Headaches Explained and How To Fix Them


If you follow my blog and what I sometimes like to write about, well…then this post is a little more like this one I wrote, or this one, or this one. So strap in for some knowledge. Here we GO!

Over the past 4 days, I have been experiencing some serious headaches. In the past, I experienced them all. The underlying ones, the ones that pinch, sting, zap, or slice. The ones that take away your ability to see. The ones that are sensitive to light, movement, sound, or pressure. Self caused, or naturally occurring, I feel that I have experienced the small, medium, and migraine. This headache spree that I am going through right now is, what I think, a sinus headache. I can feel the liquid moving around in my head whenever I stretch my intense-headache2face, or move my eyes side-to-side. A proper headache can debilitate you and render you helpless. These were doing just that.

But sometimes it’s hard to know exactly which kind you have. Is it really a sinus headache?, or is it a similar headache with similar symptoms? Medications are the most common remedy for the sledgehammer in your head, but if you don’t know what you have, how can you best fight it? Well, compiled below, for your viewing pleasure and further knowings, is a list of the common types of headaches Doctors see.

Some common types of headaches are (with added help from Dr. Goadsby, director of the Headache Center at the University of California, San Francisco., and Dr. Flippen, associate professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.):

Rebound Headaches- Much like overuse of nasal decongestants can lead to a perpetually stuffy nose, rebound headaches are chronic headaches caused by medication overuse.

Tension Headaches- This is the most common type of headache, which usually feels like a constant aching or pressure – rather than throbbing – on both sides of the head or at the back of the head and neck. Otherwise known as the “Stress Headache.”

Dental Headaches- There are dental-related conditions that can trigger headaches or face pain, such as bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

Cluster Headaches- These one-sided headaches are short-lived (15 minutes to 3 hours), but excruciating. These are so painful they’re sometimes called the suicide headache.vertigo

Migraine Headaches- Migraines are severe headaches that are three times as common in women as men. The cause isn’t clear, but genes do play a role, and brain cell activity may affect blood vessel and nerve cell function.

Caffeine Headaches- You love your coffee, but it can be a cruel companion. For example, if you have two cups of coffee every day at 9 a.m., and then miss those cups when you oversleep on Saturday – boom! – you can end up with a caffeine withdrawal headache.

Orgasm Headaches- Orgasm-induced headaches are caused by, well, having an orgasm. You learn something new everyday.

Early Morning Headaches- If you’re waking up in pain, there are several possible culprits. Migraines are more likely to happen in the morning, or medication may be waning in your body as you sleep, which causes a rebound headache, Dr. Goadsby says.

Ice Cream Headaches- Brain freeze! Most people have experienced the shooting head pain that can occur while enjoying a icy cold drink or treat on a hot day. People with migraines may be especially prone to them.

Chronic Daily Headaches- If you have a headache at least 15 days per month for more than three months you’re considered to have chronic daily headaches, says Dr. Goadsby.

Menstrual Headaches- As if PMS wasn’t bad enough, the sudden drop in estrogen right before your period can sometimes trigger migraines, Dr. Flippen says.

Sinus Headaches- These types of headaches win the gold medal for overdiagnosis, according to Dr. Goadsby. People with migraines often mistake them for sinus headaches. (One study found that 88 percent of people with a history of sinus headaches probably had migraines instead.) Symptoms like sinus pressure, nasal congestion, and watery eyes can happen in both types. Who knows, maybe this was my problem, ha.

Emergency Headaches- Most headaches aren’t an emergency, but there are a few symptoms that warrant rapid attention, says Dr. Flippen. One is a sudden onset headache that is quickly “explosive.” Another is when a headache comes with a fever or extreme rise in blood pressure, or if it occurs after a blow to the head or exertion.

With this exhaustive list of different kinds of headaches, you can start to see why some people would just chalk a headache up to…tension, sinuses, or just call them all migraines.  But that is why I am here. With this list, you can know exactly whats going on in your head, and how to fix it. (see below for resources on different methods to fix headaches) Now, I’m gonna stop typing and go take a nap, cause this headache is killing me.






The Early Leanings of a Traveling Warrior


In the time that I have spent in the country of New Zealand, a few things have raised to the surface as clear: The driving is not the same, the food is not the same, the humor is not the same, the culture is not the same, and the weather is not the same; The same as my little hometown in Northern Illinois. I knew these to be true before I checked my luggage and boarded the flight into Auckland. What makes them real is having experienced them. Having lived in the shoes, heard the stories, tasted the delicious and not so delicious, talked the local, steered the left, laughed and laughed, and stopped laughing, the picture becomes more clear. Like a photograph out of focus, or staring at a painting with your nose on the canvas, you won’t see the full picture as it is meant to be seen. You need to really take some steps back to bring everything into focus. Then take that leap, with humility, and what is revealed will be beautiful.

I chose to go with the title that I gave my post today because I feel as if I came into this foreign land, to fight a war…in a sense. There are some serious problems in this country that are “too taboo” to talk about. When entering a new country, it is important to be culturally competent. The last thing you want to do is automatically apply everything you learned in the United States to New Zealand. Rookie mistake. One cannot assume that because one method works with one population, it will work with another. This is what Aurora University taught me, and it is a very important lesson. Still, if there are young adults, teenagers, and even younger, who are dealing with suicidal thoughts and don’t know where to turn or who can help them, that is a problem. I feel that there are some things in this country that need to start changing, and if no one will do anything about them, then I need to step up.

I love this country. In my travels, everywhere I have gone, New Zealand is the most beautiful. This land captivates me. There is something that saturates me and doesn’t let go. The people are kind, the food is exceptional, and the sights aren’t bad either. This is a beautiful country. It can be easy to notice the beauty and overlook the hurt. It can become convenient to only notice the working and neglect the broken. I am fortunate to be working in such an incredible country with incredible amounts of freedom (more so than the U.S.), but I follow a Father who realized that it is the sick who need a doctor, not the healthy. It was difficult getting used to this new life, but I am on my way to truly calling this home, and making my home a better place to live for everyone. And I will warrior on until that day comes.


2012 in Review.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. I recommend checking out the report in full. It’s pretty cool what they’ve done.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

An Appropriate Lament


Today, I found out that a friend of mine lost her parents in a bus accident in Kenya. I wrote this, because I didn’t know how else to properly handle the news.

“Sorry for your loss” is all I could say.

Hollow words for a hollow day.

Empty inside, lost, confused.

Caught off guard, happiness refused.


This is what I imagine must be happening inside.

I can only assume, as I never have tried,

To imagine a life without those that I love.

To imagine them now at peace above.


I feel helpless, without words, and wrecked.

I stare out the window and quietly reflect.

Emotions for a friend I only just met.

An appropriate lament.


So it’s with a heavy heart that I console my friend,

Whose loss is beyond what I can comprehend.

I pray, and I hope, that we celebrate them both

That this become our promise, our vow, our oath.

This is your Home.

photoIt is in the chair with an ottoman that I sit and create one of the first posts on my blog in a long while. I wanted to write to you all, really I did. These past few weeks have been some of the most challenging and incredible days of my life. I attended Compass 2013 and I was exposed to new friendships, talks on Christ, my walk, and how God fits into our culture, reconnections with friends I had met on Skype 2 years ago…but never met, and so much more. To say that these past few weeks have been a dream come true wouldn’t even scratch the surface. For the past 3.5 years, I have known that THIS is where I was supposed to go. THIS is where I was supposed to work. THIS was where He was going to change me forever.

There hadn’t been a “moment” where I stood long enough to pinch myself and wake up when I first landed. I did however stand on a hill high above New Zealand, overlooking the landscape that unfolded before me, full of mountains, streams, ocean coast and sun beams. It was in this moment, at a winery in Omaha, that I felt a wave of peace fall over me and I felt God say something that I could not say up until that moment. “This is your Home.” In that moment I was overcome with emotion and peace all at the same time. Wave after wave of it spilled inside of me and I was humbled by God’s calling in my life. I breathed out a deep breath and uttered the words, “This is my Home.”

This was that hilltop.
This was that hilltop.

In the time that most of you, my readers, have known me, I have written quite a few pieces of poetry and even have a separate section for it on my blog. I am at my most poetic when I have an incredible muse aiding me. I wrote this one day in Compass. I hope it conveys and truly illustrates how I feel about my time here so far:

Beat still my heart. Once again my pen finds muse and call to flow unhindered and un-judged. Free is the nature for which the thought becomes word and word becomes mark. A mark on a medium for which creation, beauty, and written awe and wonder are properly composed. This land is that overture. These people its notes. These moments its progression. Too long have my dreams and my reality been divorced. Now, finally, in an act of obedience and miracle can the calling and skill of a simple servant be brought into fruition. This is the harvest, and I am the two knees in a humility that only a divine power can conjure. ‘Here am I’ is all that he said, and that is all that was needed. The beat goes on, and I with it. Now begins the rise of a new day, a new life, a new call. This. is. my. home.

Every person who supported me, talked with me when I asked genuine advice on leaving my home behind, thought I was crazy, thought I was right, prayed for me, or just read these posts of a mad servant…It’s you I thank for being here. Thank You.