I Stared Into The Light
to kill some of my pain—
it was all in vain, no senses remained
I’ve made a breakthrough in searching for the cause of the chronic headaches I’ve been suffering from for the better part of three years.
It seems to me that headaches can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of. I suspected so many things and made a few changes, but to no avail. Not necessarily bad changes though; I’ll keep them up because they seem to be doing me some good in other ways.
For example, I thought maybe lack of sleep was to blame. So I did some reading and followed a few tips for falling asleep more quickly. Dimmer lights, no computer before bed (the bright monitor screen tricks your brain into thinking it is daytime), a bit of slow stretching, and a repetitive activity that lulls the brain into a trance (knitting is working splendidly for this). I used to lie awake for over half an hour but that time is much less now— around ten minutes if I’m not fretting over something.
Still though, I was getting headaches too often, and always most poignantly on Mondays. So I suspected it was something to do with work. Maybe that I didn’t eat breakfast, so I started buying cereal to eat at work. Well it’s nice not to be hungry until noon, but still: headaches.
Stinging nettle tea. Drinking gallons of water. Filtered water. Bottled water. Adjusting my chair. Turning off the overhead fluorescent lights. Nothing really worked. People usually blamed eye strain from staring at a monitor all day. It was possible but I doubted it. It didn’t fit with why I didn’t get headaches so often in school, or on weekends.
Last Monday I had leftover food from the day before so I didn’t leave the office at lunch, and by 2pm I was in agony, even feeling short of breath and dizzy. I went outside and started to feel a little better, but was back to where I was when I came inside. I asked Phil if he’s had issues with the air quality in our building. He said that if he doesn’t leave for a while at noon, he can hardly stay awake until five. He said our building wasn’t built to code as far as ventilation is concerned and that isn’t going to change. He said I could go home and I did.
Since then, I’ve gone outside for at least ten minutes at lunch and haven’t had a headache yet. I discounted “air quality” as the culprit when I was first looking into it, but I shouldn’t have. Aside from getting some fresh air at lunch, there probably isn’t a lot I can do, but knowing is half the battle. I’m going to get an air purifier to see if that helps at all, but mostly I’m just happy to have an answer.
So, short camping trips on weekends are starting to look better!