|Are the peanut butter cookies to blame, or am I just a nut job?|
I've been away for two weeks. Not away on vacation but rather away in some la-la land where time passes in a blur, where headaches are constant, a lifetime of sleep is never enough, sugar-filled cakes dance in my dreams, and family is a fuzzy presence anchoring me to this world. Ah, and Biochemistry is there as well, its own tethering presence quite different from that of my family. If this all sounds a bit convoluted, it's only because that's how my brain has been working these days. Everything has been a jumble in my head, and in the background is the thought, Seattle is only 34...33...32...31...30 days away. And as my brain signals are still somewhat criss-crossed, that number is not necessarily correct. Adding in my head takes a lot of effort, as does getting up to check the calendar. And before you point out that my computer must have a calendar on it, I considered that also. Too much work.
I'm exaggerating a bit, but not much. Although acupuncture and daily vegetable juices seem to be great for my mood, my headaches are ever present, some days better, some days worse, but always there. A few days ago, I made the mistake of baking two batches of cookies. Sunbutter cookies for me, and peanut butter cookies for everyone else. I've been staying away from all nuts (although my mom pointed out that peanuts are technically legumes), so I had no intention of eating the peanut butter cookies. But alas, I can tell you from personal experience that they were delicious and much better than the sunbutter cookies. I didn't mean to eat them. I just got confused about which batch it was and ate the wrong one. At which point, I proceeded to eat another because the damage had already been done. And since I'm never convinced of what exactly is causing my headaches, I always eat the offending food thinking that maybe I'll be fine.
I was not fine. I woke up yesterday with temples pounding, feeling as if I were slogging through muddy water. I slept a good ten hours, but felt no better than when I had gone to sleep the night before. So at 9:30 in the morning, I took a nap. I slept another three hours, during which time I either had an out of body experience or dreamed I had an out of body experience. Either way, it was quite fun, until I dropped back into my body and my temples began to throb again. That's the worst thing about these headaches; they're there even in my sleep. I wake up grumpy because my headache keeps interrupting my dreams. I could have slept all day, as it seemed to be the best way to avoid the pain, but I made myself get up, and then had a little hissy fit and cried so my mom would comfort me. Like a five year old, I wailed, "It's not fair!"
It wasn't the peanuts I was referring to. I will happily give up peanuts. It was more the fact that I've become convinced that the only way to get rid of these headaches is to eschew food altogether. All food. Since that doesn't quite seem realistic or logical, I am reduced to wailing until the headaches calm down, at which point I continue on about my business, taking a medicine cabinet worth of homeopathic pills, tinctures, and teas.
Did you know that cabbage juice is supposed to cure ulcers? I've been drinking a lot of cabbage juice, as I've decided that the pain in my stomach and chest is an ulcer. The gastroenterologist I saw months ago thought it was acid reflux and told me to take Prilosec. He also told me this would stop the headaches. Since I'm not very good at listening to doctors when they tell me to take pills, I ignored him. Recently, I gave in and bought Prilosec. This was quite a desperate move for me. As my mom said, only a desperate person would take a pill with that many possible side effects. She would know since she also has chronic headaches and the medicine she takes for them gave her an ulcer. So she takes Prilosec to cure the ulcer caused by the medicine to stop the headaches. And the cycle continues. The wonders of modern medicine.
But I digress. The Prilosec has not done a thing. My stomach does not hurt any less. My chest pain has not gone away. And my headaches have certainly not gone away. I suppose I should feel vindicated for assuming that that doctor was an idiot and ignoring him for so long. Mostly I just feel annoyed. At this point, I would rather take Prilosec for the rest of my life and be done with it.
Perhaps I am just crazy. But no, I am not. I am simply one of millions who suffer from chronic pain of one kind or another. But I haven't given up. I have less of a headache today than I did yesterday, and at least I can think again. So I'm going to blame the peanuts for this particular fit and treat all nuts as if they were the devil. I'll post this because I know that while I sometimes feel like I am a nut job (and I get the feeling many of my friends and family think so too), some of you feel the same way and will appreciate knowing you are not alone. To all chronic pain sufferers, I salute you, and I sincerely hope to someday not be one of you.