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Where did well go?

One of the annoying things about having a chronic illness (of which there are about eleventy billion), is that I never know if I’m having a bad day because I am sick or if I’m just having a bad day. I know I had bad days before I got my headache over a year and a half ago. I know there were days when I didn’t want to work out or go to work or be involved with any sentence that included the word “work.” So, I would assume I’d have days like that now even if my head didn’t hurt all the time. Yet, I always blame any foul temperament on the headache.

Today has been a rather BLAH day. I just now finally got up the will to reply to some of my emails that have been sitting in my “Respond To” folder for days. And that is only partly because I got my ass out of the house and drank a tall coffee at the Barnes & Noble cafe (although the barista always lets me know I can have a venti for only 22 more cents because he is an upseller his boss would be proud of). So I wonder, do I feel like this because of my headache? Is there something else wrong with me? Or does everyone have days like these? I don’t know.

My usual techniques for coping with days like these is to exercise or get out of the house. I tried exercising, but my left leg started to hurt after 8 minutes, so I stopped because I want to be in good shape to run my race on Friday. The thought of doing anything physical sounds totally unappealing, but the thought of doing anything sounds totally unappealing, which means I probably really need to do something.

Life is so annoying like this. Plodding on day by day, never getting any easier. *sigh* At least I haven’t binged on anything and I turned down the upselling barista’s suggestion that I try something in their pasty case. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day. That’s all I can really wish for.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Lesley • October 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Yeah – constantly second guessing yourself is tiring. “Am I being lazy or do I really need a break??” It must be ten times worse when there’s a good chance that you do need a break because of the headaches… But then there’s the “would exercise help me if I stick it out?” dilemma….

I’m sure you make the right choice nearly all the time.

PS. I’ve never heard the word “upseller”; it’s class!


PastaQueen • October 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm

@Lesley – When my brother worked at a movie theatre, he learned the term “upselling.” It’s when a salesmen tries to get you to buy a more expensive purchase, usually by saying, “It’s only 22 cents more!” or something like that which makes it sound like you get more for your money. “You want fries with that?” is a classic upselling technique.


Deanna • October 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm

PQ – Did you know that your bloggity blog is mentioned in Health Magazine as a great weight loss blog – yes, dear it is!!! YIPPEE!!!

Also, check me out on page 54 ….



Susan • October 26, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I believe October 26 is International Blah Day. At least it is here, too! I’m pretty sure my life would be completely improved by curling up in front of the boob toob with chocolate pudding. Must…resist…


Deanna • October 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Meant to reply to the blog post too – that does suck and can’t imagine living in that constant state – you have a great way of dealing with it – humor! Keep on keeping on!!


Dee • October 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm

I read your post and I was wondering, have you figured out what your “new normal” is?

Since the onset of the chronic headache?

Maybe try to identify your new normal, and then when you feel worse than that, you’ll know you’re having the blahs, which makes you probably angrier at your headache and all the problems it causes you than you’re feeling on a new normal day, when you’re coping ok with it.

I wish you a cure or at least 300 (min) well days per year!


Mary :: A Merry Life • October 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

I wish I could wish away your illness. Really.


cindy • October 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm

I hear you. Every day I wonder how the day is going to be based on the pain rating I calculate when I wake up.

Some days are good, and some days are bad, but all I can do is hope and workout, and eat good food, and take it one day at a time.


anji • October 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm

I lived that way for almost six years… my injury controlled me.

This past May? I decided to let ME control ME. I’ve worked hard like a mo-fo, changed my mindset and said f&@K-it. I am now merit-listed to join the army…. which means, any day now they can call me up to go into training. My trade will be photo-journalist.

I decided I had enough of being screwed around by what was my ‘problem’ and decided instead, that my body has to ‘forget’ that it happens.

I still have pain some days… but I focus on something else instead and eventually I try to forget about it. Sometimes it’s still there but – it’s not controlling my life.

The blog I just submitted here documents things… how I could barely walk 2.4 kms and up to passing the interview and being merit-listed.

A huge accomplishment.

I still have shitty days though, trust me. I had several this week where I couldn’t even get off the couch… but – the moment I remembered I have a big-ass goal coming up and need… NEED… NEEEEEEEED to be fit, it’s motivation to get crackin’ and get movin’.


There’s hope, I promise!


janet • October 26, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Just wondering if you tried chiropractic adjustment of your neck to help with your headaches. I haven’t been reading your blog long, so I don’t know what treatments your tried. I loved your book. Hang in there!


April • October 26, 2009 at 8:34 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who wakes up every morning wondering where I’m gonna fall on the rating scale of bad to REALLY bad. Liv ing with a chronic disease(s) is hard, REALLY hard! I appreciate your honest blogging.


schmei • October 26, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I’m de-lurking to say: even when you have a bad day, you’re still awesome. I’ve been stalking your blog for a while and I think you’re just the coolest.

And I’m sorry you still get comments asking “have you tried X for your headache?” Because the “About Me” tab is there for a reason.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is a good day.


PurpleGirl • October 27, 2009 at 5:52 am

I’ve been having a lot of days like this lately, just blah, just flat, even without a clear-cut reason for it. Hope your tomorrow is better!


Ann • October 27, 2009 at 8:51 am

I believe you were suffering from “Skillet Head Monday”.

You know how cartoon characters get hit with a frying pan and then walk around in a daze seeing stars? this usually happens to me every Monday. It goes away by Tuesday.


TorontoJulie • October 27, 2009 at 9:56 am

Seconding the “you’re awesome, even when you’re feeling shitty”. You capture it so well and it’s so refreshing to read such honesty about when things aren’t all rainbows and puppies.

“Skillet Head Monday”. Love it.


Sarah • October 27, 2009 at 10:42 am

@PastaQueen – Upselling is truly the most annoying thing in the world, not only for the customer, but for the employee as well. I always hated having to do it when I worked at Starbucks. Hope you feel better, but don’t be too hard on yourself.


Shannon • October 27, 2009 at 10:45 am

I’m sorry you’re having a cruddy day. I hope the rest of your week is happier. :-)


Laura • October 27, 2009 at 11:30 am

I’m lucky enough not to have a chronic illness but I still get lots of blah days and like you I know that getting some daylight and exercise makes a difference but it’s still hard to make myself do anything at times, so well done for getting out :-) just an upper body and abs weights workout can make me feel like i’ve achieved something, worth trying if you need to save your legs for the big race. Good Luck for Friday! :-)


gp • October 27, 2009 at 12:21 pm

especially with change of seasons here and daylight savings time ending… sometimes you just wake up and a collective “ugh” can be heard in the hallows :)

slow down 2 go faster sometimes



The Merry • October 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I was distracted by your mention of a pasty case. Are they selling Cornish pasties or accoutrements for a Burlesque show? Probably the former, but with some coffee shops you never can be sure… ;)


Cynthia • October 27, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Sometimes, when I am having a blah day, I ask myself if, should a truck run me over tomorrow, I’d really want to stay blah today. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no. But sometimes blah is just a mental attitude. Sometimes just getting a different twist on how great it is to be alive will get me going. Naturally, it helps to put on a CD I really like. LOUD.

OK, that might not work for a headache blah day. But maybe something else would. You know what gets you going, so do that if you can.


Quix • October 27, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Geez, I think it WAS international BLAH day, as I was not my usual chipper and peppy self either. Hopefully today is at least a little better for you. :)


Cheryl • October 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I don’t know how cold it is where you are, but perhaps you could benefit from some sunlight therapy. When I start feeling like you do I take a drive with the sunroof open (or the windows down) or take my laptop outside. Of course, I’m in Florida, so it’s a bit easier for me.


Tina • October 27, 2009 at 5:31 pm

I hear ya….

I had back surgery and it worked well until a couple months ago when the pain started to return. Now by mid-afternoon, I can barely stand to sit (and standing around walking doesn’t feel so good either) so I squirm and can’t focus which results in crap productivity and a sense of grouchiness that even a venti coffee can’t cure. I never know whether I’m grouchy because I hurt or if I hurt as some physical response to being grouchy.

I’ve blamed my pain on my desk job, my chair, the weather, lack of exercise, too much exercise, stress, etc. It’s quite frustrating. At least pre-surgery I had the hope/expectation that surgery would end my pain. Now there is no answer.


melissa • October 27, 2009 at 6:49 pm

i have shit days too where i think that life is never going to get better.

it can be super hard, and i can’t say it’s going to get better because i have no idea. some days i wake up and i love life. some days i wake up and would rather just hide.

perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that you are not the only one?


BridgetJones • October 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm

I know prayer sounds really cheesy, but my favorite prayer lately is “Thank God for motivation.” What can I do without it? Worse, what would I want to do?

I’m working on learning to accept that there are some days that come to me without motivation — it’s like the MSG of life, isn’t it? Everything is more vivid if you’ve got it.

Yes, I know motivation can be developed….but who has the energy? Lol! Aren’t we lucky when it seems to fall on us from the heavens?


Pregnancy Symptoms • October 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I totally understand how you feel as I too have a chronic illness. I deal with this day in and day out, yet when I finally push myself out of the house, even though I don’t want to walk on my bum knee, I feel so much better. Reading about others who deal with similar situations helps to encourage me, knowing that I am not the only one coping. Thanks.


Dawn • October 28, 2009 at 11:29 am

Boy how I can identify. I had one of these days yesterday but mine included 2 fighting kids, a messy house, stuff to be done, etc. Sometimes I’d like to run away from myself lol.


Bridgjetjones • October 28, 2009 at 8:25 pm

@Ann – Lucky! Mine doesn’t go away until Thursday, then it’s only a few short days until it happens all over again! LOL


Kathy • November 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Were you able to do the race on Friday?


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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