Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Personal note - terrifying pain edition.

When I woke today at 5AM local time on the other side of the country, I noted that I seemed to be developing some sort of cold or flu-like symptoms, and got my shit together for the day ahead.  I had to check out of my hotel by 6 and be in a cab by 6:15, and since then it's been work work work work cab cab airport security (yes that's a lighter) airport waiting, Rayman Legends on a plane, oh my God what is this pain I've never felt anything like this in my entire life am I fucking dying?!

The best way I've found to describe it is to imagine two knives - one at the top of your right cheekbone, the other at the top of your right eye socket - trying to push their way out from the inside, and your skull creaking at the pressure.  As the plane descended towards Toronto (where I would have to wait an hour for the flight home), I thought I was getting a headache, and then it exploded.

It was like my head was cracking open from the inside.

I considered turning to the fellow in the pinstripe suit next to me and asking if one of my eyes looked funny.  It had to look funny - burst blood vessels everywhere - pain like this must manifest itself on the outside somehow.

I had no idea what was happening, but I was silently scared out of my wits.  Is this what a stroke feels like?  I began reciting common information - my address, my boss's name, my girlfriend's phone number, the PS4's release date - and could detect nothing missing from my mental library.

I let the pain wash over me, rode it down, and sat, limp, in my seat until the plane was entirely empty.  Then I went to a flight attendant and - given that the symptom seemed to appear with the pressure change as we descended, and she was an expert on flying - asked if she was familiar with what I experienced.

"Do you have a sinus infection?" she asked.

"Oh my God, I think I might."

"Yeah, the pressure really builds up and it hurts like, insanely bad in here," she drew her fingertips alone the tops of her cheekbones.

Was there anyway to counteract these terrible effects?

"Some decongestant," she prescribed.

Dristan Nasal Mist is thirteen fucking dollars at the Toronto Airport.  After paying that, I went to a little snack shop and grabbed a bottle of Dasani.  The lady rang it up, and it came to $6.08.

"Six oh eight?" I deadpanned.  "Okay," and reached into my pocket.

"Oh no, that's wrong - that's wrong!" she exclaimed, and ran to get her manager's card to void the sale.  She rang up the correct price, and I mused

"The worst part is, I totally believed that's what a bottle of water would cost in an airport."

Chocolate covered almonds were $5.68, and I refilled the water bottle a few times at a fountain as my co-worker and I chatted about this, that and the other.

The flight attendant's prescription for my blues turned out to be somewhat effective.  The pain resurfaced as we descended towards home, but was almost mild in comparison.  I still have a splitting headache, a runny nose and the beginning of something that feels like shit - but my skull didn't try to split itself open that my brain may run free, so it was a massive improvement.

And that's where I'm at.  I just had an eighteen hour day, I'm sick, I'm wrecked, and of course Microsoft picked today to announce the 360's launch date so I've got a bit of work yet to do.

G'night, dear reader.


  1. "I began reciting common information - my address, my boss's name, my girlfriend's phone number, the PS4's release date..."

    I love your priorities, Chance.

  2. Even at the edge of sanity, I remain me.

  3. At least my number beat out the release date this time :D

  4. My advice? tell people you have a headache, they'll say they're sorry and leave you alone. NEVER tell them you have a cold or sinus infection. I've been beaten senseless with "surefire" remedies every time.

    That being said, ramen noodles and tabasco sauce... oh god, what have I become?!

    Feel better, dude. ;)

  5. Airplane headache. I have had the exact same thing. It is indeed terrifying and makes you afraid to fly again.

  6. Today I was feelin' worse, so I went to a walk-in clinic. The guy prescribes me $200 worth of pills (which I can in no way afford) and sends me to get my head X-rayed.

    This was a shitty day. Also, I can't remember the last time I ate ramen noodles - but I hate hot sauce. Hot salsa I can handle, I'm down with chorizos, but that straight red sauce just never tasted good to me.

  7. Sorry you had to experience that. That's happened to me nearly every time I've been on a plane. For me the pain usually lasts for a day and a half. People lie when they say chewing gum helps. The only thing that helps me is taking decongestant antihistamines for three consecutive days before my flight. Did you end up going somewhat deaf with the other excruciating symptoms?

  8. Not that I noticed, no. It just really, really, really hurt.