A Painful but Rewarding Night

Headaches.  I detest them.

I don’t mean the “not tonight, honey, I have a headache” headache.  Not even the tension headache you get when you’re swamped at work and get another stack of papers on your desk.

I get what is described as a cousin to a migraine called “cluster” headaches.  They give them this name because they come in clusters, some cluster together in a day, others a week, a month, six months . . . you get the picture.  I have had bad ones before, but the insane ones, the ones that make you want to reach under your skin and rip the veins out of your forehead…(sorry for that visual, but it’s true) are pretty rare.  Today was one.

I took the medication that fights the symptoms early hoping to head off the pain.  Didn’t work.  Ended up going home early.  Fortunately I’d made dinner ahead and in desperation took a shot of scotch to try and at least forget the pain.  Alcohol or wine can be a trigger for these headaches, but I already had one.

After sleeping off some of the pain for about two hours we had dinner, watched Christmas specials on the Family Channel and I was stable enough to get a little work done.

It’s interesting, but the pain of these headaches is affected by light, loud noise – like the kids screaming at each other – all kinds of things.  But they also make me hyper.  I get up, move around, did three loads of laundry, cleaned the kitchen, made cookies, all of that.  Anything to get my mind off the headache.

Music actually helps for some reason.  By nighttime I’d sat down with my guitar, de-tuned the low string to a drop-D and started playing.

I ended up with the song Black Water by the Doobie Brothers.  My oldest, who grew up with them on the radio and loves that song came into the room and started singing the harmonies.  Then when it came time for the closing acapella portion all four rang in.  It was pretty damn fun, even amazing.

I started another song and there was my daughter singing along.

By night’s end I had made lunches, watched some recordings sitting on the DVR for months, and realized that, in spite of the pain the night had been pretty good.

In fact, randomly, it was quite rewarding.

You just never know what’s going to come from the pained part of the day.

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