We’ve reached a point in our headache narrative where the headaches aren’t so much disinteresting as infrequent. I’ve written about the weird one-offs over this near week without a headache. I’m proclaiming to colleagues and others about this because I’m done with this whole thing. Mostly. I still have six more physical therapy sessions and the essays to compile, so once that twelfth session passes, I’ll be bored of having headaches because they’ll be treatable.
I haven’t had a headache in nearly a week now and am halfway through my physical therapy. The remaining sessions will be learning additional stretches based on weak muscles, like my shoulders, or addressing neck stretches that were the likely culprit of my mindbender headaches and eye strain. Once I’m done, I won’t commit myself to do all of these exercises I learned frequently, but I will try before rowing and dispersed throughout my day.
What constitutes a headache? Is it the sensation of seeing lights flash across your vision that aren’t really there – a byproduct of nerves misfiring, perhaps? If those lights are caused by looking at computer screens for hours on end, then does practicing exaggerated eyelid closure exercises, looking away from screens, and wearing sunglasses all count as headache prevention? Especially if those dampen the pain? Is that all just eye strain that doesn’t relate to headaches?
If fixing headaches were as easy as pie, then how much better would society be? Would we have been able to achieve so much more with more of our headache sufferers with fewer headaches, lessened symptoms, and overall better qualities of lives? If so, how can we get closer there? I think first we need to know that headaches aren’t an excuse and second we need effective troubleshooting solutions for headaches from doctors or otherwise.
Although Heal Your Headache by David Buchholz, M.D., has a target audience of headache sufferers, I think it should be read by treaters of headaches – doctors – as well. Although many of the aspects of the book can be proactively applied by anyone that suffers headaches on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, the information in this book could cut down on patient misdiagnoses and other preventable situations. If only I’d known about this book sooner…
Rating: ★★★★★ [5/5]
What counts as a headache? If I’m counting down the days until a week without a headache, nearly approaching four days, and I get some mild eye strain, does that count? Is it when I feel a little pang in my head, which is muscle strain sending a signal up to my brain? Or is it only when the headache impairs my ability to focus, think, or act clearly? I’d prefer the least dramatic option.
Based on how many doctors, diagonses, medications, and meandries I’ve spent dealing with my three-month headache, resolved with treatment of the neck area that was overextended and overworked, it would seem like treatment options for headaches in America in 2020 are rarer than the rarest commodities on earth. Sure, there are multitudinous reasons for headaches. I had the general impression that some of these doctors were doubtful I was even having a headache. Including a neurologist!
It’s Sunday at midnight and I haven’t had a headache since I left the float tank on Wednesday morning. That’s almost four full days. Before that, I had been struggling to get more than two or three days without a headache for the past three months. There are other factors involved, to be sure, however letting the buoyancy of the body-temperature, magnesium sulfate heavy water, cradle my aching muscles helped release that deep muscle tension.
I missed rowing. I missed the notion of getting on my rower twice-daily and getting some of my physical stress out. It was never that much, especially lately, since I didn’t want to burn myself out. Now that we’ve figured out my neck was the source of my headaches, and my neck stretches are helping to fix the issue, I’m back and feeling better than ever. I’ll need to work on figuring out more stretches.
The burn on my arm from a few days ago has subsided, with only a minor blister being somewhat concerning, otherwise, there’s a splash of red on my arm that reminds me of two things: I have a fairly high pain tolerance and if this were a headache, it would be misdiagnosed, mistreated, and misadventured. It’d be like going into the doctor’s office with a bandage over the burn and being told it’s a cut.