I’m 36 years old and up until yesterday, I could proudly declare that I’d never had a headache before. “Never?” people asked with a tinge of disbelief. “Never,” I’d silently gloat. But that all changed at about eight p.m. last night.
Out of nowhere, I got this weird chill and then BAM all of this pressure on both sides of my head. I laid down on the couch and pouted to my husband, “my head feels funny like there’s all of this weird pressure.” And he was like, “huh, that’s weird,” absently and not at all concerned because he’d binge-watched Peaky Blinders all day and was on episode 2,000. I glared at the side of his head and mumbled, “hopefully I don’t die,” before rolling over to watch the show with him and swoon ever so slightly over Cillian Murphy’s character, Tommy Shelby. I’m really into Cillian Murphy’s presence, he’s hard to look away from with his confusing eyes that are like terrifying but also charming. And I kind of get his character Tommy and like to shout advice at the t.v. as if we were having coffee together in a cafe somewhere in Birmingham. “Keep your eye on Michael! He didn’t grow up like you and he didn’t even flinch when someone got killed. He’s a sociopath! He’ll take over!”
I grew up very, very rough and tumble. As a kid, I had a group of friends who were not unlike the Shelby kids. They fought, they stole, and a few of them ended up in prison (although one became a cop, another a psychologist, one went to Stanford, and many of them are now successful business owners because nobody is better at running a business than little shithead street kids). And for whatever reason, there’s still a small part of me that gets an occasional lady boner over a bad boy with the big heart. Tommy Shelby is cool, he’s intelligent, and he’s a family man. What’s not to like? The answer: all that murder.
So, I’m mumbling advice to the t.v. when the pressure in my head suddenly turns to pain, like an invisible troll is bopping me on the head. It hurt. And I started to panic and grabbed my head and starting pushing on it like a ripe melon. My husband, F, noticed me cradling my head and finally got a little worried. “Babe? Are you okay?” he rubbed my arm. “No, dude,” I peaked out through my arms that were wrapped around my head, “I think I’m having a stroke or something.” F disappeared and came back with a thermometer because this little device is his answer to any and all sickness. When we were dating he once sprinted out of a hotel room to buy a thermometer because I had period cramps. I used to fight off the thermometer but we’ve been together for long enough that I know there’s no point, he’ll just keep trying to airplane the thing into my mouth until I give in any way. I begrudgingly held it in my mouth while my head pulsed like the treble in a speaker. My temperature was normal. He shrugged, “maybe you’re getting the flu?”
I laid back on the couch and grabbed my phone to google my symptoms. A tension Headache was the first thing to come up under WebMD. The second thing that came up was CERTAIN DEATH. A headache?
“Babe, do I have a headache?” I asked.
F’s face lit up, “does it feel like your head is in that one machine thing that squeezes you?”
“Yeah! That’s a headache babe!”
Then he laughed for ten minutes because I’d been panicking over essentially nothing. But that didn’t make my head stop hurting. It kept aching until about 5 a.m. this morning. I slept like shit and I feel totally drained today. How do people just get these all the time and still carry on normally? WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE!?
I’ve decided that headaches are like natures little way of saying, “fuck you,” for absolutely no reason. Life was just a little bit better when I didn’t have them but I’m also pretty glad that I wasn’t having a stroke.