At the age of twenty-four, journalist Paula Kamen's life changed in an
instant. While putting in her contact lenses, the left lens set off a chain
reaction, igniting a constellation of nerves that radiated backwards from behind
the surface of her eye. The pain was more piercing than with any other headache
she had experienced. More than a decade later, she still has a headache--the
exact same headache.
From surgery to a battery of Botox injections to a dousing of Lithuanian holy water, from a mountain of pharmaceutical products to aromatherapy and even a vibrating hat, All in My Head chronicles the sometimes frightening, usually absurd, and always ineffective remedies she--and so many like her--was willing to try to relieve her pain. Beleaguered and frustrated by doctors who, frustrated themselves, periodically declared her pain psychosomatic, Kamen came to understand the plight of the millions who suffer chronic pain in its many forms.
Full of self-deprecating humor, and razor sharp reporting, All in My Head is the remarkable story of perseverance, acceptance, and patience in the face of terrifying pain.
A Burning Bush in Gary, Indiana (1979)
I could interpret the strange fact that the title of my
sixth-grade science project was "The Control of Chronic Pain," and
that I later developed years of constant pain (felt primarily as a dagger of
criminal nerves behind the left eye), in one of two ways:
1. It's just a coincidence. No connection. There is no real system of meaning in the universe. After all, I'm hardly unique. More than a quarter of all Americans experience some form of chronic pain each year, and about 20 percent of women have migraines or some type of persistent headache, a term I have used as shorthand to name my particular mystery affliction. For God's sake, the headache is the most common medical condition plaguing human beings! And there you have it.
2. You see, the New Agers, much of the alternative medicine and self-help industry, and all those psychoanalysts are right. All pain has some meaning. Everything in life happens for a ...
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (552 words).
Facts and Stats
(more at BookBrowse)
At least 28 million Americans battle chronic headaches.
About 18% of women and 6% of men experience migraine.
Up to one-third of women between the ages of 25 and 55 have migraine.
4-5% of the population get Chronic Daily Headache (CDH) - defined as a headache at least 15 days/month lasting at least 4 hours per episode.
0.5% suffer from constant CDH, mainly women.
Chronic pain causes more disability than cancer and heart disease combined.
Chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
About the author:
Paula Kamen is the author of Her Way: Young Women Remake the Sexual...
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