It was two years ago yesterday that I finished Week One of that wonderful I-MATCH program that finally brought a gradual end to the Great Headache Crisis. I’m reasonably sure that without that program either I’d still be in pain or I’d have ended my life because of the pain.
The pain faded over the course of a few months after I completed the program, but not completely. Once in awhile the pain would return for a day or two or four, like some deadbeat cousin who keeps coming over to crash on your couch. That hasn’t happened for a long time, though; I can’t remember the last time it happened. But perhaps one day out of every three, particularly during the evenings, I would get an irritating, impossible-to-describe sensation in my head, not exactly pain but more like the ghost of it.
Taking my medicine — a combination codeine/fiornal pill — would get rid of the sensation, but I didn’t want to use the pills too often, both because of the potential of what’s called rebound headache, and because I only had so many pills. Most times I would just try to ignore it. I got pretty good at ignoring it.
But my point is that I haven’t had that strange sensation happen since at least January 21 — two weeks now. (Something unusual happened on January 21, nothing to do with headaches, but it made that day a marker for me.) That’s got to be a record.
I have no illusions. I’m pretty sure it will return. In fact today I called in for a prescription refill for the headache pills, for that eventuality. (They’re pretty good with back pain and cramps too.) But right now I’m enjoying a life free of headaches or even the reminder of headaches.
Tonight I was rereading my old blog posts written during the Great Headache Crisis, and I’m amazed that I got through it. At some points, about the only thing that was keeping me from suicide was Michael and my family and my responsibilities towards them. I don’t view surviving the GHC to be any major accomplishment. It’s a terrible situation, and you’re stuck in it, and you live or you die.