Ice Pick Head Ache

Rain in the winter makes me unsettled, especially a LOT of rain with thunder but no lightning in what should be a frozen mid winter.  Though there has to be lightning somewhere as the lightning actually creates the thunder. However yesterday and  last night we had lots of rain, dense fog and some thunder but no lightening of the skies. In an ordinary climate rain in the winter would be normal but here we are trained to expect ice and snow, not a couple of days of warm rain. cows

However it is water in the ground and that is a good thing. It is unusually warm and wet for January. But this will change in a few days of course. Hopefully before any buds appear on the trees. This has happened before too.


Victoria is here, which is good as yesterday I was suffering from one of my infrequent ice pick headaches. Some people call them the ice pick migraine. Otherwise known, by me before I knew what they were, as The Bad Head. I have always had headaches and this is a nastiest headache of them all. It happens maybe once or twice a year. It just keeps jabbing and jabbing for seconds at a time, every few minutes, sometimes four or five hits within a minute, at random intervals for a day and sometime two or three days and one cannot help but cringe every time the ice pick hits. There is no warning. The pain is so strong that sometimes it makes your knees go.  It is very hard to keep ones face calm.

I only mention this as I only recently found out what this headache is, up until now I simply never mentioned them to anyone because I did not want to sound pathetic, but yesterday was particularly bad, the random ice pick jabbing at my head all day long. Cringing and ducking away from the pain before I can stop myself. By the end of the day I felt sick with it all. And if you get them as well, I am here to say you are not alone and there is nothing you can do but wait until bed time then lay your head down. A still head seems to cope with the Bad Head better. It is a primary headache, in that it is not a symptom of anything else.  The pain is the whole thing.

And it is still knifing into me at irregular this morning.

I have read them described as harmless which makes me want to give the author of that sentence a fast jab to the head with my metaphorical pick axe.

Now that I know what this is called, and know that other people get them as well, I don’t feel so bad somehow. The pain is still untenable but it is not threatening to kill me now. It has a name and company. Isn’t that just human nature.

You know I do not want messages of sympathy – I am only telling you this in case one of you has the same headaches and you might like company! Or at least know that you are not alone. And yes I know misery likes company. Tomorrow will be better.

It may begin to lessen today. But resting does not help, it is just an endurance test. So, after we have finished all the chores Victoria and I are going to gather everything necessary to make this years soap.

I hope you have a  lovely day,

Love celi


77 Comments on “Ice Pick Head Ache

  1. Having the lightening a long way away can only be a good thing, since it’s not hitting anything nearby.
    I do hope the ice pick leaves you soon – you must feel like Trotsky!

  2. I think they are also called Cluster Headaches and usually treated in the same manner as Migraines. I am off to the kitchen to make your Coleslaw, hoping that I can detox the last of the Crud out of my body with a few large helpings, forgot the seeds and raisins, will add them tomorrow 🙂 Laura

    • Cluster Headaches are different. They are proper headaches that arrive for hours at a time in clusters. I would not like to have that many headaches one after the other – that would be bad. The pick axe is little random knife like jabs for hours or days – they are too short to treat and arrive at full strength out of the blue. c

  3. well sympathy or no sympathy..I am darned sorry that you have a pick axe head ache…L hope you will soon feel better  

    Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2017 at 2:30 PM

  4. Here’s to hoping the ice pick leaves soon. I have never had this, only sinus headaches, thank goodness, but one of my sons gets them about that many times a year and it’s just a misery. We are bracing for torrential downpours tonight, almost an inch of rain here on the coast. I don’t know how much more ice (literal ice) I can deal with! One of the paddocks has gates that are totally under about 4″ of thick ice, so it’s hopping fences for us. Yuck. Oh well, weather just is, and my poor planning on that gate is another lesson learned!

    • Oh I hate that when the ice jams up a gate – that happened at the beginning of this winter and it was not until I left for Canada that i could get that gate open and liberate those poor pigs. I need to watch sheilas gate now too – it has slipped into a big puddle and might freeze shut overnight. c

  5. I get them when rain storms move in. The big ones, like the one that rolled through my neck of the woods last night. Makes it hard to sleep when the pain gives you grief. Then the meds you take to ease the pain have just enough caffeine to stop you from sleeping. Sigh. Slow and steady today, rest as you will. Hugs!

  6. Hum – kick back for the bug maybe? It is nice to know that while suffering you are not alone in what you are dealing with. Another blogger I follow has mental illness – it freed her to be open about it – and it freed many of us who suffer with mental illness too. Mine is seasonal depression. I guess I am lucky one with migraines however – menopause cured mine. One of the few things I can say about menopause I guess! Stiff Chin Hairs is one of the not so good things however. 😉

  7. I hope your headache stops soon today. Strange weather. We are having freezing rain today also. I would rather have snow, ice can be so dangerous. I am happy to have the day off so we are staying inside making homemade hamburger buns for our homemade veggie burgers. Hopefully they turn out well!

  8. If your tum starts doing an apocalyptic urp, chew on some candied ginger. I get migraines; I always have candied ginger in my pantry. As an aside, my migraines are always associated with extreme (changeable) weather. >

  9. I am so fortunate to not have headaches. My wife has had them. With her retirement and the right mess, they are much less frequent and severe.


  10. Oh the rain … here now … just starting. I have found in these last few winters that my biggest job is finding ways to keep our animals safe despite the ice storms. The snow I can plow … the ice? With the freeze ups that seem to come so quickly after a thaw sometimes the ice stays the rest of the winter. Always just a few centimetres beneath the snow. Hope your pick axe moves away today.

    • I hate ice when large animals are navigating themselves about it – especially my silly cows who think they have to RUN to me when they see me.. terrifying.. c

  11. Celia, in my research I have come across an herb that one takes for migraines which from people I know who this has occurred with say it’s good. You just have to grow some, dry it, powder it in a coffee bean grinder, make it into capsules or make tea (it’s VERY bitter), and take it every day. Feverfew. You can grow it in your garden. It’s a natural NSAID kind of medicinal herb so you can’t take it if you’re on blood thinners. But it might help. It’s usually available on several bulk herb sites (try Mountain Rose Herb Company). Hope this helps.

      • I take feverfew every day in a pill form (you can buy them from natural herb places) and it has completely cured my migraines. I still get the occasional headache, but nowhere near as severe. If you want to try it, you need to persevere for about a month before seeing any results. Different preparations can also make a difference – when the pharmacy I buy mine from ran out of the pills I normally take, I tried another brand which wasn’t so strong, and back my migraines came within about a week. Migraines are always horrible whenever you get them, but at least yours only come by once or twice a year – it is when you are getting them once a month or even more often that they become disabling! I never thought of connecting my migraines with changes in the weather – it makes me wonder now!

  12. Yes, the cold weather moves in here tomorrow too. We’ll go from 58 F today down to 38 or so tomorrow. Also rainy here too, but we do need it!!! xo

      • Oh My Gosh, a warm day in the winter is a dream! We are out all day long with the dogs, cleaning the barn, blazing trails through the woods, clearing rocks from the fields we are working on turning into pasture, turning the compost (all of this done by hand and back!) and loving the weather. It always reminds me that spring is on the way! 🙂 And, equally exciting is that the sun is staying in the sky for minutes longer every day!!! 🙂

  13. I get them too. Maybe 2 or 3 a year that last 1 to 3 days, so I can sympathize completely. Nothing helps but to lie in a dark room with no noise. Make sure to drink lots of water.

  14. Huh! I get these too! I never knew what they were called! Glad to have a name for them. And even though it means others are suffering, I’m also glad to know other people experience them because I thought I was the only one! Gosh they are horrible, and it’s the randomness of the jab that makes them so frustrating. You can’t prepare for the pain. And I never have figured out why I get them, or what the trigger is. Sometimes a drop in pressure, but not always. Sometimes if I have chocolate before bed, but not always (I’ve tested this theory a lot! 🙂 ). One of your readers suggested feverfew – I think I might try that.

  15. The internet – a great place to calm down your worst nightmares about symptoms or a great place to ramp up your worst fears. I have about 70/30 ratio on calm to fear. 🙂
    I hope the ice picks disappear soon, never to return.

    • Yes, the internet is not the best place to seek information – you only really get the top hits – and I don’t trust a lot of what I read. the 70/30 is about right in usefulness too. c

  16. Joining that headache club with you C. I remember the feeling but thankfully they rarely come anymore. Wanted to literally cut my head off.. Feel better and be careful if all those puddles turn to ice soon.

  17. Hope the ice pick headaches disappear soon but you may need an ice pick when all that rain freezes. Even here in the city there are some very treacherous patches of ice that weren’t cleared away (mostly on the paths in the parks) and I’ve taken a couple of falls already.

  18. My yard , only a half day’s drive from your headache, looks like it may be building towards one. Right now maybe more of a head cold–the fog and drizzle, the dark circles on tree trunks, the merciless drip-dripping, the thickness in the air. I think it just wants to go back to sleep for the day. I may just do that too, after I go back and read about Sheila and her piled-up straw.

  19. I’ve been very lucky; I don’t get headaches except as an indication of something else very wrong, so only — gosh, I can’t remember when I last had one. But I once had a friend that had a “cluster migraine”, she called it, and if that’s what your ice pick one is, then you have my full support. It’s no fun! And with this weird weather, I wonder if they are brought on with changes in atmospheric pressures… perhaps in combination with that flu bug you’ve been fighting off.
    Very mild and wet here also, with promise of more wintery weather by tomorrow evening when the temp drops back down below freezing again. I have always figured that any day in January with temps over the freezing point is a bonus. I love it! But then I’m not operating a business that is affected by weather changes.
    Hope things are looking up very soon! ~ Mame 🙂

    • A cluster headache is actually different. That is when you get a series of headaches one after the other sometimes over a course of months. That does sound nasty indeed, your poor friend.. c

      • Well, knowing that isn’t what you’re suffering from then I can tell you she ended up in hospital for a long visit, and under severe drugs to bring her back around again. Poor thing is right, she was seriously out of it for an extended time. Hoping yours is easing.

  20. I had a whopper of a headache yesterday too. Worst in years. Today is better. Hello to Victoria and soap making. What fun! Let her help and enjoy the visit. We have sunshine today.

  21. Terry has been getting these type of headache lately. They are terribly hard to deal with. I hope you feel better soon.


  22. You have my sympathy anyway. Mine aren’t the Ice Pick variety, they’re the ‘large 6 inch nail through the right eye with associated light show’ variety and they last three days every 3 weeks. Beta blockers are helping, a bit. Anyway, I hope that your soap making activities and the soothing aromas of whatever you scent it with will help – especially if it’s lavender.

  23. I get that rarely and thankfully, short duration. Hours of it would be miserable. Feverfew helps migraines, maybe it might lessen the frequency and severity? Hope you feel better fast and good you have Victoria to help. This past summer I helped make laundry soap with my girlfriend who owns and runs a B&B in Glen Margaret, Nova Scotia. Reduce, reuse, recycle

  24. I don’t like headaches. I used to have long lasting (days) pounding ones that just floored me, then those stopped and I’d get those ice pick things several times a year. Now those are gone too, only the odd, rare tension headache which is easily dealt with. You’re right the only way to deal with the ice pick ones is to do as much as you can and not give in to them. I think they are a blood vessel having a spasm and constricting strongly, doesn’t help but I would think lavender would help since it relaxes the whole body. I did find that getting my head lower than my body helped shorten the duration of the ice picks.

  25. [J] I get those headaches too, Celi. I’ve been a migraine sufferer since I was a child, but these ice-pick headaches are different – they never morph into a migraine. Migraine for me is mainly environmental/chocolate/dark beer/tannin-rich wine etc etc, plus stress. The ice-pick ? No idea. Thankfully not very often. Tioraidh an drasd’ !

  26. So many with nasty headaches, wishing you all well. i only get a headache if I’m not drinking enough water… I make I do. No ice here, but paths slicked with slippery moss from the heat, rain and humidity, so we will both take care where our feet go.

  27. Sharing is caring ♡ I suffered from migraines for years and extensive testing by GPs focussed frustratingly on my mother’s early death from a brain tumour. It was only in my early 40’s a new GP advised me they were mini-stroke migraines linked to the contraceptive pill I’d been prescribed off & on since my late teens. I think info sharing and carefully considered Dr Google research can offer perspectives that may not be available via mainstream-irl medicine.

  28. Headaches like that are horrible. I have had them since my 30’s but they do not come very often anymore. For me, stress brings them on… always the day after the stressful situation goes away or ends. Always. I hope you feel right again after you lay your head down for the night. I wonder if it is the brain or something else that initiates those bastard headaches?

  29. MIss C,
    I have to admit to having a bit of winter blues lately. Like a crash from a sugar high, January feels heavy and dark and so I delve into the archives of your blog for photos and adventures of the past so I can feel surrounded by the animals and the farmy and feel somewhat held together by the force that is your way. Thank you for that gift.
    I suffer migraines as well. Misunderstood derailments that make me feel fragile and old beyond my years. An ailment mostly of women I think. I hope you feel better my friend.

  30. I’ve always suffered from headaches. Fortunately the really nasty, can’t move your eyeballs, want to throw up ones have mostly faded away since menopause. Now I get them from a hinky neck disc and arthritis impinging on the nerves in my neck but they are bearable. Mostly they just slowly wear you down. I absolutely hate rain in the winter. There’s such a fine line between wet and slippery. Our road was black ice this morning, no walk for me and the dogs and the warmth has melted the snow to a solid mass so the deep freeze coming in tonight will make it all ice, sigh. Luckily we have several trash cans full of wood ash to spread for us and the horses to walk on (and the silly donkey to roll in).

  31. Friends have had horrible headaches, but i haven’t had many since adulthood. Some servere headaches are warnings of aneurysms; i think it is best to see doctors; but i know the field of headaches is so complicated. i empathize greatly with those who don’t feel well; please all get better, love, esther

  32. I had the ice pick HA too, for a week in 2005 or so. I had never had them before or since but there was a part of me fascinated to experience something I have a known/treated yet never had one. The other part of me was ready to die from pain.

  33. I’ve had migraines since I was pre-teen. All my sisters have had them, my mother had them, her mother had them – and so do my daughter and granddaughter. Wow – it’s just a lovely thing to pass along. Mine are mostly triggered by stress (which can be managed), certain foods and additives (which can be avoided) and weather changes (which I can’t do a thing about). The biggest food triggers for me are alcohol (darn it, although that seems to be settling down a bit as I age and thank gord scotch never gave me a problem) and sulphites. You wouldn’t believe where you’ll find sulphites – so I read every label!

    You know you’ve got a bad one when your eyelashes hurt – and about the only thing that works (slowly) for me is a dark, quiet room. And please don’t poke your head in and ask “how are you doing?”, because that just starts the process all over again.

    It is true that a sudden sharp stab can be an aneurysm, but from what I’ve read it is a stab that doesn’t stop and doesn’t come and go.

    I’ve been struggling the last few days with migraines because of the nasty weather. Winter is usually my best season, but right now the weather is all over so not good.

    Hope your head settles down soon!
    Chris S in Canada

  34. I know – no sympathy – but if you are interested I can send you what is known as the pain-kiiling technique – I cured my doctor’s migraine with it and use it for all sorts of things. Just a sequence of five or six questions… XXX

    • Oh that sounds like a wonderful thing to know! I would love to hear about that – I’m thinking that even if it helps me get through one day with little or no pain it would be awesome! Are you able to share?
      Chris S in Canada

      • Of course….
        It can be used for any pain, and if after going through the sequence five or six times, the pain is still there, this means you need to see a doctor and get it treated….
        I wrote about how to do it in a blog in January 2013, called the Challenge of Meditation… it’s easy to find. If you can’t find my blog – just Google Valerie Davies on Meditation and it should come up … do hope you find it helpful .. would love to know….
        The trick is to shut your eyes, and describe the pain Exactly, as though the person you’re talking to is blind… which is why I think you could get someone to read the questions over the phone, and you could answer them…. it takes real concentration, but sometimes when I’ve done it for myself, I just drift into deep sleep after going through the questions a few times….love Valerie in New Zealand

        • Oh that’s great, thank you. When I get home from choir tonight, I’ll find your blog post and give it a try. My head is settling a bit today, probably means we are coming to the end of the weather change. If it stays one “kind” of weather for a couple of days, it is a relief. Then of course, it will change and we start again.
          Looking forward to trying your method. I’ll let you know what kind of results I get.
          Chris S in Canada

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