Monday, January 11, 2021


There is a particular headache that came with the collision, a pain that persisted for months, and now shows up a few times a month, or after any prolonged time getting things done. It takes a heating pad, rest, sometimes an Ibuprofen, often just lots of time, to get the pain, the tightness, to retreat. It intimidates and depresses me, because I know that sometimes, if I can't rest, or find a remedy, it leads to my neck, shoulder and arm locking up, very painfully. I still can't turn my head fully left, but the headache is the first sign of worse to come, and I dread it

Yesterday, I needed remedies. To tackle the headache, I started with drinking more water, hydrating. Then I tried slow, deep stretches... my neck, my back. I took deep, slow breaths, closed my eyes. Not doing it. So I made a cup of tea, and thought about how I love the warmth, the cup between my hands, the steam, the mild sweetness, and familiar taste. I took deep, slow breaths, closed my eyes. Geoff convinced me to take a nap, take an Advil. So I went upstairs, stared at my bed, and felt a little defeated about crawling into it at midday. I opened the door to the balcony, and noted that the air was warm, the temperature of ease and comfort. It might feel like less of a deafeat if I napped on the balcony, I reasoned. I gathered more remedies around me... my atlas and bicyle notebook, more pillows, the tea, even a cat. I set up Audible to read aloud a sleepy story for 15 minutes, and I settled in, hopeful.
An hour later, with no relief, I decided to turn to my feathered therapists. Admittedly, I can't always tell what they are advising, but I am pretty sure they prescribed movement, sunlight, and distraction. This seemed reasonable enough, so I invited the goats to come out, too, because they provide plenty of distraction and humor.
Some remedies are a bit circuitous. But I appreciate that hearing the delirious squawk of happy hens makes me happy, and watching them settle into dust baths, foraging, and ambling merrily across the lawn brings me empathic bliss, and thankfulness. The goats provide an odd kind of comic relief, and they do "bad" things, but mild, innocent bad things, and it's oddly consoling, satisfying to face issues and troubles that can be addressed and managed. I can't fix the myriad problems in the world, but I can stop the goats from eating the bellpeppers. Success! I still have the headache, but I am laughing, feeling appreciative, amused, distracted. A kind of success!
I decided to fulfill a wish, a vision... to watch the goats visit the stone steps up to the deck. (If I could get a dozen or so large rocks, small boulders, in our garden, for them to climb and play around... that would be phenonmenal goodness.) Geoff was up there, making structural improvements to the benches. Come on, Goats! But the shy goats were hesitant, so I went into the pantry to get their favorite bribe. I keep a bag of Trader Joes Flaxseed & Veggie corn chips just for them. They will follow me anywhere for chips, or licorice. So, really I should call the chips a headache remedy, too.
The headache didnt retreat until overnight. It turns out time was the most effective remedy, well time, and chips and goats and chickens, and tea, an ibuprofen, a nap, an atlas, the pillows, a bike ride, chatting in the driveway, and laughing.


Teresa Kasner said...

Laughter seems to be the best medicine! We used to have a big herd of registered Nubian dairy goats, I was the 4-H leader for my 3 kids and the other goat "kids". We showed them at the county fair. Good memories. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Janece said...

I hate that you, Geoff, and I share getting debilitating headaches. It's the worst thing to share among friends!

I do like your remedies - which are similar to mine. And, I love that you have that balcony bed... fresh air, shaded, surrounded by your atlas, notebook, pillows (always more pillows), tea, and a cat. <3 I'm sorry they weren't successful but their description is soothing.

Three cheers for the chicas and goaters. (I especially love your photo of Tasha with the delicate white flowers against her cheek... and the photo of Tasha and Ada... with the blurred chica between them. Photographic goodness!)

I know that feeling of success...laughter even though the headache remains. That has often happened for me at your place.

The goats, veggie and flaxseed chips, plus Geoff are an excellent equation for cute entertainment and joy.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Teresa, laughter is a very good medicine, and goats are a very good source of laughter! I would have loved to been around when you were keeping goats and leading 4H!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Good morning, Janece!
Hopefully this is a headache-free day, for all of us.
Lol... Tasha was mid-munching those delicate flowers!
I can't wait for more days when we can all share these moments to laugh and goat entertainment.