Level

Oh internets, I am going to level with you and then seek your help.

Things are not good. The insomnia has become one of 2 constants in my life. The other being a headache. I freaking hate that I just typed that. I hate it. I’m so angry, I cannot begin to explain it.

I woke up yesterday morning with a start. With a horrendously sharp head pain. For the first time in my whole life, I JUMPED out of bed, rather than lounging and willing my body to move, but only because I had to do something to physically remove myself from the pain in my head.

Shit.

I really am sort of beside myself. I can keep on going, pretending like there’s nothing wrong, but something has to be wrong. It has to be because we fixed this. It was repaired and it is broken again. This pain is familiar. It’s not the same, but it is similar. It is constant, but with moments of fierce surging wherein I feel like someone is stabbing me right through the back and sides of my head. It runs up the back of my head, some days spilling over into the sides. I do not know what to do.

I have taken all the Aleve that I’m responsibly able to, and some days more than that. I’m piggybacking it with Tylenol at levels that make my kidneys cry. I don’t want to take opiates, it was a threat, but not one I intended to make good on. I need to maintain sanity right now and opiates are not the way to go there.

I have made an appointment with the neurologist, the newer one, she who stabbed me with many needles (that’s her Native American name). Her earliest available appointment, not at all paying attention to time of day (because I’m willing to take half a day off work if my head will just. stop. hurting.) is September 9th. How horrible is it that I’m wondering if I can make it to September 9th? It’s horrible. My other neurologist from before the surgery (he who prescribes any drug I could imagine), didn’t have an appointment until the week AFTER the other appointment. Hi New Orleans, could you please stop having jacked up brains? I needs my doctors.

In a desperate plea for anything that might work I’m going to an allergist next week. Because I’m hoping beyond hope that he’ll go, hey, you know what, you have this random allergy that is making your life hell and if you stop eating x, y, and/or z, it’ll all go away. And I will stop eating x, y, and/or z, even if they are water, bread and cake. Yep. You heard it. I said it.

I know you’re probably thinking that this is a gross overstatement from the queen of gross overstatements, but it’s not. It is that bad. It is so bad sometimes that I consider going to an emergency room, except that I know exactly what will happen because I’ve done it before. They’ll offer me narcotics and tell me to follow up with a neurologist. They might give me a referral to get an MRI done, but no one will read it until I see the neurologist. And yes, narcotics seem like a way to go and yes, I have Tramadol in my dresser and a prescription for Vicodin that probably expired, but I really cannot bring myself to take them. This is not a statement about how bad the pain is, it’s a statement about how much those drugs fuck me up. I know it’s ridiculous to say that I’ll do anything and then tell you I won’t, but I guess I’m just ridiculous right now. I cannot for the life of me imagine why.

So I don’t know what I expect to get out of this, but help me internets. Advice, ideas, diagnoses, ANYTHING. Ask questions, suggest remedies, I’ll try just about anything.

Just make it stop.

9 Responses to “Level”

  • Wonderful World of Weiners:

    As a sever migraine sufferer that has been hospitalized and has had many lumbar punctures, I say take the stronger meds REGARDLESS of how much they eff you up. I don’t know exactly what those meds do to eff you up but what if you scheduled out a time in your day when you don’t have to do anything else (when is that really?) and take the meds and then get into bed?

    I can NOT imagine letting pain in my head like you describe go on without taking narcotics. My pain was horrible but doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as yours.

    Either that or show up at the neurologists office and say you won’t leave until they see you.

    Hallie

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  • Ness:

    Go to ER and have your neurologist called. I understand your reluctance to be screwed up with drugs but after watching my daughter for the last 3.5 months sometimes your body needs the rest.

    Another thought…is this any way, shape or form to your recent illness and maybe this is a secondary sinus infection or something?

    At any rate, I will keep you in my prayers, both for pain relief and morale cause I think you’ve been dumped on too much for one year.

    You aren’t the normal headache person, girl. You had surgery for this crap. So you have the right and the need to majorly bug the neurologist. What does Hubby say?

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  • Anne T.:

    Oh Katie, I cannot offer any advice, ideas, or diagnoses, but only my sympathy. I can imagine how you feel now (I’ve been there in the past), but the worst has to be that any possible relief is so far down the road. Don’t neurologists leave room in their schedules for fitting people in? When your husband sets up his practice, whatever kind of medicine it is in, I hope you’ll get him to allow for people to get sick and not be able to wait 6 weeks to see him!

    I do agree with Hallie that you should take a pill and go to bed for a couple of hours. Breaking the cycle is critical.

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  • Another Katie:

    I would take just enough of the pain medication to let you get enough sleep. No matter what is or isn’t wrong, you won’t recover without getting some rest. Then, when you are rested and ready, pitch whatever fits you need to pitch to get into the doc right away. Tell some big fat tall tales if you have to.

    You sound scared, truthfully, and you shouldn’t have to deal with that. Show up at the office if you have to and offer to wait until they have a moment to see you. They aren’t likely to send you home then.

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  • Daisy Duke:

    Excuse me while I take over your comments section to write a novel.

    I love New Orleans. With my very soul & from the depths of my heart. But…. the entire time I lived there I was sick. No one really knew why, the answers were unclear but in the way your head hurts, my stomach hurt. All the time. I had more doctor's appointments and tests and never really felt fully ok. But I did do somethings that helped, quite a bit.

    - I quit drinking the tap water & drank bottled only. I don't think that MIssissippi water is all that pure…

    - I cut processed foods out of my diet. I started eating fresh fruits & veggies and only bought all-natural crackers. No Kraft cheese, no Oreos. I bought organic dairy & meat. My skin cleared up, I slept better, I had more energy.

    - I started taking care of myself. Pilates & yoga, walking in the evening.

    I know these are your typical "health magazine" article ideas, but I employed them and suddenly my immune system got stronger, I quit getting knocked down by every little sniffle (that morphed into a sinus infection…every time) and I started sleeping better. It just….helped.

    I don't think any of this will solve your headaches but it might help your overall sanity & health.

    I would also suggest a high-grade air filtration doo-dad for your bedroom or living room. New Orleans is fabulous, but it is also fabulously filled with mold & cockroaches & breathing that in cannot be helpful.

    Finally, because it is your head, you might try an upper back & shoulder massage twice a month. I'm sure all your stress & tension isn't helping & that tension can't be helping your poor old brain out. Go to Belladonna & let someone work their magic on you.

    And my one final suggestion- a Temperpedic (or similar) pillow to really help your neck support. While tension, etc might not be the root cause of your head-pain, taking care of all the small contributing factors might help put a dent in it.

    (And when in doubt….eat some chocolate.)

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  • ladycarborane:

    It must be a crappy time of year for chiari because I’ve been having a terrible time with my chiari recently too!

    I totally understand how you don’t want to take any of the strong meds. Sometimes, the side effects just aren’t worth not being in pain. I had my decompression surgery back in 2005 and it relieved symptoms for, oh, about a week and I was back in the same boat again with pain, except drugs weren’t as effective as they once were. The tough thing is getting other people to understand why you won’t take drugs for it.

    Since you asked for ways to relieve pain, I’d like to agree with Daisy Duke and say that yoga has done wonders for me. Really, it’s one pose where you basically stand on your head with your feet in the air (it can be done with your feet up against the wall too). It’s nice to have all that pressure off the back of your head for a while, and I’ve noticed that I temporarily feel better. It’s not always for a long time, but at 10 minutes feeling perfect is better than none at all.

    Also, I agree with eating more chocolate. Nothing like feeding the soul!

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  • Anonymous:

    check that vicodin script; it should be good for 6 mos from the day it was writen. With work starting this week a few doses my help you out. And post brain surgery; and a wait that LONG is unexceptable. My neuro has emergency appointments available daily and they are set up for this reason. As an established patient; I can just have one if needed but when I was newer to the practice if my PCP called it was mine no questions asked. I am so blessed with doctors. Except the ASS WIPE whatever she was who called and told me my scan results were SATISFACTORY. WTF? Not normal, not no notable masses; not don’t worry. SATISFACTORY and they need to be repeated in 4 mos. The doctor told me on Wedenaday as long as they came back okay we can hold of for 8 mos since it would take me that long to come back anyway. So, now they are SATISFACTORY and need to be REPEATED in 4 mos insead of 8 mos. I asked and she said he MD said 4 mos. It’s on my list for Monday. Go to the ER if you have to. If anything you can deny the narcotics but probably can get an appointment with one of he brain docs sooner rather than later.

    Good Luck!

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  • the queen:

    This is what Mom would say every time I had a piercing headache like you describe: “You have a sinus infection. Take some sudafed.” and I would say, no, I’m not stuffed up, but I would take sudafed and feel fine in a few hours. And be awake all night, but that was okay.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if it was a sinus infection? Take some sudafed. Find out.

    [Reply]

  • Flea:

    I read this last night, then read all of the comments, then passed out from exhaustion. Everyone’s comments seem wonderful. I especially agree with either pressing in with your neurologist or just showing up in his office. Don’t let this wait at all.

    [Reply]

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Welcome!
I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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