Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just Wondering...

Is a headache like a tree falling in the forest? I mean, does it exist when there's no one around to (consciously) experience it? I ask myself this because I woke at 1:15 or so with a furious attack of what I have been calling my cluster headaches--that's what I believe they are--but managed to get back to sleep fairly quickly. Then I woke at 5:30 or so and the headache was still there. So the question is, did I actually have the headache all that time?

I'm inclined to believe I did, since I woke up feeling less than fully rested, as though I had been in pain all night. Is pain some kind of objective reality, existing whether it's perceived or not? Or is it in the mind of the perceiver? Or part and part? I know that we all experience pain in our different ways--some are more, some less tolerant to it. And it sure seems real when I'm experiencing it. But if I use what meditation skills I have developed over the years to detach from it, I can experience it without the suffering that can prolong it and make it worse.

This morning--now seven-thirty--the pain persists. I'm down to wishing it would go away!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter,
I know that after I have an episode, the residual pain in and around the area affected will hurt for hours later. Often to the point of distraction. I don't consider this part of the attack, just the aftermath affecting the surrounding area. When I am in my cycle and my attacks are in the evening/early morning I have fallen asleep (mostly from sheer exhaustion) and I believe the attack persists while I am "sleeping". It's never restful though...

I feel you my brother !!!!
Adam-

Anonymous said...

My husband suffered from similar headaches and we discovered it had to do with circulation. Acupuncture cured him of the headaches.
But pain does persist and sometimes you discover something has been aching once your mind goes to it. We are always in a battle with resisting pain and getting beyond the daily assault on our bodies.

PeterAtLarge said...

Thank you for checking in on The Buddha Diaries, Adam. That "aura" tends to persist, for me, almost all the time. It's like a shadow in the head...

Anon, I have not tried acupuncture--I guess because I go for months, even years at a time without a series. Then, when it comes, it takes me by surprise all over again. Thanks for the thought!

roger said...

i don't often have headaches, but i have slept when having intense pain from infection, though the sleep is not very refreshing. fatigue seems to bring sleep even in distress.