A friend of mine gets nasty headaches.
She has one right now, she tells me as we sit in the kitchen. This one isn’t so bad, she says.
What do you do? I ask.
Drink more water, she says. Nap if I can. Sometimes, I’ll take a few Tylenol. I just did that now. Then, I set the timer for 15 or 20 minutes.
Here, she pauses to set the alarm on her phone for about 15 minutes.
Are you timing to see how long it takes the Tylenol to kick in? I ask.
Actually, she says, it doesn’t take that long. My headache’s usually gone before then. When the alarm goes off, it just reminds me to notice and appreciate that I’m not in pain anymore. Not to just take feeling better for granted and get on with it, you know?
I say something about how beautiful that is.
Then we talk about her father, how he likes puzzles, how she likes to buy him this particular kind of puzzle from Germany that has really nice edges.
About 15 minutes later, the alarm goes off. And I can’t remember what exactly she says, but it is quiet, sincere, and it is something like:
Thank you. This is great. Thank you.