Headaches in Metaphor

A few years ago, my car developed an annoying symptom. The steering wheel woogled back and forth while I was driving. It wasn’t enough of a woogle to make it unsafe or uncontrollable or anything, but it was annoying.

I asked the service guys at the dealership if they could fix the woogle. The service dude told me that before I paid them to look at it, I should take it back to the tire place, because the tires were almost certainly the problem. They weren’t aligned properly, or they were wearing unevenly, or something.

So I took it to the tire place, where the tire guys aligned and straightened and generally futzed with the tires. When they were done, the steering wheel still woogled. “It’s not the tires,” the tire guy told me, “it’s the car. Get the dealership to fix it.”

I went back to the dealership and had the service guys look at it. Not surprisingly, they concluded that there was nothing wrong with the car. “It’s the tires.”

Also a few years ago, a client and I were unable to connect with each other via our professional email addresses. They just wouldn’t cooperate. I didn’t get her emails or she didn’t get mine. I can’t remember which way it went, but they wouldn’t play nice. I contacted my service provider and was told, in no uncertain terms, that her service provider was the problem. Not surprisingly, her service provider told her, in no uncertain terms, that my service provider was the problem. We ended up working with facebook messages and Hotmail addresses.

I have these headaches. Most days. I am experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety. Every day. The spiraling stress/anxiety dialogue that happens in my brain intensifies my headaches.

So I have a plan.

I’m going to see a therapist and a medical doctor. When I describe my headaches, the therapist is going to tell me to see a doctor. The doctor is going to tell me to see a therapist. I know how this works, see?

A few months ago, I replaced the tires on my woogly vehicle. The woogling immediately, miraculously stopped, because it was the tires, of course. If I can just figure out how to replace the unevenly worn-out tires in my brain, my headaches will stop too.

Won’t they?

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13 thoughts on “Headaches in Metaphor

  1. Car = Honda Odyssey, yes? Had the same problem and finger pointing in my old one. Hoping the new one is woogle free. Good thinking on the headache approach, too – no room for finger pointing.

  2. I am having fewer ‘spells’ (never made it to the doc to find out what they were) since I started therapy, stopped eating starch, and started walking and taking guitar lessons. They had been getting out of hand. I suppose whatever is the equivalent for you could well make a difference. Headaches are so…varied.

  3. My wife gets headaches frequently. I can usually alleviate them with a massage.

    I had one wheel that kept giving problems like you describe. Turned out to be a non-original rim that had a different size center hole (where the axle pokes through). When they replaced it with an original rim, the problem disappeared.

  4. My only experience with headaches was gluten-related migraines, and they were awful. Really really awful. I don’t have headaches any more, although I do have those lovely crazy shoulder blade pebbles. Stretching seems to help them.

    Anxiety. Stress. Yeah, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about that a lot, in re: physical symptoms like shoulder blade pebbles.

    Nothing makes me more frustrated than a doctor who says my physical symptom is caused by stress and anxiety. Because, I mean, it’s not like a person *sets out* to have stress and anxiety. And also, some people are just naturally anxious. Anxiety can be both a condition and a character trait.

    I think the pebbles under my shoulder blades are made up of stress and rage and anxiety hormones, all balled up and stuck in my muscle tissue. BUT: I think the reason the stress and rage and anxiety hormones got stuck in my shoulder blades over the past several years is because, coincidentally, I took up writing full time and started sitting at my decidedly not-ergonomic desk and my Pottery Barn chair and hunched over the computer for hours on end. So, I mean, I can’t eliminate stress, rage or anxiety from my life. That would be ridiculous, and weird. But I can try to make sure they flow through my tissues and doesn’t get stuck in them, a la massage, stretching, meditation, better diet, exercise and other calming lifestyle habits.

  5. Three Advil will almost certainly relieve headache pain caused by stress. You need to see a GOOD doctor if the headaches don’t subside when the stress subsides.

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