Family Therapy as an Alternative to Medication: An Appraisal of Pharmland

By Phoebe S. Prosky; David V. Keith | Go to book overview

Chapter 11

The Headache

Patricia M. Dyer, MSW

The Hatter was the first to break the silence.

“What day of the month is it?” he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to her ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said, “The fourth.”

“Two days wrong!” sighed the Hatter. “I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!” he added, looking angrily at the March Hare.

“It was the best butter, ” the March Hare meekly replied.

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

This is the story of a headache and the treatment I received for it. I tell it not because it is my story, but because it is typical of treatment today.

By the end of December 1997, after I had had a headache for three months, I decided it was time to go to the doctor. She took some fluid out of my spine and said the pressure and symptoms sound like pseudotumor cerebri. She said, “This is way out of my league; I'm sending you to a neurologist.” I went to the neurologist a week later.

I was in constant pain. It was getting hard to concentrate on the coursework for my MSW. Driving was getting unbearable: trucks and cars were coming at me sideways. People were distorted. I was beginning to get depressed. I didn't feel the depression was anything mysterious: I knew it was the product of worrying about school and my headache.

-217-

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