Sunday, August 11, 2013


I earned about 1,573 Good Girlfriend points yesterday. Despite a headache that began shortly after I woke, I went out in the blazing sun and mowed the front lawn (so DBF wouldn't have to mow it in the evening after a hard, 12-hour day working on the railroad). Midway through the job, I noticed the weeds in a couple of beds previously mentioned by DBF as needing attention. I plopped right down and pulled those nasty weeds. Then, after completing the mowing, I drove to two nearby stores to buy mulch to refresh the beds.

These tasks would have garnered only about 73 points. The headache added 1,500 points to the balance. The headache that continued through the evening and the night, and that is still with me this morning.

After taking an Excedrin at 6:00 a.m. and retrieving the ice pack from the freezer to apply to the base of my skull, I started thinking about my personal lifetime headache count.

I started having headaches when I was 16. That's about 47 years ago. There has probably not been one week throughout my life when I haven't had at least one headache. Do the math: 47*52*1 is the minimum count: 2,444. Over two thousand headaches. But many weeks, like last week, I had two or three or four days that were marked by a headache. Over two three four thousand days when I wanted to—at the least— put my head on the pillow and make the world go away and—at the most—bang my head against the wall and kill myself.

Think about the people who have hyperthymesia. While it might be cool to remember that on July 13, 1976, I wore that cute little green knit shorts outfit I made, it would not be cool to remember each and every headache. Especially the one in the summer of 1979 that lasted, relentlessly, for three months.

When someone dies of a lingering, painful illness, we tell the bereaved, "She won't be in pain any more." My sons should probably publish a version of that in my obituary: "She won't have any more headaches."

Please tell me that, wherever we're going when we're done here, we won't feel pain. If I thought I would still get headaches after I die, I'd kill myself. Oh, wait—that doesn't work! That's kinda self-fulfilling.