[Sober Living] Goosebumps For Headaches

When I close my eyes, I still see the spots of light shining through, especially in the brighter parts of my work or living environments. I can only keep my eyes closed so much through life. I have to work. I don’t qualify for medical leave so I have to wait for the doctors to diagnose me. Until then, I manage. An effective routes I’ve found for fixing tension headaches, not migraines, is getting goosebumps.

Goosebumps are the little hairs that stand on end in fright or pleasure.

I’ll get them when I watch horror movies or when I figure out something really cool. They happen when you’re cold or for myriad other reasons. Maybe it’s a vascular thing? I’ve found, though, that when I get those, I get a calming wave of pleasure washing off the worst of my tension headaches.

It doesn’t fix migraines.

I started off with the light-based migraine sensation because similar to any actual medicine, you can’t apply this folksy medicine of goosebumps to a migraine to have it go away; that’s decreasing bright light exposure or taking triptans, I guess, but even that doesn’t solve the root issue.

It’s important to define the problem before you define it.

Neurologist-Number-One defined my tension headaches as migraines and refused to listen to me as I tried to explain my other symptoms. The medication she prescribed was only effective for migraines, and temporarily, whereas for my tension headaches they did nothing. I instead have to wait patiently while I can see future doctors.

By my estimates, I may see as few as four more.

Another primary care physician to empathize with my pain, another neurologist that I’ve been promised has read over my more professional notes, an optician that will listen to the migraine-side of my story, possibly, and possibly a neurology-optician that might look in closer detail.

Until then, this 7-day migraine continues on.

I have to close my eyes while walking just to avoid the moderate overhead lights of my workplace. I don’t have sunglasses that let me see my computer screen. I will need to bring them tomorrow to see how I can integrate them into my corporate walkabouts.

I don’t feel like writing much more now.

It’s twenty hours later now and I still don’t feel much like writing, but at least I have sunglasses now to wear when I’m at the office under these impossibly-bright lights. My energy levels are basically depleted, to use a videogame analogy, and I’m having trouble doing much of anything. All I want to do is leave and go back to sleep but I can’t, so let’s talk about pushing through these situations.

If goosebumps are like brain massages, then does that build endurance?

In previous months and years, if I had a headache, that would be the end of the day for me. There would be nothing much else I could do other than just succumb to its pressures. If I can look at these experiences with any degree of positivity, they’ve taught me physical endurance and the mental wherewithal to pick myself up and drag myself into doing what’s needed.

Rewind to three hours ago.

I had woken up and felt terrible. I couldn’t focus on anything so I went back to bed. As I sat at the point-of-no-return where I would either need to use all of my remaining sick leave to stay home or, with my left eye nearly blind due to twitching so much and with mild nausea and confusion, go forth and be “the good employee” by going to work. Before, I would have let all these factors act as excuses. Now, it’s probably because I have no choice but to go in.

So I have to figure out ways to relieve my brain’s stress.

If high-beams are like laser-beams directed to the center of my migraine, if doing any physical activity over walking up stairs is likely to rattle parts of my brain unknown, and if letting anyone under my skin requires goosebumps to exorcise them, then what can I do but just take my time and be patient with myself.

I want to start my publishing business, sell all this stuff, and write.

I barely have the energy to take care of myself right now, let alone all of that, so it’s about conserving my energy throughout the day. If I get fewer moments and hours to do what I love, but I can do what I need to do throughout each day, is that enough? When I lose focus like I just did, I need to breathe in deeply, and see if I can summon those goosebumps. I felt them on my legs. Now I feel them along my back and sides.

I can’t get them behind my migrained left eye, but I can get them close.

They can run along either cheek, where mostly they would appear on my arms, so maybe this is just a way to focus on something external while the internals sort themselves out? It’s hard to say. I’m exhausted and not ready for the waves of anxiety that will seep in throughout the remainder of this shift, but hopefully, if I have endured the waves I described above, I can adapt and cope with the upcoming waves.

I have no choice but to endure.

If I take too much more time off, then I will be written up and fired. The employee handbook says I can’t file for FMLA until I’ve been with this company for one year. My insurance has been dragging its feet. I do have an eye appointment in a few days. I’m in my eighth day of this migraine, tension headaches come and go, and my only headache relief is nausea. I guess my body can experience only so much pain before it starts to break down because I had cold-like symptoms after I stopped writing twenty hours ago.

So any relief, whether medicinal or experimental, is welcome.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: I came up with the title a few days ago when I had some bad tension headaches relieve themselves with some goosebumping sensations. I wrote the title into a notepad document but didn’t transfer it along to an essay title until days later, when that tension headache relieved itself, allowing a migraine to take over, so it wasn’t as clearly centered around that.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Picture: I might have tried to draw a picture of goosebumps in the past, but instead, enjoy the template picture.
Written On: 2020 January 04 [28 minutes. From 3:20am to “I don’t feel like writing much more now” at 3:30am. From 11:10pm to 11:28pm. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 2020 January 10 [Possible edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress. Would this be the second draft, then?]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.