All In My Head

Paula Kamen writes about a migraine she has had for at least 13 years as well as her forays into the various types of health care, from traditional to metaphysical. What she brings up with this story isn’t just her quest for the cure of the epic headache, but also how women are often more likely to be afflicted by chronic pain disorders. In the book, she “outs” the “Tired Girls”—a woman or girl who often ducks out of activities, preferring instead to stay in seclusion in her room, avoiding stressful situations, and tending to suffer some sort of chronic ailment or pain. As Kamen still suffers to this day with the migraine, her book’s ending with the acceptance of her pain may not make for a Hollywood ending, but it does facilitate her dealing with it in terms more realistic than some of the more obscure and costly cures, including pouring melted wax in her ear, being draped in a burlap sack a Peruvian baby was born on, buying an infomercial vibrating metal hat, or Botox injections.