How To Have A Headache

So you have a headache, that old familiar ache located in the headular region, as the name suggests. Maybe someone gave it to you or maybe it arose naturally, like a baby in a cabbage patch. Perhaps you picked one up without knowing what it was and now you can’t put it back down. Maybe it snuck in through a skull window and is now claiming squatters’ rights or maybe it absolutely just kicked a door in and did a home invasion in you.

A self portrait of the artist from the shoulders up. In place of where the head should be there is an explosion mark with the word "headache!" inside of it.

Essentially, through no fault of your own, you are in possession of this pain in your head but what should you do with it? As I am a seasoned veteran of this ailment, and also currently have a headache, I am here to help. As usual. As always!

Remark To Your Friends

Assuming that you have friends, this will probably happen naturally on its own. If you are unfamiliar with the term, we did provide a how-to article on obtaining friendship, but I’ll proceed in this section as if you are unaware of the ways. If you have close friends, you typically check in with each other every day a little. Sometimes it’s only once a week depending on each dynamic’s various needs and such. While you check in with your friends, online or irl, you tell of your moods, happenings, thoughts — this is when you can casually mention that you have a headache today. No big deal but ugh how annoying etc. You plant a seed.

Let It Worsen

The Amateur thinks that you should efficiently kill off the headache immediately with some form of pain relief, but this would be a mistake. First of all, can you really tell what the root cause of the headache is? How very western medicine of you to treat the symptoms and not the origin. You’ll just get more with that sort of behavior. Instead, you must wait and suss out the source. This takes time, because there are about ten thousand things that can bring on a headache.

Self portrait of Amandoll drawn all wobbly. Pain and anguish -- both physical and mental - are blatantly communicated through the wobbly lines combined with jagged lines. There are also streams of teardrops and letters along the side which are meant to be the sounds of sobbing weeps. "bloo bloo wull blull woo bloo hoo" -- I hope the screen readers do that justice.
True to life.

I guess I’d like to add that there is also a side effect of headaches where the headache tampers with your ability to be rational. While you are trying to figure out the root cause, there is also a part of you that doesn’t believe an ibuprofen tablet will work. There is a form of amnesia that sets in which makes you feel like it’s just not a sane option to take. It has never worked before, you believe as you remember all the times it has worked before. You don’t just pop in a pill and go on with your day, how could that be a suggestion? You have research to do anyway.


Go to webmd and see what kinds of cancers cause headaches. Then, go to any other medical site to see what ELSE could cause headaches. Hint: It turns out the cause can be anything, anything at all. But I know you like to learn through chart, so I have provided.

This chart of a sad bedraggled human head has arrows to places on it and brackets displaying causes, which are listed as: tension, eye strain, sinus, clench jaw, sounds, other people, allergy, dehydration, and your own bad attitude.
Headache causes in the average standard human head.

I ran out of room to include PMS but as you know of course that brings headaches along for the ride. I’ll use one of the images that I drew for PMS later in this article, to honor it.

Begin Treatment

After enough time has passed after telling friends about your headache and doing casual research and chart-drawing, you should start to feel it intensify. Usually, there is enough time for loud street work to begin, or for a group of screaming children (are they happy or upset?) to gather somewhere in your neighborhood. Before you begin to tell one and all about your headache in the form of a post on the internet, you should chug a glass of water. Have you had enough caffeine? Chug some coffee or tea too while you’re at it. Maybe that’s all you’ll need to do.

Photograph of a mug that is white and has the italian evil eye on it along with suns and moons and stars. The handle and designs are in gorgeous metallic gold.
Gaze into the eye and then chug deeply.

Tell One And All

This is it. This is your time to shine before the fall. Tell friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell the social media. Tell family. Tell the world. Ask everyone to share your post on the matter. Your head hurts and they should all know it. At this point, some wiseguys will ask if you have taken medication yet. Of course you haven’t because what if you take your ibuprofen or equivalent and it doesn’t work? What if this is a migraine sliding in?

Research Migraines Again

Fascinating! Migraines are even more mysterious than the usual headache. The migraine is a malady that exhibits symptoms of migraine onset sometimes days in advance, but you can only detect these symptoms in retrospect. There could be episodes of paranormal shows about migraines, so unexplainable they are. Here. I’ll do another chart of the warning signs of migraine.

In this chart of a broken figure of a little person with the word migraine over their head, there is a crowded list of chaotic looking symptoms you should know mean that a migraine may be coming. The words say these things:

are you tired do you feel like you have a stuffy or runny nose? (migraine). depression! irritability! excitement! moods! can't concentrate, unfocused, dizzy and daffy, loopty loo. can't sleep! seeing things! flickering lights zigzags blind spots! Yawning! even yawning is a sign of migraines. Tinnitus. pain do you have pain oh any old pain. neck? back? spine? eye? (migraine). cravings for foods. vom. brain dumb poor word command. frequent urination. fatigue. do you hate light do you hate sound do you hate it more than you usually do? migraine." And at the very bottom in small print in parentheses: "or maybe none of the above"
How did you not see it coming?

Migraines are a type of turbo-headache that will not be touched by usual pain relievers. They blast your skull and can render you immobilized in a darkened room. I won’t go too far into my explanation of migraines because our resident migraine expert is Erica, who gets them much more regularly than I do, and has done a lot more research on the subject. She actually remembers facts about them and doesn’t have to re-research every time.

Become Graphic

You can say these things to other people, but I find that even imagining privately to yourself works. Imagine how much your head hurts, but in ways that it isn’t actually. Your brain is bigger than your skull. Your eyes are popping out and bursting. The roof of your mouth caved in and your teeth shattered like geodes. Your head is becoming a Tex Avery cartoon, twisting itself into tight coils and then deflating like a flat car tire on a cartoon vehicle. Your brain solidified, turned to dust, and is draining out of your nostrils into two twin dunes on your desk. Your forehead is thickened on the inside and is sticking to the inside of your backhead, like masking tape.

Illustration of Amandoll, a girl with asymmetrical hair, holding her face and screaming in anguish. Many of the classic screams and lamentations surround her such as "Halp" and "I suffer." Oh, and there are three of her own screaming faces bulging out of her forehead. What a mess.
Your forehead has sprouted more of your faces and they are all screaming.

Take Medicine.

Many, many hours have passed and you are in considerable amount of pain. You no longer are telling anyone about it because it is up to them to follow up on you. If they’ve left you to die, you can’t blame them. Your head hurts so much that you don’t even want to spend the energy complaining. You just want to keep your eyes closed, in silence, as you wait for the conclusion of all this. It is at this point that you should either take ibu or migraine medication.

Take The Rest Of The Day Off

In all likelihood, the medicine will cure your headache within like ten minutes, but you’ve been through it by now. It’s either too close to bedtime to do your productivity rounds, or you feel you’ve earned the rest. And you have, tiger.

Go get some ice cream, too. And drink some more water.

Sneer Back

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