Today I spent a good portion of the day studying for a biology quiz I have tomorrow night and working on a take-home quiz that I have in algebra. There was a fair amount of goofing off and napping today, however, and the day felt particularly well-balanced. I got a lot of things done around the house, I spent some time in Secret World Legends, I chatted with friends. It was a good day.

It’s not ending on a good note, however. A massive headache came on all of a sudden and now my head is throbbing. I hate headaches.

To be fair, they’re not as bad as they were when I was living in Illinois. There was a point in time where I was on seven different medications designed to either prevent the headaches from coming in the first place, minimize their impact on me, or deal with the pain once they showed up. For a period of a few years, I was getting headaches four or five times a week. They were interfering with my ability to sleep, they made it very difficult to do much of anything, and the worst part was there wasn’t really anything they could do about them. My neurologist diagnosed me with “chronic headache of unspecified origin” because my headaches had the secondary symptoms of both migraine and cluster headaches without the hallmark primary symptoms of either one, hence the unbelievable cocktail of pharmaceuticals I was on.

I remember one morning at about 6:30 I had a pure cluster headache. It was the worst pain I’d ever been in. I remember pacing the hallway in our apartment wailing because of how badly it hurt, and the wailing would make it worse, and being quiet would make it worse, and everything was making it worse. I also remember taking a mental inventory of everything in the place that was potentially lethal and dismissing all of them as being too slow. Despite all my years of dealing with mental illness it is the closest I’ve ever actually come to suicide. And less than an hour after it suddenly showed up it was gone just as quickly, leaving me with a hangover headache – a low, dull ache that felt like my brain was exhausted.

I don’t know what’s different, but I’m glad that I don’t have headaches like that anymore. The battery of medications is all gone, and apart from Tylenol I don’t take anything for my headaches anymore. They also are much less frequent, and much less painful when they occur. Tonight is something of a rare occurrence. The Tylenol will kick in before long, and my pain will begin to ease off, and then I can think about getting some sleep.

Tonight’s a school night.

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