Life is just a bowl of cherries

I had a headache the other day. A massive headache. A headache so bad I could not remember the last time I had such an awful headache. Possibly a migraine, a first for me. In any case, it was bad.

I should have taken a painkiller the moment I felt the headache starting to settle in, but I thought some rest and water might do the trick instead. They did not. It only got worse until I gave in and took a single solitary Ibuprofen after I finally got some food into my system – the lack of which might have contributed to my condition as well, but hey, we cannot all be intelligent responsible adults here all the time, can we?

The Ibuprofen did nothing. The pain was still there. So I brought in the big guns – a Russian painkiller-slash-sleeping-drug my father once gave me. Supposedly, this one knocks you out for a couple of hours (or days) and deletes all worldly worries. Struggling with feeling nauseous, I climbed to bed and waited for it to kick in. This had always worked, but not this time. The splitting headache was still there. Not located to a single spot in my poor old cabbage, but radiating across the whole scalp and making a nice little nest for itself inside my brain.

Perhaps an ice pack would help? Crying weakly for help, my partner brought me something cold from the freezer – a pack of cherries. The first thought that went through my head was my mother’s favourite warning story about how my dad once sat in a pile of cherries and how they had to throw away his stained pants afterwards. A wild pack of cherries never promises any good. But I was in too much pain to care and too reluctant to spoil the happiness of my partner who was gleaming thinking how he was hitting two birds with one stone – helping me with my headache and getting to eat a bowl of cherries afterwards. Besides, he had wrapped the pack of frozen cherries into a plastic bag and a towel. How sweet of him! Little did he know that the surrounding plastic bag had a hole in it… Too sick of the pain to care, I threw away the towel that blocked the cold and put the bundle under my head. What are the odds anyway, right?

When that did not help, I remembered the trick of putting an ice pack on the head and feet in warm water to make the blood flow away from the head and, thus, remove the toxins causing the headache as well. So I moved my pathetic little circus from the bed to the bathtub, sitting on the edge of it with my feet soaking in nearly boiling water and my head leaned against the wall, a bag of still-frozen cherries held against my neck. Alas, the “song of ice and fire” brought no relief.

Although my middle school biology teacher taught us that headaches do not need to be suffered and painkillers can be taken freely to subdue them, I also do not wish to develop an immunity to any helpful narcotics. Thus, with some reluctance, I asked my partner to bring me another pill to pop – this time a Paracetamol. Three different drugs in my system – that ought to be fun. I went back to bed.

With this cocktail of drugs in my system and a nice cool sensation under my head, I drifted into a much-needed sleep, only to awaken to a moist cheek.

The bag of frozen berries had melted and broken.

Our bed looked like a murder scene. There was cherry juice everywhere – on the pillowcase, on the sheet, on the mattress… The mattress was so new that it had not even been paid off fully yet.

Fortunately, most of my headache had subdued, so I was able to start scrubbing. Scrubbing the sheets in the bathroom, I left my partner to deal with the mattress.

“I’ll try Vanish!”

A moment later, I heard a disappointed voice from the bedroom, “Oh… it’s blue now…”

After consulting with Ye Good Olde Internet, I managed to turn the stains pink and fresh again using lemon juice. Then, I could easily remove them with soap and water. No harm done. The mattress is as good as new.

So what do I want to say with this story? Honestly, I have no idea. Here are some choices:

  1. Listen to your body and care for its needs, so you avoid headaches in the first place.
  2. To stop a headache in its tracks, take a painkiller as soon as you feel it is here to stay.
  3. If you want to test the hot-and-cold method, use peas or an ice pack, not cherries.
  4. For removing set cherry stains, lemon juice is of great use. Vanish turns them blue.

There. Pick one.

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