Thursday, June 23, 2011

I don't get headaches.

I don't get headaches.
Sure, if I knock back a few too many whiskey and cokes I may wake up a bit foggy, but water and fresh air clear that right up.
Starting last week I've been waking up from a fitful sleep every morning with a stiff neck and killer headache. I kept ignoring it, blaming it on exercise, over sleeping, lack of carbs.
I stopped exercising. Got up on time. Ate some carbs.
Still, I wake up with a headache.
Over the last week the entire situation has worsened. The pain comes in waves, my temples throb, and my eyes feel heavy. It makes me nauseous and for once I have no appetite.
A week of firsts.
I don't get headaches.
My childhood was controlled by headaches. Not mine, my Mom's.
My Mom was an amazing mother, she had dinner on the table every night, kept our house immaculate, and faithfully watched Oprah every day. Her and my Dad were grossly romantic, I'd catch them stealing kisses or hear them giggling around corners. My Mom would get completely dolled up every day, with bright pink lipstick and tons of big 80's hair. She always had these crazy acrylic nails and her toes were painted bright enough to match. She was funny in a very honest way, she didn't try to be silly and witty like my Dad, she would just say things that happened to be funny and get mock-mad when we laughed at her. She'd lay out in our backyard covered in tanning oil with a big pink visor on reading Danielle Steele novels all summer, turning redder and redder and never reaching that elusive tan. She was strict and over-protective. She knew where I was every moment, what I watched, who I spoke to and even what I ate. She breathed motherhood. Then one day we were all out front of my house and my Mom was bending over to plant something in the little dirt area by our front door when she cried out and fell. My Dad reached her first, and the memory is unclear to me but my inner childhood video camera tells me she was holding her head. All I know for sure is that was the day everything changed for all of us.
She had a headache for the rest of her life.
She fought it, she fought herself, and she fought us.
The pills, the daily doctor office visits, the pain shots, coming home to an empty house and having no idea where she was until finally figuring out an ambulance had taken her... again. The hyperventilating and crying, and ultimately becoming bed-ridden as she hid herself away from the world. The divorce, the nursing home and her death.
She had a headache for the rest of her life.
I don't get headaches.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Olivia, You inspire me. Your mother sounds like a fabulous woman and I wish I had met her too. Huggs!

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