When a Headache Won’t Quit

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Working 3rd shift takes a toll on your body, mind, and spirit.

Old fart crossing sign
I need one of these

Today it decided to take a toll on my head. And by that I mean I woke up with the worst headache I have ever experienced. I don’t get them very often. I can think of maybe 10 times in entire life when I’ve had one. Five of them in the last couple of years. I guess it’s a true sign of hold old a fart I am becoming. It’s a good thing I still look like a teenager or else I might already be one foot in the grave. Bless this round baby face of mine for at least making me feel like I look youthful even if my old-farty ailments are starting to make me realize I’m more of an adult these days.

Tried the Usual Tricks

Since I had already tried Tylenol, Aspirin, and Caffeine (although it wasn’t a Coke specifically, which may have flawed my plan), I decided I would let Google render some aid to me.

Treating Your Own Headaches

You don’t necessarily need a doctor’s prescription to treat yourheadaches. Here are some ways you can find relief, withoutmedication:

  • Apply an ice pack to the painful area of your head. Try placing it on your forehead, temples, or the back of your neck.
  • Take a warm bath or shower; take a nap; or take a walk.
  • Ask someone to rub your neck and back, or treat yourself to a massage.
  • Apply gentle, steady rotating pressure to the painful area of your head with your index finger and/or thumb. Maintain pressure for seven to 15 seconds, then release. Repeat as needed.
  • Rest, sit, or lie quietly in a low-lit room. Close your eyes and try to release the tension in your back, neck, and shoulders.
  • If you have excessive muscle contractions in the neck, physical therapy exercises performed daily are often helpful.
  • Via: http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/treating-headaches-yourself

Bowling Ball in My Head

Bowling Alley Headache
Like this, but the pins are in the front

It’s the most annoying sort of a headache. Basically, any movement I make with my head feels like a bowling ball is bouncing off the back of forehead. Just that one spot. And even if I do not make any sudden movements there is still this lingering and nagging ache. It is times like these when I understand why people go to the ER for a migraine. I have never been so close to doing just that.

Keeping My Head Still

ReSolve-Halo-System Halo Traction Brace Cervical Neck Brace Screws in Head
To Keep The Bowling Ball in Place

Fortunately, it has decreased, slightly. And as long as I maintain my head in a perfectly still position, the bowling ball stays put and is only moderately uncomfortable. I feel like I need to put one of those harnesses that people wear when they have a neck injury. You know that thing that they screw in your skull and perch on your shoulders? Ah yes, Google assists again: Halo Traction Brace. I’m thinking that would actually be less uncomfortable than this beast of a headache I am facing.

Husband to the Rescue?

I think I’m going to beg my dear husband to pick up some Ibuprofen or Excedrin and to give me a massage. Perhaps I should try the hot bath business it recommends. Any other tips you have would be great. I already tried a dark, quiet room, and it didn’t make a hill of beans of a different. Hopefully, it will go away soon, but if it doesn’t I may just have to annoy some ER, nurses. I know, not an emergency it can wait, but seriously this bowling ball has got to go!

Update: I ended up having a pituitary tumor causing headaches. It had it removed and they resolved.

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5 thoughts on “When a Headache Won’t Quit”

  1. Migraines were the reason I had to quit working night shift. The disruption in my sleep cycle was completely debilitating.

    I found that ice packs helped, if only to numb the pain temporarily. But what ultimately did the trick was prolonged, deep restorative sleep. It took three days of thorazine and IM DHE (plus phenergan to kick the nausea) to break a monthlong monster last year. Now I take preventive meds daily (beta blockers) and have abortive meds on hand when needed. Since starting propranolol, however, I’ve only had one migraine. Hooray for that!

    And I’ve done the ER visit – it’s not fun. The doctor gave me a shot of Dilaudid, which only made me more nauseous, and sent me home. A friend of mine is an internal medicine resident and she said when she got migraine patients in the ER, she would give them IV fluids because most were dehydrated and possibly replaced magnesium. She found that a lot of patients had low mag levels for some reason.

  2. @skharmony Im on the same boat, which is why I think I’m such a pansy when I do get one.

    I cannot imagine having to face them anymore often than occasionally. It would be debilitating to deal with that sort of pain on a semi-regular basis.

  3. @DenisePulis it helps when you’re addicted to coca-cola, like me, and generally drink one daily. Caffine is just like nicotine or any other drug, when you are without it your body will crave it and a headache can often result.

    You have given me some useful tricks to try the next time my head feels like its in a vice grip. That headache lasted about 2 days and was very motion sensitive. I am beyond thankful that these are not a common occurance for me.

  4. I suffer from migraines with aura every now and then…when those come there is really nothing to do but feel sorry for myself. When I get ‘normal’ headaches, which often happens, I need to first identify what it is caused by. if it’s muscle stiffness, then a bath will help. If it’s blocked sinuses, then I need to get them unblocked before I can treat the headache. After that, I take two tables of painkillers (paracetamol works for me), I take a shower with high water pressure – the jets of water on my head act as a sort of massage – and if it’s evening, I just go to bed and sleep. In fact, if it’s time to sleep I don’t bother with medication, as usually sleeping for 6 hours will stop the headache completely. Does caffeine in the form of Coke really help? I used to think caffeine actually caused headaches.

  5. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!!! I am lucky enough to not ever get more then the common minor headache. I really feel for those who get migraines … eeek! I am hoping since I have never had one I won’t ever get one?!

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