My Painful Reality

Today I woke up with a headache, which is weird because in my experience, sleep has always been the dependable cure. I’m not positive what caused the pain to form yesterday afternoon, perhaps it’s a karmic reaction to to something I’ve done, but more likely it’s the fact that I wore a Dallas Cowboys hat for five hours at work yesterday, but you know, in the words of David Puddy, “Gotta support the team.” I took five ibuprofen over the course of the evening and while that did nothing to alleviate the pain in went to bed confident that I would wake up feeling great, but like so many other times in my life I was wrong. I searched through my apartment desperately looking for some aleve, my go to medication in situations like this, deep down knowing that I’d finished the bottle a few weeks ago and had neglected to replace it, but I searched nonetheless, hoping for a miracle. When my efforts proved fruitless I knew that I needed to get out in front of this situation right away lest the pain keep growing and my day be ruined by a raging migraine so I braved the cold morning air and decided to go buy some medicine.

I sat in my parked car for a while willing the car to heat up faster before pulling out onto the dark road and making my way past dollar general and walgreens, two stores that would’ve had what I was looking for but were not yet open at 6:15 in the morning. The plan was to go to the gas station on the corner, but I drove right past the turn lane in my early morning fog. I looked for a place to make a U-turn but before I found one I was driving on the overpass headed into civilization. I decided that maybe I was hungry, and luckily for me a new Hardee’s opened up last week at the bottom of the hill, so I would stop by there to get a sausage biscuit then make my way back to the gas station before going home. The employee in the drive thru asked if I wanted to try the pork chop biscuit with gravy, so I made a quick audible and scrapped the sausage biscuit plan in favor of this new exotic one that sounded delicious. As I sat in line I wondered to myself if perhaps I had subconsciously missed the turn for the gas station on purpose so I could get Hardee’s breakfast. It wouldn’t be that surprising.

With the pork chop biscuit with gravy in hand I left the small fast food parking lot and got back on the road toward the gas station, the aleve, and perhaps a cure for my pain. I walked into the Shell station and not wanting to take any chances on not fixing my headache I got a coke, just in case lack of caffeine was my problem. I looked down the aisles and saw candy, chips, and other junk food, but not what I was looking for. I made my way to the cash register dejected when I saw the sweet aleve sitting just beneath the counter. I grabbed a package, then two more, realizing that each only contained one caplet. It’s not like I’m a crazed pill popper but who is just going to take one aleve? Back in my car I opened each package, careful not to let the single caplet slip out and onto the floor, a tragedy that has befallen me more than once in my lifetime. I opened the coke and tossed the three small ovals into my mouth and swallowed; it would only be a matter of time before the medicine kicked in and my headache would be gone.

On the short drive back home I unwrapped the biscuit that had gravy all over the packaging, but I ignored the mess I was making and focused solely on getting the food into my stomach. By the time I was finished I had gravy all over my chin, my hands, and some on the steering wheel, but that all could be worried about later, once the headache went away. I got home, walked up to my apartment and immediately started throwing up in the bathroom. I watched the biscuit, coke, and the three aleve I’d just taken circle the toilet bowl before draining into the abyss and leaving my life forever. The pain is still there and I’m back to square one with no medicine. It’s going to be a long day.

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