When I was a kid I would get these headaches. Today we’d call them migraines. Back then we called them BAD headaches. I don’t remember hearing the word migraine until after they’d stopped. Imagine a kid, doesn’t have to be me, about five years old with a headache so bad they can’t stop crying. I remember waking up with these things and that would be it for the day. I’d lay in a dark room with a cold wet rag on my forehead and every now and then I’d have enough presence of mind to moan like a lost soul at sea. No school. No TV. No noise. Nothing ever seemed to work on them either. No form of painkiller would help.
This continued from my early childhood till I was about ten years old.
After a few doctor’s visits and x-rays all paid for by my dad’s insurance it was discovered that the holes in my sinuses were too small. Basically, they weren’t draining enough and the pressure was making my life miserable. We eventually decided to have an operation done to widen those passages. I remember getting up at 5 in the morning and, fittingly, I had one of those headaches. I was miserable on the ride up to the hospital where my dad worked and the prep for surgery didn’t help. My most vivid memory was of laying on the operating table as they gave me anesthetic.
“I’m going to countdown from ten, Kevn. Talk to me till you can’t.”
My eyes get super watery at this point.
“I feel sleepy. . . biscuit. . .”
And that’s all she wrote. I woke up some time later with an oxygen mask on and Gomer Pyle on television. I barely remember pulling the mask off as soon as possible because I thought someone was trying to suffocate me. They told me they’d gone ahead and removed my tonsils and adenoids while they were in there and flushed my sinuses after the widening. I think that may have been the first time I’d ever been completely headache free in my life.
So now I’m an adult. I still get headaches and occasionally they’re as bad as the ones I remember. These aren’t nearly as terrible though. An Aleve or Advil or something and I can knock them out. But sometimes, on weekdays when I’m at home and my head starts hurting, I remember those long quiet days in the dark with my parents in the front room worrying for their son and I feel a bit better knowing those days are gone.