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Can pain rob me of my sanity (or is it just giving it back?)

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

Warning: Yet another shitpost

It’s been 11 years since the second worst thing to have happened to me started. This shit is almost as worse as my intermediate college physics teacher.

Like most of the folks there, I was staying away from my family for the first time when I joined the UG course for some Engineering degree. It was a time when there were way too many low-quality engineering colleges and the problem was just starting to gain mainstream attention. A lot of things were new to me.

I was quite starting to enjoy most of it. They had some draconian rules and the wardens used to behave as the guards of Alcatraz Island, for most purposes such as bathing and washing - some of us who ended up in this particular block of the hostel had to use Saline water, had to drink hard water, had to share the room with three other strangers, and shit. But I was enjoying it. It was all different and I was quite excited and was looking forward to making the most of it. Within a month there, I got used to the food there, started to remember my roommates’ names, learnt about masturbation, etc. In classes, they were mostly revising the stuff that was taught in high school, so not much work there either.

And then this shit started.

Though I had kept a journal, I hadn’t mentioned much about the nature of this ailment, except for the detail that it is shitty and it interferes with my life.

I was just 16 and wasn’t very bright, so I can’t remember much, but from what I recall, it started with the common cold. It went away in a week only to return a few days later with a strep throat which was accompanied by a throbbing headache. I have had such headaches before in during my intermediate college and it usually occurs when I skip my breakfast and lunch. Anyway, as usual I didn’t bother to consult a general practitioner hoping it would go away on its own. The cold and its symptomps did go away, but the headache stayed. It was quite simple in the early days. I just had a headache and malaise. Then it started to hurt whenever I moved my head. If I bent down a little, I was able to feel the whole bloody hell in my head. Whenever I inhaled sharply, that’s when it was at its worse. Weeks passed and when it became unbearable I decided to show to a GP, but the college didn’t let me go to the town easily as there was some bloody stupid procedure and I had to get permission from random people in the college. When I finally went to the GP, he said I have “sinus infection.” I started taking the pills he gave, but to no avail. On my follow-up visits, he suggested various other remedies such as gargling with hot salt water, bathing with hot/warm water instead of cold water, etc which I couldn’t follow as I was in a hostel which doesn’t allow these. Soon the things got worse. I was struggling to get out of room. I was unable to tolerate bright light, and loud sound. I started to feel nauseated every morning, but my appetite didn’t drop though; I almost always skip breakfast, but had little more than average quantity of food during lunch and dinner. The headache started to cause tearing too and I always felt like my head alone is so hot with fever, but the rest of the body. When I was walking to the classes, I see lights, shadows, dots, and lines; dizziness accompanied me almost always. But once the day was over and the darkness encroaches, I had a little bit of relief and regained my motor skills and sanity partially. The pain on the forehead sometimes made me crush the nerves there. I had banged my head on the brick wall several times when it was unbearable. To add to it were three morons who were my roommates and two of them were faggots, i think. I don’t care if I sound homophobic, but they should have had the decency to dial down on their frottage. Luckily they didn’t perform any bareback activity when either me or the my third roomie were there, but usually they were little shy of having any shyness. Anyway, back to the topic. It was quite fun for them to pick on me about my headache. But in their defense, I had started doing some cray shit by then. For example, as most of the time my brain feels like it is getting expanded because of heat, but restricted by my thick skull, I found besmearing my forehead with some leaves to provide some sort of mild relief. It was bizzarre. I had often considered jumping off from a tall building and diving with head first so that it would scatter and give me the relief from the pain. These thoughts used to distress me a lot till I learn that it is more common for people with such headaches to have suicidal thoughts. (These are all from my memory, btw, as I had to throw my habit of keeping journal.) By mid October, I started skulking in my room all day and I started to come out only at night. I had to skip classes and almost everything else including lunch on most days as I had to travel to the dining hall near the classroom on college days for lunch, which was about 2km away. I also had to cross two gates where the guards were instructed to behave like the ones in Alcatraz Island. My regrets include that I didn’t even masturbate properly those days, despite just discovering that wonderful act. One night, I just absconded the hostel and went home and later notified them. Stayed home for a week, watched how my parents suffered to see me suffer, tried various siddha medications, visited a couple of allopathic doctors, and my parents even tried praying to god. 🤣🤣🤣 I was a completely dysfunctional person then, but after a week at home, the troubles seemed to have relieved a bit. So I went back to hostel and within a week, everything was back to normal - and by normal I mean that I started banging my head against the brick wall in a desperate attempt to take my focus away from the pain that this condition was causing. I tried not to go home often after that. Travelling in the TNSTC bus for 180 kms worsened my nausea to a new high level that I had to puke at least 6 times during every trip. By Late December, the nature of the pain had slightly changed. The pain started in my eye or rather behind my eye, usually the right one, then slowly spreads across the right side of the head. I got teary eyed when the pain hit, my forehead started to appear swollen, nose got blocked, etc.. For Pongal, I had a relief from the pain and hence went home and I didn’t miss the Pongal. \o/ By February, I had consulted GPs and ENT specialists in three different hospitals in Coimbatore and got referred to a clinic of a neurologist. We visited him on Friday and he asked me couple of questions and suggested to take some scans. We went back on Monday to hear him say that “everything looked normal” and return with prescription for a month and he wanted us to consult him every month. The problem for me here was that those scans costed ₹1400 and his consultation fee was ₹500 for every single visit. To give myself some perspective I had to remind myself that our household income back then was less than ₹2000 per month. However, something very interesting happened there. There was a young man, probably the doc’s intern who was there to take my pulse, BP and temperature. When the doctor just stepped out from that room, the young man said that what I have seemed more like cluster headache and less like a migraine. I had no fucking clue what he was talking about. So I bought those pills prescribed by that physician, went back to hostel and never went back home whenever the pain was severe. I took those pills for a month, but no noticeable changes.

By March, I gave up. Not sure if stopped worrying too much or if I started worrying too much. I didn’t have the minimum attendance criteria of 65% for writing the exam in first term, but they gave me an exception when I submitted the medical documents. Half way through the second term, the college started to strongly recommend that I should discontinue from the course. I didn’t want to tell this to my parents, so I started sitting in all the classes and managed to get 65% attendance in second term. Other things in hostel had changed a bit too. Some students bribed the warden with alcohol and cigarettes and got close and some other had caught him when he was fucking a maid who worked in the hostel. So the warden started to let us loose a bit. When we entered third term, my headache pattern changed. I started getting break periods without pain for a week and slowly it increased to a months. But the severe throbbing pain surely did return and lasted for about 15 days whenever it came, but I had a some decent gap between such episodes when I can function like a human with normal motor skills. A lot happened over the next couple of years and I decide to drop out of college and not finish my graduation anyway. But by 2014, that crazy shit sickness, was almost completely gone. I have no clue what it is. It could have been a simple migraine, or hemicrania continua, or cluster headache or some co-morbid shit of these or something completely different. I didn’t care ever since it went away, until now. That shit is back. It’s been more than a decade since it fist happened. I don’t know how it is going to be this time.

I am shit scared.

I usually share such personal shit with my close buddies in strict confidence, but I didn’t want to burden those puppers with this shit. So here I am, dumping my garbage out in open and public, hoping it will never meet anyone’s eyes.