Headache

Bottle of Aleve

The sun was shining, the sky was blue, there was no snow in sight, and we were on our way for a fun afternoon with family at a high school show choir event.

But if my life were a movie, a low and ominous string section would have appeared in the soundtrack as I drove our Honda Fit down the hill from our house.

I recognized a faint and nagging sign of an oncoming headache.

Should I turn back, run into the house and take something to nip this infant headache in the bud?

“Nah!” I told myself. “It will go away on its own once we get underway.”

Fast forward to the end of the day and you would find me alone in that same Honda Fit in an Olive Garden parking lot, trying to recline in the passenger seat and remain as still as possible, holding my hand over my eyes to shield them from any incoming light, and praying to God that I would not throw up.

I’ve had these incapacitating headaches before, but it has been quite a while.

Maybe that’s why I had ignored the signs.

I had ignored the signs and it had come to this.

I had blown off that early nagging sign of the oncoming headache.

By late afternoon, the feeling was stronger.

My sister, seated next to me and no stranger to this type of headache, noticed a telltale sign – I had been rubbing the back of my neck.

She had some medicine on hand if I wanted to take some.

Mistake number two: I accepted the offer but said I would wait until we got to the restaurant after the show where it would be more convenient to take the medicine with a glass of water.

(Note to self: next time, go for the water fountain and don’t delay.)

We arrived at the restaurant and put our name on the list. It was Saturday night, so the wait was going to be just under an hour for our party of nine. It was super crowded, so I figured I would hold off taking the medicine until we were seated at a table and I got some water.

I was feeling bad, but still felt I could “manage” and push my way through it.

We got to the table, I got a glass of water, and I took the medicine.

By this time, though, it was dawning on me that my plan to “manage” and push my way through this, was a very stupid plan. Not to mention delusional.

The final clue was when I opened the menu and searched for something I thought I could eat – or even THINK about eating – without disastrous consequences.

I ordered “just salad,” but soon realized even that was not going to work.

So I quietly told my husband I was heading to the car.

And there I was.

I felt horrible for putting a damper on the evening.

I regretted not getting to visit with everyone.

I was riding it out as best I could.

Moral of the story:

I shouldn’t have ignored the first signs.

I shouldn’t have delayed taking advantage of the help that was offered.

And I should remember how very lucky I am to have such a wonderful and understanding family.

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