I tend to have a high tolerance for pain. Mainly, it’s because I’ve suffered with headaches my entire life. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t have a headache at some point. I’ve learned to deal with it and suffer through the pain. Most of the time a pain reliever helps; sometimes nothing does. I’ve have taken numerous medicines throughout my life to try and prevent having headaches, but nothing has ever been effective. Some have had bad aide effects, such as when a doctor prescribed Elavil (amitriptyline). It gave me night terrors. Another was Ativan (lorazepam) is supposed to be a short term drug; usually its recommended that someone should not for longer than 3-6 months. If used for long periods of time, it causes severe depression. I was a teenager when I took this drug and was on it for over a year. Some of the severe side effects include confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself;. Not only did it not help my headaches, but it also caused severe depression. Combine the side effects of Ativan and a teenager confused about his sexuality, and you have a dangerous mix. It was during this time that I attempted suicide. I was 16 at the time.

I’m writing this because I was thinking last night of my problems with headaches. Sinus headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraines all have afflicted me through my life. What I take for my headaches depends on what type it is. Sometimes nothing helps. Medicine may lessen the pain, but not make it go away. Beginning Wednesday night before I went to bed, my head began to hurt. I took something and went to sleep. I woke with a headache the next morning, and I knew it would be a bad one. It was one of those that hurt all over, especially behind my eyes and the back of my head. This was also a headache that came with nausea, photophobia, phonophobia, and lightheadedness. Thankfully, these types of headaches, which is generally a mixture of migraine and tension headaches, only happen 2-3 days out of a year. However, when they do occur, they are quite incapacitating. I stayed in bed most of the day yesterday and took the strongest pain medicine I had. It barely fazed it.

HRH, my cat, gave me some comfort. She lay beside me and kept patting my head with her paw. After 15 years, she knows when I have a headache. I’m sure there is a mixture of genetic, physical, and psychological reasons for my headaches. I’ve had them for as long as I can remember. Maybe one day, they will either stop or they will find some kind of preventive measure that works. I hope each of you are some of the blessed people who never suffer from headaches, and if you do suffer from headaches, I hope that it is infrequently. I assume that most people who have some type of chronic condition learns to deal with it in the best way they can, as I have learned to deal with my headaches.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

8 responses to “Pain

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