At first, it is a slight discomfort. I blink my eyes a lot. I feel like I have pulled my hair back a little too severely today. I try to loosen it then remember that its hardly nice to have hair all over your face in curly nasty strands, at work, and pull it back. I squint at the sunlight. Its not super strong outside sun, its filtered through the tinted glass in my car windows, and my very black sunglasses, still, it hurts to look at it. The left side - that place just between the eyebrows and the eyelids - I massage it a bit. It feels like there is some lumpy hurting thing in there. The lids start to droop.
Then it spreads. To the right. Pretty soon, I am massaging both eyes pretty hard. Its hurts and helps at the same time. At least its better than when it hurts in the base of the head, I think. That one is different, this one is in the front of my face, in my forehead and eye region and I feel like I must tear out my eyebrows to make it better.
I usually know why it happens, in an afterthought. Yesterday, for example, I ran in the morning. I was a bit sleepy when I woke up, and my legs were stiff. But DISCIPLINE, above all, I told myself, and I went, slightly bleary, to run with the group. It was a chatty run so I did not think much about the various discomforts of body. Or the blister. I returned home to find the homies asleep still. I ran around for getting the monster up and at it for school. Breakfast. I had just started to make idlis when the cook came. I ran up the stairs again. I was almost ready, but still semi-naked when the maid knocked loudly on the door saying that the milk lady wanted her money. I ran down again (after pulling on clothes) to find that she had disappeared. Cursed a bit, gave the money to the maid to pass on to milk lady and ran back up. I had to comb out my hair - thats when I realised that I was on a slippery slope. My hair was super wet (YUCK), and I had forgotten to dry it out.
Ok, Headache 101 says that sweaty hair squished into a pony-tail is a complete no-no. Oh well. I was rushing. Which isn't helpful either. All the zen I acquire by running in the early mornings, I lose in the half hour of getting ready for school, I swear. And with the zen gone, whats to prevent the pain? Plus I was in argument mode. Which is again not helpful. I have had about a billion imaginary conversations. Some of them have gone better than others. All of them have stirred up the brain immensely, pulling in to stop, in their own unique way at Headache Central.
As the day progressed and I had to walk around from meeting to meeting and talk to a billion people, the pounding got more insistent. I know NOTHING, really, nothing, could help me now. Just hang in there, Kenny. I attended a presentation, and immediately regretted it. Flashing neon colours from a LCD projector - oh heavens - make that orange go away, please. I ate lunch at my desk as I couldn't bear to see the sun. Even that was not very relaxing as students kept pouring in and eyeing my curd rice dabba (back off, you kids). When I went home at 6, it was writ large on my face. But still, had to go to the grocery store, start the monster off on various evening things, make marginal polite conversations.. and yes, have a bit of a yell-fest with husband, I would like to believe, not just because my head was hurting. It was justified. I was at least partly right. Gulp. I hope. Else I hope he has forgiven me - based on the ashen look I was sporting all evening.
I am in my bed now, but the relief is uneven. I rub in some smelly oils into my forehead. I try to nap (I know, ridiculous at 7:45 pm, but what do I do?). I force myself to eat some dinner. The rest of the household has finished up, its 9:30, everyone is ready for bed. I crawl back in to bed, pop some pain-killers (useless they are, really), push away the monster who wants to scratch my biceps - the one further away from her - yell at her - she yells back - someone switches off the light - and its over and out. The shows not done with yet, I know. Headaches like this? They last a couple of days at least. And the sun, my hormones, my sweaty hair, crowded campus, swelteringly hot office, bright computer screen, sadness, self-pity, these don't help. At all.