Monday , 21 January 2019

The headache

Dr Kedar Padte

The scene was at the hostel room at Elitemix University. The evening was glorious, the sun was setting and the gentle breeze that was caressing Kindlica’s hair was not doing anything to uplift her gloomy mood.

“My headache isn’t stopping,” she grumbled.

“You mean Roughlino? But he is not even in town? He is way playing matches for the university,” comforted Timidita.

“Oh! It’s not him, I have had a persistent headache for almost a week now,” said Kindlica.

She had been popping paracetamol and asprin like no body’s business. She even tried mefanamic acid at the behest of Talkerato, but to no avail. She did not know what to do.

“Let’s consult the university doctor,” said Timidita.

“I already did and he suggested more paracetamol and more sleep. And I can’t seem to have both,” retorted Kindlica.

Give me an hour and I will revert back said Timidita rushing off to her library and encyclopaedias.

She rushed by with a lot of information.

Anything that stimulates the pain receptors in a person’s head or neck can cause a headache. The most common cause of headache in teenagers is stress, muscular tension, eye or ophthalmological problem, ear infection, dental infections, sinusitis, scalp infection, etc. To stress on infections, rarely, early meningitis, encephalitis or tuberculosis may also cause headache.

Migraine or cluster headache is often seen amongst teenagers. Precipitating factors can be problems with eyesight, to stress, and from lack of sleep to use of fuzzy drinks. A hangover from excessive use of alcohol can continue into a migraine.

“Exposure to fluctuating bright lights or unduly large sounds such as those at parties these days can also result in a headache,” revealed Timidita and added “At times the headache is so much that it induces nausea and even vomiting.”

“That’s exactly what is happening to me “said Kindlica.

The rarer causes of headache include a tumour or a space occupying lesion in the skull/brain. Though the brain itself is incapable of sensing pain, the headache is generally due to pain receptors in the blood vessels. Pain is felt when there is excessive blood flow to the brain which stretches these blood vessels.

“That is all very well, but what do I do now?” said Kindlica.

The university doctor checked my eyesight, ears, throat and sinuses. I do not have any dental problem either. He muttered something about referring me to a neuro-physician if the headaches do not go away.

He said that it would be appropriate to do blood tests and an MRI of the brain to be sure that I do not have any problem.

“Oh my God! You are stretching it too far,” said Timidita “Let’s try my grandmother’s recipe. Put your feet in warm water for 20 minutes, drink a glass of warm milk, take two paracetamols on full stomach, apply some balm to the forehead, close your eyes and listen to extremely soft instrumental music while taking a deep breath each time.”

Roughlino who returned from the match said: “That is a cocktail your grandmother has mixed well. Say cheers to her.”

Thirty minutes after the headache cocktail, Kindlica’s headache was gone. She chirped around like a bird and hugged Timidita.

“Do pass on my hug to your grandmother,” she shouted.

“Or should I give it to Roughlino? Your eyes lit up seeing him and may be the headache went with him?” said Timidia

“Oh! Don’t give me a rough headache a gain,” grumbled Kindlica.


(The columnist is a well-known gynaecologist practising in Panaji. Send in your queries to


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