The Memory of Pain

I remember with great clarity the first sinus headache I can recall having. I was 6. It was a lovely sunny day. Sinus headaches always blast me the most on sunny days and there is little humidity. It is a cruel irony. They also happen when there is a weather front on its way to change conditions from whatever to something else. I am a walking barometer.

Anyway, this day when I was 6 I was in pain. My cheekbones hurt. My teeth hurt. Moving my eyes hurt. I lay down, it hurt. I sat up, it hurt. Our neighbor noted that it was too bad I was in pain, but my eyes were beautiful. Big and shiny.

Yesterday I had a migraine. I don’t typically get them, although my father and brother have been plagued by them all their lives, and we are quite sure my paternal grandfather was as well. I generally can still manage my day, but I leave lights off and try to minimize the noise in my life. Which, hello, I live with three dogs and a three year old, not easy to do these days.

When I picked Cooper up from school yesterday, they said he had had a tricky day. He was weepy a lot of the day. Whined for me for 15 minutes after I dropped him off, cried whenever someone even touched him as if they had punched him or cut him. I looked down at him and saw big shiny eyes. Dark circles under them. “Oh my little bean, I bet you have a headache” I said.

Last week he was in this sort of state, and I decided to ask him if anything hurt. I didn’t suggest WHAT might hurt, just if anything did. He nodded and said his teeth hurt. Ah, I know that feeling well. A little childrens motrin or tylenol and half an hour later he felt MUCH better. You could see it in his eyes.

The Bob rarely feels unwell. He hardly ever has a headache, a body ache, and when he gets a cold, he sniffs and moves on. I can see that sometimes my experience of pain which can be a full body, don’t touch me or I might cry kind of experience is frustrating. It is hard to explain that sometimes the change in pressure in the air can make me feel like my head is going to implode and all my joints ache. Or like rabid porcupines are trying to crawl out of my eyeball. That loud voices resonate in my cheekbones as if a dentist was drilling without benefit of novocaine. But that is my experience and there isn’t much I can do to stop it. You just take some stuff and ride it out.

Seeing the same symptoms in my child makes me a little sad. I hope for his sake it is mostly a sinus/weather thing, and not migraines. It won’t surprise me if we do see a migraine or two in the next couple of years, but I hope it is not like it is for the other men in my family. But at least I know what I am dealing with and what can be done. Like not living where tornadoes are prevalent. I mean, that is a good idea for many reasons, but that kind of pressure change could put me in a coma. And then how would I get into the cyclone shelter?

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One response to “The Memory of Pain

  1. Ooh you describe that sinus pain so well – too well! I always suffered with it terribly as a young adult.I think mine is also weather related as my husband and I often have it on the same day. I think your little boy is lucky to have such a sensitive mum who can be in tune with his needs!

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