Even though I’ve figured out the root cause issue of my three-month, near-daily headaches to be ergonomic, I still wear my sunglasses while at work. The lights are too bright. Mainly, though, it’s easier for me since I don’t need to worry about being exposed to harsh lights for hours a day. It may be weird, even for people I haven’t seen in a while, but I have a legitimate reason for wearing them indoors.
I wonder if I became disinterested in watching movies because my spine was subtly distracting me from watching what would otherwise be alright but somewhat boring media? I have noticed, as I think of how I will sit in chairs to recline, that I’m not well-disciplined in good back posture. I’ve been practicing good standing posture of not leaning on one side, hip, or foot. Sitting? That’s something I’ll have to practice, maybe during movies?
I haven’t had a headache in over a week, I’ve been back from medical leave for longer, and I’m getting bored of the topic of writing about health issues. I have a list of the last three essays I want to write to conclude this series I’m calling Tripping On The American Healthcare System, otherwise, I can’t think of much else to write. I guess that means I’ve soaked in as much as I could?
One month into taking the high blood pressure beta-blocker Propranolol, I’m finally seeing the long-term benefits. I’ve always felt anxious. It’s not that those feelings have gone away like when I’ve taken benzodiazepines. It’s just the biggest spikes have calmed down. Unlike the anti-depressants I’ve taken that have given me severe depression, here, I’m just not controlled by the largest spikes of anxiety or depression that always used to inhibit my thoughts toward progressing forward.
I am approaching seven years of sobriety. It hasn’t been easy. It has been rewarding for myriad reasons, part of which includes learning to practice developing my patience and extending my fuse so I am less prone to reacting immediately in anger. The thing that has helped me out the most through all of this is giving myself mental buffers. If I encounter a situation like a stressful email, I may re-read it several times.
“Think of it like building blocks. You’re building yourself back up.” The physical therapist then exaggerated how I was slouched over, most comfortable for me, with having a hyper-corrected posture, to a middle ground that was more focused on better posture from the lower back than the upper back. He continued by telling me that the trick is to catch myself when my posture is not ideal, and practice better posture frequently throughout the day.
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.