just slammed that needle into my leg without warning. The part where the needle went in didn't hurt at all, but the part where the Imitrex went in about lifted me off the couch, because to say it "burn[ed] a little" is so much of an understatement that it deserves a place in the Guinness Book. Perhaps it would be more truthful to say something like, "Other than childbirth, this may be the most painful thing you'll ever experience," or "If I cut off your leg and THEN administered the shot, it might not hurt so badly." People, I got a TATTOO, on my FOOT, which according to the tattoo artist is "the most painful place on your body to get a tattoo," and THAT did not hurt this much!

Currently, at this time, approximately eight hours later, I have an ugly bruise the size of my fist and a burning (ha!) desire to kick my dad in the shins.

But! I do not have a headache.

When I take Imitrex pills, in about ten minutes I start to have the same feeling in my head that I have when a burp goes up my nose (you know what I'm talking about). Only this feeling lasts for, like, thirty minutes. It is, at times, pleasant, and at other times, annoying. Today, with the shot, the Nose Burp Feeling was almost immediate, and I had to sit down because I think it paralyzed my muscles.

When I felt like I could move again, I thanked my dad for trying to kill me, went home, went to bed, and slept for six hours. And when I woke up, I didn't have a headache.

For the first time in four days, I feel as though I can face the world with confidence.

Until Monday, when I have to go back to school. Poop.


SP friend said...

I'm doubly glad for you. a. I am glad you are no longer suffering and b. I am glad that Immitrex works for you (as it doesn't for me). Your tatoo by the way is awesome and I loved the story behind it. Look for something (a little something) in the mail from me sometime this coming week.

Cindy said...

Only Mei could make a story about headaches so amusing and entertaining! :)


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