Several years ago, I found myself, once again in the guest room of my future in-laws with an ice pack under my neck, blankets over my face, shades lowered, and lights off. My fiance left a glass of water and one Excedrin Migraine pill on the bed stand. He took the bottle with him for fear that in painful desperation I'd eat its entire contents. His sister in law quietly crept in to throw a dark sheet over the windows to further eliminate light. Every careful movement, every whisper, made me want to die. Get out. Even thinking about speaking those thoughts, hurt. I closed my eyes and a tear slipped out of the corner of my left eye and slowly made it's way to the bedding beneath me, burning my skin the entire way.
Over the next few hours, my future in laws and my fiance, and even my nephews, would crack the door open to check on me. I pretended to sleep because it made them feel better, but I was awake for every agonizing moment of pain, wishing I could sleep or die. Either option would have been fine with me.
At one point, my future brother in law came in and knelt beside the bed.
"Hey, sorry. I know you're awake."
I lifted my eyelids slowly, just enough to see him through my eyelashes.
"I get migraines too. Is there anything you can think of that would help you right now? I can run out and get sleeping pills if you want."
I tried to shake my head, "No", but couldn't. My brain felt too heavy and like if it sloshed to one side, it would officially explode. I imagined my fiance's mother having to scrape my brain debris from the walls of her guest bedroom.
I did, however, reach up and touch the left side of my head. "Here. Drill a hole. . .right. here."
He nodded. I knew that he understood the extent of the pain. He understood that when you reach that level of pain, it just feels like if you could open up your head an amazing pressure would release.
Before leaving, he leaned over and whispered, "If I could, I would totally drill a hole in your skull." I cried. I knew he meant it to be sweet and not that he had a secret desire to murder me via drill bit to the head.
Have you ever seen pictures of skulls, found near Inca ruins, with perfectly round holes drilled in them? Those pictures have always fascinated me. The first time I saw one of those pictures was in junior high. There were all sorts of theories surrounding why the holes had been drilled: to release evil spirits, to remove tumors, to release fluid, etc. The first thing I thought of? Those people had migraines! In pure desperation, they pointed to a particular spot on their head and pleaded, "Here. Drill a hole right. here." Someone who loved them (or hated them) or maybe even an aspiring physician did it.
Check out the skulls and the tools used to drill the holes, here: http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n02/historia/trepan.htm