Occipital Headache

Occipital Headache

I’ve been having Occipital Headaches the last few days and this morning I was able to pinpoint the cause:  Bad dreams.

That’s right, bad dreams.  Every night that I’ve had one it came on in the middle of the night and when I woke I woke out of a bad dream and with an excruciating headache.  I didn’t make the connection until last night’s bad dream followed by a headache event.

To the young man who years ago told a deacon’s quorum we were teaching that stress cannot cause physical pain, I wish I could grab you by both ears, turn your face towards mine and say, “You’re wrong.”  I am learning first hand what PTSD is all about.  It is emotionally, physically and mentally challenging and painful.

I told the doctor there isn’t enough said about non-veteran PTSD sufferers.  His comment was chilling.  He said that over 80% of the patients he sees suffer from PTSD brought on by rape, physical abuse, accidents and other forms of trauma besides those who suffer battlefield trauma.

About the only time we hear about it in the media is when someone commits suicide.  This sends the impression that PTSD sufferers are suicidal.  This is not the case and suicide is quite rare (less than 1%).

The good news is there is Cognitive Therapy treatment for PTSD.  PTSD is one of those things that doesn’t respond well to drug therapy (like anti-depressants), and so cognitive training helps us learn to re-train our thoughts which in the long run helps us respond differently when we have the problem-causing thoughts.  It’s not a quick fix, but I’m keeping a positive attitude that it will be a way to work through this.

In the mean time, I deal with painful (literally) symptoms like these headaches.    I’m hoping now that I know the headaches seem to follow a bad dream that somehow this cognitive therapy will help the bad dreams eventually go away.  Staring at the undercarriage of a car and thinking, “I’m going to die”, is what started it.  Now I just need to convince those subconscious that all is okay; it was a one-time event and all is going to be okay.  (Easier said than done, but I’ve got to think positive.)


Tonight at Stake Conference I joked with President Clark that I was prepared to perform the entire Beatles White Album for prelude tomorrow.  He laughed and said, “If anyone can pull it off, you can.”

I love my stake president.  He’s a good leader, example and friend.  The fact that we can openly joke about stuff like that says he’s got a great sense of humor too.

I told him I was having difficulty trying to figure out how to play Revolution on the organ.  He smiled and asked about Helter Skelter.  We both laughed and I added that Little Piggies wasn’t going to be a problem, albeit a little sacrilegious.

Yes, we have fun joking around, but when it comes down to it, I take my calling as organist seriously.  My prelude and postlude music is from the hymnal and I play each him with feeling.