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The great big headache list

The one year anniversary of my headache is coming up on February 17th, right after Valentine’s Day. I hope it gets me a gift! A fuzzy teddy bear perhaps? Or maybe a cake shaped like a Vicodin with hydrocodone ground into the icing? At the very least, it owes me back rent for all the time it’s occupied my head.

I’ve decided to post a list of all the suggested causes and cures people have sent me over the past year, from the serious to the absurd. Why? First, if you are someone who is googling the phrase “headache that doesn’t go away” or “never ending headache” or “chronic daily headache” this entry will give you a lengthy to-do list. Second, I’m going to link to this post on my contact page and if you don’t see your piece of advice listed here, then and only then may you email me about it. If someone has a good suggestion, I don’t want to turn them away, but if you’re the tenth person to tell me to […]

My half life

As you can probably tell by yesterday evening’s entry, I have been going through a very difficult time lately. It has, in fact, been the most difficult time of my life, worse than the days when I was a 372-pound recluse living alone in a studio apartment.

People always said life is hard and I would nod and agree, but I did not understand. Weight loss is hard and college is hard and finding a job is hard. All those things are hard, indeed, and I’ve done all those things. I thought I understood when people said life was hard, but I didn’t, because you cannot understand suffering until you have suffered.

I have been suffering lately. I have been suffering since the evening of February 17th, 2008 when I got a headache that has never gone away. Some of you probably laugh a little and think, “Ha, that’s weird. But it’s just a headache. How bad can it be?”

It is bad. It is very, very bad.

It has made me cry so badly that my wailing has […]

A sickness I can name

I have a cold and I’m rather enjoying it. I sneeze and people say “Bless you.” My throat is sore, so I take cough drops. When people see the wastebasket full of tissues, they know I have a cold. It’s visible and understandable. Everyone has had a cold. They know what that feels like. They know what to do. Take Vitamin C. Keep Kleenex handy. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. It will pass eventually.

It is not like my headache, which no one can see. They might notice the zoned out look in my eyes or notice me rub my temples, but otherwise my chronic pain is invisible. When I try to explain what is wrong with me, they don’t understand. They’ll say, “How are your headaches?” using the plural. They don’t get that the headache never goes away, that it’s just one headache, not many. They try to empathize, but they don’t really know what it’s like, and I’m thankful because I would not wish the experience on others. They can say “That must […]

Pour some sugar on me

My allergist says I am not allergic to food. As a former 372-pound woman, this comes as no shock. I wanted to be surprised and to discover an easy cure for my never-ending headache. I was hoping the doctor would say, “Just stop eating dairy products and you’ll have your life back!” Sadly, the 20 minutes I spent lying on my chest with a grid drawn on my back after being scratched fifty-something times with a variety of food samples only led to the obvious answer: the former fat girl is not allergic to food.

Though he has not cured me, I like my allergist very much. I was hesitant at first, sitting in his waiting room which looked like it had not been renovated since the early 80’s. I further psyched myself out as I waited in the examination room reading a chart with about 90 things I did not know you could be allergic to. Then the doctor walked in, an older man who has seen it all and is on the case and […]

Well, stick a needle in me. Or forty.

As I laid on my chest with needles sticking into my shoulders, the Chinese lady said, “I’m going to hook these up to electricity, ok?” I tried to nod, but couldn’t with my face snug in the massage table frame, so instead I said, “Ok, yeah, sure,” which just goes to show how awful my never-ending headache has become. Not only did I let a woman I had just met who spoke in a thick accent I only 88% understood send electricity through needles she had stuck in my back, I paid her to do it.

Last Thursday I had acupuncture. It’s one of about three dozen things on my checklist called: “Things that might cure the headache, but probably won’t, yet I still have to spend thousands of dollars on just to make sure.” I am not a big believer in Western Eastern healing arts, however I do believe acupuncture is sometimes effective in relieving pain, even if we don’t know exactly why. There have been studies that have shown it’s better than a placebo, […]

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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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