My Hellish Headaches

HeadacheI lose my stomach after almost every meal, and manage to hide it from nearly everyone.  I can make it through a full day’s work, even though the first few hours are equivalent to a push start by sheer will power (with assistance from family and friends).  I can handle aches, pain, stiffness, dizziness, and fatigue.  Heck, I can even stay happy and upbeat when I feel dreadful.  I cannot, however, stand these cyst-induced headaches.At least with migraines, I can get sick a few times, go to bed in a pitch black room, eventually fall asleep, and wake up the next morning to what I refer to as a headache hangover.  You know, the feeling that you survived having your head beat about with a baseball bat?  The feeling that your brain is bruised and you are thinking through cheesecloth soaked in glycerine?

Migraines feel like a slow death, but my cyst-aches feel like a murder… where I am a witness and the victim.

My cyst-ache comes and goes in an instant.  Often it begins as a stabbing pain from the middle of my brain toward just above my left ear.  Other times it begins as a dull and dizzying pain that fills my skull.  However it begins, I shake.  I get sick to my stomach.  I grow agitated.  I cease to make sense.  My thoughts turn to the absurd.  Time seems endless and flat.  My tongue turns to Silly Putty.  I literally lose my mind.

And then, as quickly as it began, the pain is gone.  I return to whatever I was doing and try to forget the nightmare… until, a minute, day, or week later, when it begins again.

As of now, I have yet to determine if the pain is more frustrating than the uncertainty.

When a cyst-ache begins, nothing feels possible.  Life feels as if it is on pause, and I cannot put things in their proper perspective.  It is impossible to remember what “normal” feels like.  I feel misunderstood… torn between admitting my struggle and faking it.

But I can’t fake it.

Kate with a Headache

I feel like curling up in a ball and crying, or giving up on everything and becoming a recluse.  Expectations feel like the weight of the world and serve as ceaseless reminders of my reduced capacity and postponed dreams.

But, that is not today.  After weeks of almost constant headaches, the last week has been a tremendous blessing… two headaches in ten days?  I’ll take that.  And love it, in fact.

(All pictures by Kate Blaylock for My Life with Fibro.)

3 Responses

  • Lisa on December 29, 2010, 23:07:16

    Thanks for the insight to what you have been feeling about your headaches. You really have a way with words to express yourself. Praying for you always.

    Reply to Lisa
  • Benia Zouras on January 28, 2011, 16:18:19

    What are the cyst-headaches about? Perhaps I missed a post? I have struggled with the unpredictability of Fibromyalgia and some of the crazier symptoms that I deal with. Among them, I get lightning-like, shooting pains in the backs of my thighs, in my forearm, and on the side of my neck and shoulder. I am usually startled by the sudden pain that I jump or twitch or shriek a bit. It can be embarrassing in front of people who don’t know what’s going on. One time, though, the pains were firing almost constantly all day long. I was mildly contemplating suicide while waiting to see if they would ever subside. Luckily, I am back to a more sporadic pattern.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts in my reader. I hope things improve for you soon!


    Reply to Benia
    • Kate Blaylock on January 28, 2011, 23:11:00

      I was told I had an unusually large pineal gland cyst, although there seems to be some disagreement between my doctors as to if that is what causes my severe headaches.

      I appreciate your honest contribution. Unpredictable pain can seem the most debilitating. On good days it’s tough not to be afraid that something you do will aggravate your condition, and on bad/intermittent days you struggle to accomplish anything. It often makes me feel confused, confined, and a bit useless.

      I am glad you seem to have your pain episodes less frequently. Do you know what you did to reduce the frequency of the random pain firings?

      Reply to Kate