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A pounding head is a pain in the neck

Something as painful, mind-numbing and mood-wrecking is not just an ache

At this ungodly hour, I lie wide awake amidst the thunderous tractor-like snores courtesy my better half, and the dreamless baby babble of our progeny’s.

But it is not the cacophony of ‘domestic bliss’ that keeps me up at this time of the night. I am suffering from an acute case of reduced blood flow to several areas of the cortex. To put it simply, let’s just say I have a severe headache.

Not the kind of headache one uses to wriggle out of a last-minute plan. Not the kinds that gets triggered on listening to singers who prefer metal over notes. It’s not even close to the one you get when the nosy neighbourhood aunty pesters you to have a coterie of children all at once. It is much worse than watching re-runs of saas bahu sagas while munching on pretentious butter popcorn. This headache makes you want to rattle Freddie Mercury, nukkarwali Mrs. Sharma and Ekta Kapoor all at once, till they dissolve into oblivion and all that you have is Mills and Boon, and some Sooraj Barjatya left in this world — no brain and no drain.

Beyond an ache

Headache is an overused word. It is grossly unfair that something as excruciatingly painful, mind-numbing and mood-wrecking is simply called an ache somewhere in the head. Besides popping all sorts of painkillers, I have resorted to even primitive methods of curing my ailment. I tie a crinkly piece of dupatta around my head, and go about the house much like Bandit Queen.

If such knotting-up fails to pump up anymore blood into my head, I call out to my domestic help. She is free to vent all her anger by punching the back of my head to relieve me of my headache. This exercise has a becalming effect on her as it has on me. At the end of the exercise she can be seen grinning ear to ear, whereas I end up with a well-evened-out but throbbing blob of mass.

I muster courage to finally visit a specialist. A horrifying list of brain scans and eye check-ups are recommended, along with a battery of medicines. The treatment begins, but there’s no respite. In fact, the heavy medication has turned me into Buddy, our four-legged companion.

Quite like him, I mostly either sleep or eat. In the hours I’m awake, I look around the house — groggy-eyed and too slow to absorb — and process any piece of information that the homo sapien variety has to throw at me.

This pestering headache has caused my mother and mother-in-law to resort to praying to the ‘lemon and chilli gods’ to fend off any sort of evil eye that may have stanched the flow of blood to the cortex. Out the window goes their image, as they mumble mantras .

Before the headache and its treatment both get out of hand, my knight in shining armour swoops in. He has had enough, says the person with enough blood flowing to the cortex. He directs me to start being kind to my body, cut down on caffeine and sleep on time. I follow his treatment, albeit reluctantly, for the next few days, and I begin to feel light-headed. The headache then disappears as if it was never there in the first place!

This entire episode has left me with an important lesson. Listen to your body. It always tells you if something is amiss, in the form of a headache, body cramps or fatigued muscles. Listen to it with all your heart, and you’ll know what to do!

Take good care of your body, after all it is the only place you have to live in.

seeratsandhu25@yahoo.com

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:31:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/a-pounding-head-is-a-pain-in-the-neck/article8548557.ece

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