Saturday, 14 November 2009

Day 326 - A little bit of Hope ... for the best or for the worst?

“Hope is a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life. Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

Hope was personified in Greek mythology as Elpis. When Pandora opened Pandora’s Box, she let out all the evils except one: hope. Apparently, the Greeks considered hope to be as dangerous as all the world's evils. But without hope to accompany all their troubles, humanity was filled with despair. It was a great relief when Pandora revisited her box and let out hope as well. It may be worthy to note that in the story, hope is represented as weakly leaving the box but is in effect far more potent than any of the major evils.

In 'Human, All Too Human', philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that "Zeus did not want man to throw his life away, no matter how much the other evils might torment him, but rather to go on letting himself be tormented anew. To that end, he gives man hope. In truth, it is the most evil of evils because it prolongs man's torment.”*


Once again, I have been relatively silent for a couple of weeks. I don’t have anything to report. Or should I say I do? I still have a headache. It has oscillated between 3 and 4 so I can’t really complain. I have been keeping myself busy as I have now managed to start working again - it feels great to finally do something I enjoy (with a constant headache nonetheless).

I keep on wondering, though, who I should ‘warn’ about my headache. It’s a hard decision to make especially in a work environment - what if once you tell those you work with they don’t see you in the same light anymore? What if they worry you’ll call off sick the whole time if the strong attacks return? Is it wise to tell your colleagues about it? Probably not?

Who would you tell if you had a constant headache? Would you tell everyone about it so that they could try and understand (although as far as I am concerned no one ever will) what it is like?

I am torn between telling people and keeping it as a secret. It has got to a point where when I earn some money I am happy that I finally have some cash ‘for me and the headache’. The headache has virtually become my child. I need to earn money to keep the headache at bay, as if it were a little person living with me, someone else I need to look after. Acupuncture, supplements, kinesiologist... / Nappies, baby food, clothes... We’re not too far off when it comes to comparing the two.

On the one hand, I feel I want people to know about my headache for a number of reasons; first of all, maybe they know someone who is living or has lived through a similar thing - perhaps they could put me in touch with them and they will give me the ‘solution’? This is where I always feel there’s a bit of hope. A feeling that I have harboured for 11 months. For the best or for the worst? The feeling is always there but it's constantly being poked at with disappointment.

Secondly, I feel that I should tell people so that if at times I am in an irascible mood then they will know why. I always try my best not to let the headache affect my relationship with others but sometimes it is hard. When you think your head is going to explode and someone is talking to you about something you perhaps don’t even want to listen to because they are so boring and you wish nothing else but for them to disappear and for you to slowly sink into the ground, then it’s hard not to be querulous and lose your patience with them (yes, it has happened to me on a number of occasions).

Having said that, other times I would rather people not know about my headache. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me and to treat me differently. Why should they?

Since the headache started 11 months ago, when meeting someone new, I have always told myself that they will never know what I am really like as the headache sometimes affects my behaviour; at times it transforms me into someone I am not and I hate it for that. Nonetheless, deep down I know that who I am is really still me and that they should like me whether I have a headache or not. But I can’t avoid thinking about whether I would act differently around them were I not to have a headache.


  1. I told my coworkers who might be effected if The Headache flares while I am traveling, working with them. I told my bosses, who have a right to know, plus in this country there are legal rights you can call on to protect your job when illness strikes...

    I don't discuss it with my friends and family much because it would be ALL the time, and I don't discuss it at work. Although most of them can now just tell by looking at me it is not a good day. :(

    I guess that's why I blog, to get it out and try to get my sense of humor going!

  2. You know, this is a really hard subject. I am dealing with permanent headache as well, I haven't even started looking for a job yet since I got hit towards the end of May when I was finishing up college, but when I do start job searching, I really don't know who I should tell about my head problems.

    I will be looking for a graphic design job, and in most firms, they expect people to stay up and finish a project if the due date is actually really freaks me out to even start thinking about trying all-nighters again...seeing as I think thats what caused my problem in the first place.

    I have been watching your blog for a while...sorry for the lurking. Heh. But I'm happy for you that you are working. I hope to try soon as well.

  3. thanks for your comments.

    i know that in the States there are a lot more laws protecting workers etc etc - it's not that i am worried i will possibly get fired or something, it's just i don't want my colleagues to see me in a different light..

    Mordeciah, I completely understand about the worry with work etc - i was off work for about 6 months and it was a nightmare, especially given that i am only 25. by what i understand you can't be that much older than me - I hope you find something that works for you, and hope this blog is of help to you.

    What do you mean the all nighters are what caused your problem in the first place? Is it a stress related thing?

  4. Hey PM,

    I'm actually just about to turn 23. So yeah, I need to get my first big career job...I'm still living with my parents but I just want to get better so I can get a job and live on my own.

    But I actually don't really know if the all-nighters and overall not sleeping very much is what caused my head to end up the way it is. It's just what the doctor assumed. But I was fine for the 2 years I was doing it before that. Maybe it just finally caught up with me after that period of time. I wasn't as bad as other people were with it, so it really pisses me off.

    The doctor at the UW headache clinic just thinks I'm in a permanent rebound state, but I think its BS because I never took any meds for it at the beginning. Sure I got caught up in pain meds for a while recently, but that had nothing to do with it before. Ugh. Its all a guessing game.

    But now I'm on Prednisone and Cymbalta. The Prednisone really hasn't done anything, but the Cymbalta has lowered the pain a bit. And exercising every day and on a very strict diet to avoid triggers. Can't go to the movie theater because I end up feeling like I'm going to die for 3 days afterwards and non stop vomiting.

    And yes, your blog makes me feel better because I feel less alone in the world.

  5. I've had a headache for almost two years now. I got my headache after only a month at a new job, so I kept them in the loop simply because I didn't realize the headache was NEVER going to go away. I sometimes wondered if I would have told them if I knew it would be a chronic condition. I think I would have since it could affect their workload if I had a really bad attack. As it was, I was never able to stay that late for a new site launch because the pain would get too bad.

    The quote at the beginning of this post is so poignant, sad, yet truthful. There have been times I've really resented hope. It's much easier to accept that I'm ill and to learn to deal with it, rather than to sit around hoping for a cure.

  6. BTW, I just found your blog and I LOVE it. I'm still reading the archives, but you've tried so many of the same things I have. I'd never heard of the tight-bra theory though. That's a gem!

    Thanks for blogging about all of this. I've kept my headache on the down-low on my blog because people send me such well-meaning, yet completely annoying advice that makes me want to bludgeon them. It's so comforting to know that I'm not the only one who's been caught in this battle with her body.

  7. Have you every looked into neurostimulation? I've had headaches for 15 years, tried every drug and every treatment out there. After my headache got worse and became constant, i finally found a doctor to treat me with something other than drugs. I got my neurostimulator in June and it's given me my life back. If you are interested in more info, check out my blog:

  8. Thank you all for your comments, i haven't blogged for the past few weeks but will put up a new post soon with the latest updates.

    Jennette, I am glad to hear you enjoying reading my blog, I am just trying to make people aware of all the methods out there that I have tried as maybe they will work for others despite not having entirely worked for me..

    Banner, will have a look at your blog and read up on neurostimulation, thanks for the advice!

  9. Happy Boxing Day PH. Hope your headache is still at bay, and your natural remedies are still doing the best job possible!!!

  10. Thank you for this blog I have suffered with a headache for 3 years with pain averaging a 5/10, I feel like I am living a nightmare but am very comforted to hear other people put in words what I feel everyday. It is nice to know your out there and I am not alone.