I woke up this morning but refused to move fearing what I would find out. I was terrified that the nights sleep didn’t release my pain. I was dreading that moment, that tiny movement of the head that would send my eyes pounding. I could already tell though, that I was not in good shape.

I lay there sensing my muscles. My neck feels tight. And not just tense, it feels like somebody is trying to choke me from all sides.

I try to relax my shoulders. I walk my fingers up starting at the base of my neck. Slowly moving up to the base of my head. The pain increases with each step. I feel the muscles sending out signals all throughout the rest of my body as I slowly make my way up to that one point, where it seems all the pain stems from. I try and release the tension with no luck and contemplate what to do as I lie there still knowing that my next movement will bring excruciating pain.

It seems like I’ve tried everything: take a vacation, exercise, eat healthy, eat unhealthy, get massages, go to the chiropractor, try more drugs, try no drugs. But through the good, the bad and the mediocre, almost since I can remember, this parasite has always lived in my neck and I’ve never been without it.

Sometimes I can squash him. If I’m lucky enough to have woken up before him, I can sense him stirring in the base of my neck and I can fight back with medication. But every so often, he wakes up before me, finds himself trapped behind the solid metal bars of my trap muscles, climbs up through the base of my head along the contours of my skull and tries to get out by pounding as hard as he can on the backs of my eyes.

Today, is not my lucky day. Last night while I slept instead of resting, he tried to get out. Now, as I lay in my bed I know that the second he knows I’m awake, the pounding will begin. I only hope that the massive amounts of medication will at least allow me to get through the day, maybe after I rest tonight, he’ll be gone in the morning.