Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Translating my Headaches into Images

My husband, and doctors often ask me about my headaches.  How bad is it?  I hate the statement..."on a scale of 0 - 10 with 0 being no headache at all and 10 is going to the ER...how bad is your headache?"

That is such a broad statement.  Doesn't that depend on the person?  Normally, I have a headache.  It's always there, I simply push it to the back so I don't notice it so much.  If someone asked me if I had a headache, I'd probably say "no", but if I thought about it...I really do have a headache...it's there, I just refuse to acknowledge it.  So is that a 2 or perhaps a 3 for me?

Then I will have the nagging headache...the one that just sits there, and makes it's self known, but I can still function...some what.  Is that a 5 or a 6?  maybe?

Then there are the OMG my whole body hurts, I can't stand the light, I'm screaming, and starting to throw up...so is that a 9?  I'm sure for some my 7 or 8 would be a 10.  But I would probably have to pass out from the pain before I would go to the ER for a headache.  I keep thinking...I'll just take this (what ever med I'm on at the time) and it will be better soon.  Or I will take enough to knock me out...yeah...that will work.

Today I decided to play with a photo I took of myself when I was in a very interesting mood.

This is the progression of my headaches:
A bit more than the usual every day headache, but it's there a lot of the time.

Getting Worse....

Now the blinding shearing pain!  

A migraine and a Meniere's attack at the same time.  
One is bad enough by it's self, but having a horrible headache, while having vertigo....
a little slice of my personal hell.

Perhaps I should take these photos to my next doctor's appointment, and say...."My headache today looks like this!" and hold up the appropriate picture.


  1. I think taking the photos with you would be a great idea! That will certainly help explain the level of pain. As someone who almost always has a headache, I understand the dilemma of trying to convey the severity of it. I usually try to ignore it until it gets to crainium crushing stage; sometimes, though, if I need to use the computer, even a small headache will make reading/using the computer difficult.
    On a whole different topic: finally got my crayons! On sale, 6 thick crayons with two heads so each has two colo(u)rs. Not the 64 pack you suggested, but a start.

  2. Yay, Crayons! Aren't they fun? Doesn't the smell just take you back?
    Don't be timid! Be brave, be bold...colorize! hehehe...that just sounded cool didn't it?

    I'm glad you like my headache scale. I see you understand...I have a headache all the time...I usually don't pay attention to it until it's so bad my eyes won't open all the way...then it's..oh, man, I should have taken my meds by now.

    I will let you know how the doc likes the show and tell. : )

  3. Fantastic expresssions. I do think taking them to the doctor is a good idea.
    Now, you might do the same with feeling better and better and use that series as a visualization.

  4. Judith!
    What a wonderful suggestion!
    thank you!!

  5. I'm a retired nurse, and I always thought the pain rating question was sort of dumb for all the reasons you suggest. Your art, on the other hand, tells it all, and I think you should definitely show the doctor! These say it all. nancy


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