05
Jun
11

i’m in a boring place, you get a boring post.

I fear you not, brain freeze. You are nothing to me.

So I’ve been down and out the last two weeks with the migraine straight off the bus from Hell. I wake up and within an hour my head hurts. It hurts until I go to sleep at night. It doesn’t hurt when I’m running and for a little while after. It also doesn’t hurt as I’m engaged in the ritual of eating. So, basically if I spend the whole day either eating or running I should feel okay. I have a referral in at the Headache clinic where they are taking an “achingly” long time reviewing my health history and contacting me about an appointment. I’ve seen several specialists already, all of whom say it couldn’t possibly be [fill in the blank with their specialty] that’s causing the pain, it must be [fill in the blank with another doctor’s specialty]. So the little bit of free thought space I have has been consumed by pain or the idea of pain or the puzzle of pain. I found a book in the library about one woman’s quest to find the cure to her epic headache and I brought it to bed to read. The print was too small; it gave me a headache.

All this pain has been confusing to the Mister. He’s never had a migraine and rarely has a headache. He’s rarely in pain. Even if he is; he doesn’t talk about it. He tweaked his back years ago trying to bust open a painted shut window in an old dump apartment we lived in. I know that the pain hasn’t gone away, but he never mentions it. Me? Earlier in my life I would have mentioned it as often as possible, but now my pain has become a sticking point with the Mister. I won’t say it irritates him, but he doesn’t like hearing about it. It bothers him that I’m in pain and no one knows why. He wants an answer now damn it! The last thing I need when my head is working its way toward explosion is to ponder the question, “Why don’t you ever feel good?”  There’s that Mr. Fix It rearing his ever so helpful head again, toting his problem solving tool box.

Ice cream induced pain? No. I feel nothing but chocolatey joy.

My recent life focus on pain made me wonder about pain, migraine specifically. Do women get them more than men? Yes, all the research says yes, but I wanted to know why. Why, when we also get the multifaceted joys of pregnancy and childbirth dumped on our plates do we also get the gift of migraines? The answer I found after combing the internet and reading countless abstracts on articles about this topic, is that no one knows. Yes, more women get migraines than men, about double. But, science has no freaking clue why. Thanks a lot science. The closest I came to an answer was the fact that before puberty boys and girls have an equal chance of getting migraines, but once the hormones kick in we shoot way up. It isn’t the presence of the hormones themselves, more their fluctuation over time. What else did I find out? There’s a genetic component and some PhD student in Australia believes that female’s pesky, extra X chromosome is the culprit, but that’s just an idea presented on a well illustrated Powerpoint presentation. My books had nothing on the topic, but I found the closest thing I could:

are boys and men less sensitive to pain?

The answer according to Leonard Sax, M.D. and Ph.D. in his book, Why Gender Matters, is simply yes. Males are less sensitive to pain than females, but it’s a real neurological difference and not just society’s expectations of how we handle pain. Originally researchers assumed that men and women felt pain the same and were expressing that pain according to societal rules about boys not crying, etc. Now, scientists have research that shows that there is actually a difference in the way the brain manages and feels pain in men and women, particularly in times of stress. Men feel less pain in times of stress, women more. Except in the case of pregnancy; a woman in her second or third trimester feels less pain. The body’s way of getting a woman ready for birth, obviously.

The difference is actually in the cellular structure. And after that point he loses me. He does say however that this difference in cellular structure means that pain may need to be dealt with differently in men and women. Like female specific pain relievers. So all this means that in the end boys and men too are more likely to take risks that may be painful. Maybe this explains why a fun afternoon for my boys is when you can get your brother in a choke hold or kick him in the nuts. It just doesn’t hurt them as much as it would hurt me?  Fine, you guys go out into the back yard and beat each other with wiffle bats for a while. My migraine and I are going up to my dark bedroom and cursing the genetic and hormonal make up that completes me.

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3 Responses to “i’m in a boring place, you get a boring post.”


  1. 1 Linda Brown
    June 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Hope it gets better soon and you get an appointment. Mom

  2. June 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Ouch. The only thing worse than pain is pain that CAN’T BE EXPLAINED. I hope it goes away soon.

  3. June 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I’m sorry, honey. I’m so, so sorry. Sometimes I feel pain, but mostly I just feel sleepy or hungry or sweaty or lustful or happy or angry. Or frustrated when a problem can’t be solved, even by 6 fricking MDs. It just really stinks that you feel the way you do.

    I do know that, for me, aching pain, when associated with some previous physical endeavour, comes with a feeling of satisfaction. Like tired muscles after a day of shoveling gravel. Sharp, quick pain comes with a feeling of wonder that I have endured whatever delivered that pain, like for example a flying, knees-first leap off the arm of the couch by our little boy, straight into my spine.

    But, headaches just really blow. I don’t get them often, but when I do I hate them because there’s no good reason for a headache to be present. Unless I got hit in the head with a whiffle bat.


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