Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I have a headache. I never get headaches; in 53 years I’ve had maybe three. I just don’t get them. (My husband says I give them—hardeeharhar!)
It feels like a really mean giant has dragged me into his giant workshop and put my head in a giant vise. My eyes are popping and it seems impossible that my neck can actually support my heavy, thudding head. Yeah. It feels like that.
Please don’t say, “Take something for it!” because I’d really like to. But I freak out about putting foreign chemicals in my body. Obviously, we all ingest chemicals every day if we eat, drink and breathe. I just try to keep it to a minimum. Besides, I firmly believe honey and onions can cure anything (more on that later).
A quick Google search reveals dozens of homeopathic/folk remedies for headaches, including:
Put a banana peel/hot pepper/buckwheat cake on your head.
Tie a buzzard’s head around your neck.
Do a headstand.
Massage the web of skin between your thumb and index finger.
Rub your head with clove oil/lavender oil/wild beetroot oil/coal oil. (Caveat: I tried lavender oil once and the smell caused me to vomit, which did make me forget the headache.)
Eat a sour pickle.
Take a warm bath.
Take a cool bath.
Chew fresh basil leaves. Or catnip, if you’re feeling froggy.
Maybe my headache is because of the weather—it’s only been hot, cold, rainy, freezing, 82 degrees, sleeting and humid in the last week. My father used to say headaches were caused by worrying too much. (This from a man who worried himself into an early grave.) And, yes, I do worry. It’s in my DNA.
I worry that we’ll have Ice Storm-The Sequel before my cupboards are fully re-stocked with candles and chocolate and garbanzo beans. I worry that in 100 years nobody will care about Flannery O’Connor or Eudora Welty. I worry that I have the social skills of a wombat.
I worry about my eyelashes thinning and my hips widening. I worry that I will outlive my older brothers, and worry that maybe I won’t. I worry that Subway will stop making its incredible chopped salad.
I worry that I don’t take hurricane warnings seriously enough, which is valid because I don’t. I grew up in coastal North Carolina with parents who refused to evacuate for any stinkin’ storm. I remember sitting on the dining room table, watching two inches of water surge across the floor as my mother scoffed, “It’s wind, it’s water, get over it.” And in September 1989, Hurricane Hugo was forecast to slam into Wilmington, N.C. My then-husband frantically boarded up the windows and tossed everything that was outside (surfboards, rusty lawnmower and a stray cat) into the garage. Then he ran around in circles for a while. I ate oatmeal and went to sleep, and sure enough, Hugo swerved and hit y’all. Which I am still sorry for.
And before I forget: Onions and honey pack a powerful wallop. Honey is an anti-bacterial; onions contain sulfur. This dynamic duo has cured me of a sore throat, sinus congestion and other little ills and aches. Place two spoonfuls of honey as far back in your throat as possible, swallow and then eat a chunk of Spanish onion. You should feel better within 20 minutes unless you have a broken leg, in which case it won’t do a bit of good.
It would probably help my headache, but I was so busy worrying I forgot to get onions at the grocery store. Don’t judge.
Julie R. Smith, she of the throbbing head, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.