Friday, October 15, 2010

Water Should Be No Headache

I'd been having headaches.
This is unusual for me; normally I'm unreasonably healthy and one headache a year would be more than usual. But I started feeling pain whenever I bent over to pick up something off the ground. Whenever my head got lower than my waist: pain. And then it got worse; there would be pain at almost any random time. I couldn't figure out a pattern; it wasn't mold, or food, or time of day that I could see.
Reluctantly, I went to the doctor, who assured me that I wasn't having a stroke. The symptoms weren't right. Most likely, it was something to do with sinuses. She suggested a nasal spray. The spray didn't do the job right away, but I was prepared to try it for a week or two.

I was discussing this over a beer with The Lovely Wife when she asked, "How much water are you drinking?"
"Well, plenty," I replied. "I had coffee all morning, and now I'm drinking beer."
She gave me That Look. Guys, you know what that means.
I got a 12-ouncer of water from the bartender, and chugged it. It was like pouring into a dry hole in the ground. The 2nd glass followed the first, practically rattling as it fell down into a dusty gullet. I felt a sense of well-being and soon, no headache. What a relief!
Looking back, I think the onset of this problem came from a change in my exercise habits; formerly I'd worked out almost every morning, which included careful rehydration. When that went away, I didn't compensate waterwise, and the coffee-and-beer habit took over.  Fixing the hydration problem was a most inexpensive way to cure the headache problem. Perhaps it may work for you as well.

I got thinking about this when my bloggy friend Reduce Footprints posted a new Change the World Wednesday challenge:
For this week's challenge, please participate in Blog Action Day and post something about water, on your blog, on Friday, October 15th. For more information and to register your blog, please visit the Blog Action Day site HERE.
I'm fortunate in that I really can have all the water I need, with minimal effort: turn the tap, and there it is. We take water so much for granted that we can short ourselves by accident.
But imagine people living in a place where access to water is tough. I realize that mere headaches may be the least of their problems:
" estimates almost 1 billion people across the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s nearly one in eight people who are subject to preventable disease and death due to poor drinking water and unhygienic water for everyday needs. Approximately 4,500 children die each day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation facilities."
Those number are serious, but abstract; I find it hard to feel the pain of 1 billion people. But can I imagine having a headache all the time; it may be irrational, but that concrete albeit lesser pain impresses the importance of issue in a more personal and effective way.

I support the next step is to Research the Issue, then Act!


Small Footprints said...

Your spin on Water really got me thinking. I, too, get headaches if I don't drink enough water ... but I had never thought about the real, physical pain people must feel when they don't have enough water.

Thanks for providing us with that "common thread".

Anonymous said...

I live in Rio de Janeiro, when the humidity is low, if I don't drink enough water... headache; and the beer doesn't count.