It’s been almost a week since I last posted – the reason: a wicked headache that lasted nine days! Here are a few things I learned from this experience in case it can help you, such as what I did to aggravate it, what I did to finally break free from it and how I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Most people suffer from headaches on the odd occasion. I’ve always been prone to them, in fact, about a year and a half after starting this blog, while my headaches decreased dramatically from my lifestyle changes, I began experiencing what I call a “mystery illness.”
When I started Live Lighter, I was on a real health kick. Actually, to be absolutely truthful, I probably went overboard with it. I lived such a clean lifestyle, despite my close social circle living like I used to, that it was almost impossible to keep it up forever – unless I were to make drastic changes with other parts of my life, which I wasn’t ready to do.
Slowly I reintroduced the “damaging” stuff back into my body. As this was happening, not only was work extremely stressful but issues were also quickly developing in my love relationship. Suddenly one night I got a wicked headache. I refused to put painkillers into my body so I suffered through it until I felt nauseous.
Off to the bathroom I went where I vomited several times and had a normal bowel movement. Within 30 minutes to an hour, my headache was gone like it had never happened, though I felt physically drained.
The next time it happened was 6 months later. The job situation had changed and the relationship issues had been addressed. I was laid off and my then common-law husband and I decided to stay together to give it another go.
Over the last few years, this mystery illness became more frequent. At one point, I had it once a month for 3 months! I went to my family doctor who issued a bunch of tests such as an MRI and cat-scan, and everything coming back normal. At the time, I couldn’t afford a Naturopathic doctor and since my family doc didn’t seem concerned, I just let it go to deal with at a later date.
Within the last year, this mystery illness has only shown itself about 3 times. However, this last one was a doozy, with the headache lasting an abnormal 9-days. And I know why, too.
It was an extremely busy week, between extra shifts with my restaurant gig, maintaining Live Lighter as well as my freelance writing clients. I also had a close friend need my support as she was dealing with her brother’s death, a mini-trip to prepare for, income taxes to do, and a few other small but necessary items that popped up that all needed attending to before leaving town for four days.
Because I couldn’t function properly with the headache, I took Advil every day. I also had alcohol, hoping that it would numb the pain a bit. All of this I believe aggravated the mystery illness and prolonged it.
As soon as I had a day off from work, I secluded myself in my apartment, refused to take any painkillers or food and drank only water, tea and juice. I dozed on and off for most of the day and near the end, the old familiar nausea came on. Sure enough, a few bathroom visits proved fruitful, but I still went to bed with the headache.
Thankfully, the next day I awoke without pain! I was stiff, though, and it felt like the headache was waiting to pounce again but as I took it easy that day and ate very light, it stayed away. Whew.
Next time this happens, I’m calling in sick no matter what. I also decided that I couldn’t afford not to book an appointment with a Naturopathic doctor. I will be going to see one this coming Wednesday to finally get to the bottom of this mystery illness once and for all.
What do YOU do when you have a headache? Have you ever experienced a mystery illness like mine? Please share in the comments below!