Dear Blogistan, AssalamuAlaikum
I’m slightly delayed in updating because I’m thinking thoughts. Maybe not thinking so much as sorting, here’s what I have.
The state of my head:
-Day one off of medication was fine. A few jabs in the ear but I made a point to relax and breathe and ignore it. Alhamdulillah, no problema.
– Day Two: Better than day one, no pain. All good. Smooth sailing. Until Abez becomes severely but quietly mad about something and within an hour develops what feels like a blow to the right side of the head and throat. Bang!
– Day Three: (today) Woke up and felt fine. No pain, but within ten minutes of waking up I was again faced with what had made me mad the day before, and my ear/face/head (right side as usual) have hurt all day since. It’s 11:55 pm right now.
Mind over Body, Body vs. Mind?
Everything happens for a reason, bi-Iznillah, and I find it an interesting coincidence that at the zenith of my anger and headache an interesting documentary came BBC World about the effect of stress on the human body. Living on stress is the equivalent of pushing the brake and the accelerator at the same time, and although you can mentally adjust yourself to it, that doesn’t stop you from damaging the engine.
The extent of the engine damage varies from one person to another, and basically there are a whole slew of things that stress can do to you simply based on the fact that it’s too much for your body to be running on ‘ARGH!’ mode all the time. And I don’t mean the mind is in a state of Argh, it’s the body that’s in a state of Argh, doing all sorts of slowly deteriorating damage. Could this directly account for me having a head-ache on the right side of my head? I don’t know, because that’s not what a tension head-ache is, but the effects of living under stress for long periods of time do cause damage to the body over time.
I’m hoping some med-savvy blogger will jump in and explain this more clearly, but basically stress races your heart, breaks down your arteries, raises your cholesterol, lowers your immunity, raises blood pressure, scatters your brains (come back here!) and accelerates general unhealthiness by diverting powering from the main thrusters to the forward shields instead. (More power Scotty, we need more Power! I cannae do it Captain! She cannae take the strain!)
Although this may seem somewhat connected to what the neurologist said about me seeing a psychiatrist, it actually isn’t. The gist of what he said was: The pain’s all in your head, (imaginary) see a psychiatrist. The gist of what I’m considering is: Stress has taken its toll on my poor unsuspecting head.
I’m willing to consider the stress theory because my second-rate stomach tried to digest itself (chronic gastritis) for the first time when Aniraz and I were living in Karachi away from the family, which was actually a very mentally taxing time. The second time the stomach tried to digest itself (the sequel, with a vengeance!) was the day after my engagement broke off. Ten months and hundreds of bottles of Gaviscon later my stomach is finally healed Alhamdulillah and I am happily indulging in the occasional nihari without consequence. I’m also drinking tea and coffee again (-zing-), something that was too painful to do when my stomach lining was inflamed.
I was discussing this with, or rather, at Crayon, who’s a saint to let me talk her ear off on the phone, and she mentioned how this might be an effect of me not venting stress. Strange thing is, I never feel the need to vent. I don’t feel the need to shout or swear, I’m not holding anything back. And that doesn’t mean that I’m a saint and never say anything out of anger, it just means that certain comments can be equally barbed at conversational volume levels.
So what am I going to do about my head? Well, I’m going to go with anti-stress first, because stress relief has no chemical side effects and can only do a body good. Although I’m interested, of course, in knowing what exactly is causing my lopsided headache, it’s my fervent hope that teaching my body to relax will help it to slow down and let it heal some of the damage that stress may have caused. At least that way it won’t involve any more drugs, doctors or toothpicks poking me in the face. 😀
If, even after taking chillaxation to the next level (I wanna take Tai-chi!) I’m still having one-sided headaches, then my Abbu basically insists that I head down to AKU and see another tabib, Insha’Allah. Am I averse to herbal medicine or alternative therapies? I don’t think so, but those are treatments, and a diagnosis would be nice too. 🙂 I need to know where I stand before I pick a direction to head in.
A heart-felt and huge JazakAllah for all the helpful suggestions that people have made, believe me, I’m making a list of them, and although I haven’t made a final decision on how to treat my head yet, I am keeping them in mind. 🙂
Love, Peace and Nihari Grease,