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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
The headache scale 
20th-Jan-2011 03:40 pm
Spoons
Compliments of Blushing_Grace's link to the hysterical explanation of Hyperbole and a Half's pain scale, I'm attempting to define my version of a headache pain scale. This is mostly for the atypical migraines that I've been suffering.

ETA: It has been modified to note where "headache" turns into "migraine."



ReedRover's Pain Scale for Headaches

1.
Hrm. I have a headache. I wonder how long I've had that? I should get some tea. Have I taken my allergy meds lately?

2.
Yeah, I definitely have a headache. I hope it doesn't get any worse. Tea refill! Where's my Tylenol?

3.
Darn I've got a headache. Tea and painkillers are required immediately and at regular intervals.

4.
Wow. Tea, painkillers, and Sudafed by the handful might make a dent in this. If not, I'll take a hot shower.

5.
Ok, This is really, really hurting. It's hot shower time.

ETA: It's Migraine Time

6.
The hot shower didn't do it. Gimmie my heating pad and find me a soft flat spot for a while.

7.
I just wanna die, or at least pass out. Leave my heating pad on high and go away. Everything will be all better if I can just get to sleep. Sleep will cure all.

8.
I would cheerfully beat a co-worker to death to make this pain half of what it is now. Really. I'll take that stain on my soul if you can guarantee that I feel better. Not even well, but better.

9.
DEATH TO EVERYONE!... if I could only manage to move.

10.
I would cry except that I know crying would make it worse. There is no reality except for pain. I will embrace my pain and crush it to death under the slow smothering of my heating pad as I smolder in the misery of my nest of fuzzy flannel sheets in the heated water bed in the absolutely silent dark room...


And a quick footnote: This post is mostly for humor, and is not a search for either sympathy or solutions.
And yes, I live with headaches so constantly that 1) their existence sometimes is noticed after the fact and 2) I've used the phrase "would cheerfully beat a co-worker to death" while having never actually done even though I've hit the 10 on this scale a number of times.
Comments 
20th-Jan-2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
This is probably a really stupid question, but do you put your heating pad on your head or . . . ?
20th-Jan-2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
I can understand the question. If you don't think of using heating pads for headaches in the first place, this probably looks odd. If the headache isn't horrible, I'll put it over the left temple. If the headache is horrid, I put it over the left side of my face from the back of my jaw to the center of my forehead.
20th-Jan-2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
Oy. That sounds pretty sucktastic.
20th-Jan-2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Dude, you so totally nailed it... but maybe it is a family thing. I think we have headaches worse/more frequently than almost anyone I know. And yet, we still function. The number of folks who say "I can't believe you drove here with a migraine" obviously don't get the whole *need to be there, constant headache can hang.* And on that note, I need to go appease my headache.
21st-Jan-2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
I wave off the "can't believe" comments with "It's not a halo migraine; light doesn't matter." If it's someone I know well enough to continue, I'll finish that sentence with "... so I might as well distract myself. Are you going to distract me, or do I make my own distraction?" and an evil, manic grin.
21st-Jan-2011 02:05 am (UTC)
wotw directed me to this post. I'm a fellow chronic daily headache sufferer. You have my sympathy and empathy. (I use the heating pad on my feet and cool things on my head, and I use ibuprofen instead of Tylenol and I take Imitrex by the truckload, but whatever, it's still all headache.) I know what you mean about not really noticing the headache until, often, it's too late. There are several co-workers I would cheerfully beat to death during a bad headache :) Thank you for posting this.
21st-Jan-2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
::laugh:: You're welcome. I've exchanged a few comments with people about the hot/cold and where - everyone has their own technique, but it sounds like it comes down to getting blood to or from the area of pain and circulating the painkillers sooner and more often. (Yes, I do at least have a mental list of who I want to beat to death first.)
25th-Jan-2011 04:03 pm (UTC) - Imitrex
So out of curiosity, I looked up Imitrex. I'm envious that it works for you, and I'm quite certain that it would kill me. "Sumatriptan (trade names Imitrex, Imigran, Imigran recovery) is a triptan sulfa drug containing a sulfonamide group for the treatment of migraine headaches." Um, yeah. I'm allergic to sulfa drugs in the system-shock kind of way. My sister is allergic in the stop-your-heart way. I don't think I'll be mentioning this one to my neurologist at today's appointment.
25th-Jan-2011 05:04 pm (UTC) - Re: Imitrex
There are a bunch of other triptans. I don't know if they all contain sulphonamide groups. Might be worth asking your neurologist. They are truly miracle drugs (if not overused).
25th-Jan-2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
I know what some of this is like, and sympathize (even though you said you weren't looking for sympathy.) Chronic pain tends to make me disconnect from my body, like I want to pay as little attention to "it" as I can, because I know it's usually going to hurt. So, yeah...I know what it's like to not notice when a migraine is starting. This sets up all kinds of vicious cycles with my hands, because not paying attention to my hands is really bad for ergonomics.
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