My Health Truisms

I am a fortunate woman in that I don’t have any major issues with chronic pain, but I do have problems with intermittent pain that can be excruciating when they act up.

One is migraine headaches and another is Achilles tendonitis.

I have long since learned to dread rainstorms because I know that an incapacitating headache is on the way, complete with nausea, dizziness, loss of balance, and an inability to tolerate even the faintest sounds or lights. During times like this, I wished the world had an off switch, and because it didn’t, I would just curl up and cry for someone to make it stop.

I didn’t realize until two years ago that these were migraines. Over-the-counter pain meds did not touch the pain I was in, and neither did decongestants. All that helped was going to sleep, but how the hell can you sleep when you are in so much pain and the whole world just won’t shut the fuck up?

Oh, and your pillow feels as hard as a rock when you have a migraine. So much for sleep.

The worst headache I ever had was during a tornado warning. I know that migraines have weather and air pressure triggers, so it all made sense now. Now that I know what weather triggers my migraines, I can prepare.

The question is how?

This is where the story of my first energy drink comes in.

You know, those caffeinated, sugary, downright junky wanna be soda that make you stay up for two nights straight if you drink a whole can? The liquid bane of the health police (besides soda itself?)

One day, during the summer, when a thunderstorm was coming, I was walking home and was suddenly struck with throbbing head pain and was about to pass out from dizziness and nausea. I dreaded walking back home, but I couldn’t just keel over in the street either. Thankfully, I was near a Family Dollar and I bought an energy drink for some reason I can’t remember.

It was truly incredible. I took one sip-literally-and the headache went away instantly.The nausea was gone. The dizziness was gone.* I could have run a marathon I was feeling so good.

Because of that evil of junk foody evils, the energy drink, I can be relieved on migraines that medicine would not touch. Now I make sure I have Coke, Pepsi, an energy drink, coffee with espresso, or something else on hand with lots of caffeine and sip it prior to a rainstorm. I almost never have migraines now.

As for my tendonitis, I have structural and functional scoliosis, which causes my left leg to be notably shorter than my right leg-by a half inch, to be exact. Walking, running, or any kind of strain on my legs can cause my tendonitis to act up. When running, for example, the impact of my body weight falls disproportionately on my right leg because my right hip is higher than my left hip. There is much more stress on my right leg than my left leg, and this causes the Achilles tendon on my right leg to go spastic and pain shoots up my leg and up into my torso. It starts suddenly and stops me dead in my tracks, often causing me to fall over. Imagine hopping down the street on one leg at high speed and how that might feel. Yeah, exactly.

Walking first thing in the morning? Forget it. I am stiff as a board.

Enter my new heel lift. I put it in my left show and my legs are much more equal. The pain disappears instantly and it does not reappear as long as I’m wearing it.

Connection to being fat? People have tried to tell me that a lack of exercise and having excess weight was putting too much strain on my tendons. They act almost indignant when I tell them that I have scoliosis and a short leg and that my pain is cured with the use of a heel lift. Their day is not complete without blaming fat for something, is it?

(Never mind that I, a small fat, have a condition most often associated with *long-distance running!* I thought fat people didn’t get sports injuries because, like, they don’t exercise at all as we all know.)

People still try to tell me that I really shouldn’t be drinking those energy drinks.

I tell them to MYOB. Because health is extremely fluid. Someone with diabetes probably will not benefit from energy drinks, but I will. The average person might not need 4000 calories a day to stay healthy, but an anorexic patient with hypermetabolism will in order to achieve weight restoration.

Best of all, or worst of all if you hate fat…health problems aren’t caused by being fat. Weight loss is not a cure.

Get over it.



  1. vesta44 · July 10, 2011

    That’s the thing about health – it’s highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another. What’s good for one person (or bad) may not be for another. So making judgments about what anyone does is useless – it doesn’t help the person you’re judging, and it sure doesn’t make you look very intelligent (general “you” here). I really think, that when it comes to other peoples’ health, everyone needs a big cup of MYOB (and some need a 55-gallon drum of MYOB).

  2. lifeonfats · July 11, 2011

    That’s why it does no good to treat all fat peoples’ bodies as the same. What works for one won’t work for all and it’s a shame the medical community, media and general public refuses to realize that.

  3. Amy · July 11, 2011

    It’s amazing what a little bit of caffeine will do. I had migraines for years, tried all sorts of heavy medication, antidepressants, MRIs, neurologists, and what takes away the pain? Half a coke. So much cheaper (and it doesn’t knock me out for half a day like migraine medications do).

    People will see what they want to see, and if it doesn’t align with their view of reality, then they reject it. You could show them your visibly shorter leg but they won’t see it. But through reading blogs like yours and others in the Fatosphere, let me say that you and other writers have changed my view of fat and health, and I’m slowly starting to change others (starting reading blogs a few months ago). So thanks for your story. It changed my view and is helping me find the words to encourage others to change theirs. 🙂

    • joannadeadwinter · July 11, 2011

      Thank you so very much for your comment and for keeping your mind open. You’re so right that people will only see what they want to see. It’s a little something called confirmation bias, and it is one of my least favorite logical fallacies.

      God bless.:)

  4. sandrad · July 14, 2011

    And yet for me caffeine is a migraine trigger, have to avoid it like the plague. The human body is truly amazing, wonderful, and full of WTF.

  5. Rachel · July 26, 2011

    Ohh, such an awesome read. I just got back from picking up ice cream and tortilla chips at the store…when my stomach acts up, they are among the few things that will speak nicely with my stomach. And you know, I’m realizing that my stomach is probably so messed up from taking large amounts of OTC painkillers, when, just maybe, if my docs actually treated my fibro pain instead of ignoring it might have stopped my stomach from getting so freakin’ sensitive. Thinking that there will be a day when docs aren’t so one-size-fits-all is what helps me keep my sanity…sorry, this post really struck a chord with me. /end rant

  6. Charity M · August 26, 2011

    I have been searching the web all day for some answers that could give me some relief…..REAL relief, not just more pills. Anyway, I stumbled on a very interesting site a little while ago that, although I’m not quite sure about myself yet, I think you should check out. I just happened on your site next thru my search engine. Our “afflictions” are quite similar. This COULD be our answer!

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