Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Always wear sunscreen!

Last week, I wound up with a killer cluster headache. If you don't know about cluster headaches, they are horrible things that are worse than migraines (I get both). It feels like a white hot drill is drilling into your eyeball. If you have one, you tend to try to hit your head on things, push so hard on your eyeball that you nearly gouge it out, and you want to be alone and away from light. While lying down tends to help migraines, it makes clusters worse. The nostril on the afflicted side stuffs up, and the eye becomes teary. You get almost no warning when they are about to strike; they come on very suddenly, with maybe a hint of an aura (like with migraines), just enough to let you say, "Oh no, not THIS again." When they're over, they go just as suddenly, but not after making you seriously consider shooting yourself in the head or finding a heroin dealer. Sometimes Brian can massage them away, but this one wasn't going ANYWHERE.

This time, however, I had a secret weapon--a secret stash of a single, very expensive Maxalt pill, the quick-dissolving kind. These are prescription only, and they can be pretty dangerous for people with heart problems, and I hadn't yet taken one before. I figured I'd just store it in my cupboard until the expiration ran out. Once that cluster hit, though, I tried everything before deciding to risk the Maxalt ( Yes, I do have a prescription for Vicoprofen, but that didn't touch it). I let Brian know what the risks were, and asked him to keep an eye on me (I don't have heart problems or high blood pressure, but you never know what might happen), and let that sucker dissolve under my tongue.

Within a few minutes, the cluster slowed down to a dull throb, and I was verrry sleepy. I dropped off into a deep sleep, and I awoke a few hours later, headache-free, very mellow, but utterly exhausted. When the cluster is over, you feel like you have run a marathon in your brain. You don't feel the pain, but you're just completely spent.

Now, I've relayed this whole cluster headache story to set up for what I did this weekend. Karen and I went to the Waterford Canalfest on Saturday. It was very sunny out, and I got scorched. The thing is, we weren't there long enough for me to get as horribly burned as I did. It's now Tuesday afternoon, and it's not getting better--and it hurts like fricken hell. I'd forgotten that Maxalt makes you REALLY sensitive to sunlight. Worse than antibiotics sensitive. I'd pretty much forgotten that I had taken it, so I didn't even think about sunscreen. I'm just glad I managed to pick up some sunglasses, because I would have been half-blind for a couple days in addition to being broiled.

I guess I deserved the rather nasty lesson in ALWAYS WEARING SUNSCREEN!

1 comment:

thejunkyswife said...

Ouch. That sound horrid. I have migraines, and they strike in the most interesting ways. The first time I had one, I was in the midst of teaching a class full of Chinese students...I was teaching English as a second language, and they were very new immigrants. I thought I was having an acid flashback, and had to convey the situation to them with sign language...very strange moment in my life...