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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

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Sleep Is
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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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Wednesday
Jan162008

I look better with an entire head.

I was dreaming that half my head was gone. I was looking in a mirror, and I was only half a head. That's strange, I thought, I must not be looking closely enough. I woke up and the right side of my head, from the eye down, was a block of pain. Not throbbing, not searing, just pain itself. Even the roof of my mouth was pain. Touching it with my tongue brought tears to my eyes. It was 5 a.m., what was I supposed to do now? People don’t simply get up at 5 a.m., that's ridiculous. After three or so minutes of mentally mapping the contours of my new agonizing head space, I got up. I went downstairs. Our house is shockingly loud. Every floorboard explodes upon contact. BAM. POW. SHE'S HEADING TO THE KITCHEN. Izzy the cat was freaking out that she had company. Hey! I'm up too! Let’s bat at some Legos together! Hey!

I found the appropriate painkillers and I took them and I ordered them to get to work. Now what? Now I would Google, of course. "Sinus pain without congestion." "Sinus pain + no congestion." "Sinus agony turns out to be sudden fatal tumor." As usual, I found message board after message board with people listing their symptoms, people who have been in discomfort for weeks. Why don't they go to a doctor? I had been conscious with this pain for 15 minutes and I could barely stand it. The advice on the boards was always the same. Contact your doctor. Stop writing to the Internet and call someone who can see you in person.

When I realized the Advil was kicking in and I was getting drowsy, I hurried back to bed. My brilliant and also gorgeous husband brought the child to school, and when I woke up at 10 a.m., the head pain was gone. I have no idea what that was, but thank you, head, for getting rid of it. Please don't let it happen again. Especially not before it's light out.

Reader Comments (33)

What I want to know is which half of your head was missing? The top half or the side that was in pain? Why does no one else need to know this but me?
January 16, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterall things bd
THANK YOU!! I've just recently rediscovered the internet and you've made it such a joyus occassion. Your posts have literally made me laugh out loud, cry tears of hilarity and literally pee my pants. I love your writing and pinky swear to read every day.
January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYvonne
I get migraines and this sounds like a migraine. I've gotten to the point where my dr. has special meds for me. Not Imitrex, that makes it worse for me*, but an non-tylenol bearing pain killer. Heavy-duty pain killer.* That means that the headaches are not technically migraines but cluster headaches. Which are just as painfull.I have found that advil or aleve (all hail aleve, the only cramp eliminating otc on the market) taken within 10 minutes of the preliminary dizziness precludes the need for the heavy stuff. May all your headaches be so easy to banish.
January 16, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Bird
I'll stand up against the crowd - it doesn't have to be migraine. It could just as well be a completely normal tension headache - I used to have those and it made me feel the same, like Arnie in Terminator with half my face missing. Tension headaches can cause sinus pain because the sinus nerve runs along your upper teeth and down your jaw, so if you have tension in your neck and jaw on one side - there you are, sinus pain (my dentist explained this to me).
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnja
OMG!!!! I would traid some mind splitting pain to be able to sleep until 10AM. I haven't seen the other side of 8:30 still in bed in years. Now that will give you a headache. :)
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaundry & Children
Traid should be Trade. See what lack of sleep will get you.
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaundry & Children
Hmm ... Migraines are mostly on one side of the head, but they're also usually behind and above the eye rather than below, and there's usually nausea involved. (My husband, my daughter and I all were/are sufferers, so I have a lot of unhappy experience.) Maybe you could have been sleeping in an awkward position and pinched a nerve that later unpinched itself? Either way, I'm glad it went away!
January 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa
Yes, Alice, how original, I think you had a migraine.I've had them for years, since childhood probably, and my twins seem to have migraine tendencies too. Migraines do not always have nausea associated. It's always on one side of the head, and has other symptoms. Sensitivity to noise is one of my main symptoms and for me sleep is the best cure. I always feel like the pain is so intense it makes my body shut down.Having said that, it wouldn't hurt (or maybe it will) to check with your dentist that every thing is O.K. since tooth pain can feel like sinus pain/migraine,but it does sound an awful lot like my migraines...Hope it was a one-off for you.Take care.
January 18, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpascale

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