For years, I’ve struggled with ways to balance my vocational work, my avocational work [writing], and my leisurely time. For years, that meant never actually taking much time to play games, relax, or do anything that would help me release steam. I’ve made attempts, through writing, over the years. One such experiment was allowing myself thirty-minute time slots to play games, if I wrote pithy reviews. Those reviews weren’t great, but the thought was good.
Early into Lisa: The Painful RPG, you must make a difficult decision. That’s cool from a narrative perspective that your answer will lead you down one of two minor story paths, however, this was also the point where I decided that I’m not a fan of branching narratives. Why would I pick one path without full knowledge over the long-term consequences? I’d rather leave the game, read the narrative-spoiling walkthrough, then move onto something else.
As a casual conundrum, I wonder, is it better to get out to concerts even if the overall experience was just alright? What if nothing was fantastic? What if I had no new realizations over life or music? What if it was just an evening out, money spent on things, and time away from other hobbies? I used to disdain these sorts of evenings because I didn’t have any content to generate after returning home…
What’s in the name of a headache? A tension headache is different than a sinus headache is different than an eye-strain headache with visual aura is different than a cervicogenic headache, right? In Heal Your Headache, David Buchholz, M.D., says that all of these sorts of headaches derive from the same place – migraine – and so if we only treat one aspect of the whole, we miss the root cause, and end up with incomplete treatment.
As long as I’m working in Corporate America, I’ll need to take medical limiters to prevent the stress of working from overwhelming me to the point of headaches. There’s a sour irony in working high-stress jobs to get the insurance necessary to pay a discount for medication that is required to continue working high-stress jobs. I could go without, but then, why lower my body’s trigger-point for headaches? It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s common.
Among the myriad triggers that can potentially cause headaches as outlined in Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., the one dietary trigger I am not willing to give up yet is caffeine. My addiction to caffeine is complicated. I can live without caffeine in the short-term, it’s just not a life where I can do all I want to do. I could adapt if forced; I’d rather reduce any other headache triggers first.
Going through my things to downsize leads to interesting questions. If I want to watch a movie like Charly, based on Flowers For Algernon, should I watch it on the VHS tape I own or does it matter if I watched it somewhere else? If the legal options aren’t as readily available, what’s the problem with watching it through other routes? Who profits but the current legal owner? Let’s explore those and other problematic questions.
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
It was coincidental that I started this Tripping On The American Healthcare System essay-series-turned-book as an offshoot of the Sober Living essays I’ve been writing for years now. That’s my complaining space. As I’m reading more of Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., I’m seeing some of the medications I was prescribed. Sumatriptan and Ondansetron weren’t just random medications. They’re actually commonly prescribed for headache-sufferers, so writing my “trip reports” can actually be useful.
I hadn’t realized I was in a bad headspace until well after leaving my first time playing Half-Life. During those nearly two hours, I escaped into a world much worse than my own, forgetting about my own world’s overwhelming problems. After dying repeatedly in-game at one benign point, I quit without saving, went to sleep, slept for one hour, then awoke to the mental clarity to do what I needed to do without emotional baggage.
“We don’t know much about headaches,” was what the first doctor to talk to me about headaches, over four years, told me before describing pain sensors and blood vessels. As I’m reading Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., that still holds true, but we do know enough to work with. I’m on page 30 of 231 and there’s already enough to fill my brain with insights as to what these things are from a biological perspective.