Thursday, February 22, 2007

In Which I Slept with an Oven Bag Full of Rice Pressed to my Head...

You know, you don't really appreciate how nice it is to not have a headache until you've spent an entire evening in the dark trying to get rid of one. The world looks so much nicer this morning than it did last night.

The funny thing is that is wasn't even a migraine. When my head first started to hurt, I just assumed it was a migraine (I'm so used to getting them now that I just assume every headache is a precursor) but it wasn't. I spent 2 hours mashing a bag of ice to my forehead and wondering why in the world my head still hurt before I figured out that maybe this wasn't a migraine but a sinus headache brought on by my cold (which still isn't really gone). Once genius me figured that part out, things got better. Ice may work wonders for a migraine, but it doesn't do jack for a sinus headache. Heat, however, works wonders (especially moist heat).

The problem then became how to keep heat on my head without having to stand over the bathroom sink with a washrag. This is when my genius really kicked in. I remembered reading somewhere that you can use rice to make a heat pack. You just have to heat the rice up in the microwave and it will stay warm for awhile. Now, even in my headache muddled state, I figured that it wouldn't be a good idea to put a Ziploc baggie in the microwave because it would melt, so I decided to dump the rice into a glass bowl, heat it up, and then put it in a baggie and wrap it in a warm washrag. Tah Dah!! You have a moist heat pack! The only problem with this plan is that apparently rice (when heated for 30sec in the microwave) gets hot enough to melt plastic. I ended up with rice all over the kitchen. This did not deter me, however. While I was digging through my cabinets for some other method of containing this hot rice, I found some oven bags--you know, the kind you use to cook a turkey without basting. I figured that if this bag could handle the oven, it ought to be able to handle the microwave. By golly, it did!!! I could get that rice super hot and the bag never even thought about melting. So I ended up last night laying in bed listening to Medium on TV with an oven bag full of hot rice wrapped in a wet washrag pressed to my forehead. The sad part about all this is that I still figured out what was going to happen on the show long before the characters on the show did and I couldn't see anything.

So, just in case you ever need to make an emergency heat pack here is how I did it:
  1. Put some rice (Minute Rice works fine) in an Oven Bag (Not a Regular Plastic Bag--they melt).
  2. Leaving the Bag open at the top, heat in the Microwave for about 30 seconds (you might want to check it in 10 sec intervals to make sure you don't get it too hot).
  3. Tie the top of the Oven bag in a knot to keep the rice in. (make sure to untie it if you re-heat the bag)
  4. Wet a washrag down with water as hot as you can get it from the tap.
  5. Wrap the Rice bag in the washrag and press to the affected area.

There you go, a wonderful emergency heat pack that will stay warm for awhile. Mine lasted about 30min without having to re-heat it.

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