Turbulent Tuesday: Health Edition

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So, in case my absence wasn't noticed, things have been a little insanely busy lately.

And will continue to be for the next 3 weeks. Next week, I have 4 tests, the week after that I have 2. All while trying to finish lesson plans for the end of the school year and oh, right, my final exam is due to my department chair next week too. Because that's totally written and ready to go. Pshaw.

I could probably whine on about my classes winding down a little too quickly, simultaneously, and test filled-ly, or I could tell you tales of dissecting a rat today and the fact that every time I touched it's finger or toenails a little bit of me died, but instead, I'm going to whine about health stuff, because, well, it's my blog and I'll effing whine if I want to.

Several of you have inquired about the headaches, because I haven't written anything about them. I wish I could say that my silence has indicated a positive change, but that's just not even close to the case. As I type these very words, my head pounds with a new level of ferocity and the flights to and from Los Angeles were absolutely miserable. My brain does not tolerate the pressure changes well and I'm just trying to make it through the next couple of days in hopes that things will settle down on their own soon.

I am off all headache medications and halfway through the never-ending taper of Xanax and while I'm glad to not be on drugs, I'd take just about any amount of drugs if it would do something, anything, about this pain. Yesterday I took 4 8 hour tylenols in an hour because something had to work. And truth be told, I felt better. But that was only because my throat, which has been terribly sore, felt better. My sinuses hurt significantly less. And my tense neck muscles seemed less achy. I suppose a double dose of tylenol should help some things.

But my head. Oh my head. It did not bend, it did not waver, it just kept right the hell on hurting as if the tylenol were just candy bits and not analgesics.

I wish I had a new answer, or a new idea or a new theory to try. But I'm completely tapped out. I know I should probably call the neurologist, but I just don't even really see the point anymore. We're going to do the same dance of, well, what drugs are left? What are the side effects? And in the end I'll suffer through some side effects, likely with no positive benefit, and we'll discontinue that one too.

I so badly just want to know what the hell is going on. I still have not had a single satisfying answer of why I had 8 months without headaches and now 9 months with them. What happened? What changed? What went wrong? Or even, what went right initially? I yearn for answers and as usual, I find myself falling short. Frustrated. Tired. In pain.

I long for the day I can jump on here and tell you that the pain is gone, but I'm losing hope that the day will come. It just seems unattainable now.

So, how was your turbulent Tuesday? (Leave it in the comments. Unless you're going to tell me not to whine, in which case, don't because my mood is not stellar today and I'm liable to track you down and throttle you.)


Dysfunction Junction: said...

Since you asked, I'm so friggin exhausted I can barely type a coherent sentence.

But back to you...I'm really thinking you should visit the special-ey for headaches clinic when you come to Blogher. I'm a pushy Jewish momma, so feel free to ignore, but it makes me sad that you hurt so much.

Sue G said...

Well, I had hoped no news was good news. So much for clapping for Tinkerbell. Sorry you are still suffering. I don't know much about Chiari, but is it possible that something they did during your surgery undid itself? Is there a shunt that might be broken or leaking. Did they lift your little ol' brain only to have it slipping again? Are you seeing the guy or gal who did the original surgery or are you seeing someone new? (Maybe in July when you are in Chicago I will "kidnap" you and drive to University of Chicago Hospitals and make you see Dr. Frim???? Just a thought.)

As for the Tylenol and the amount you are taking, um, it might not affect the headaches, but it sure will affect your liver and kidneys. Be prudent, please (again, this is none of my business but I feel I owe it to you--now that you are moving back to California--to help you practice dealing with a JAP MIL. We ask these kinds of questions...a lot. You can thank me later).

Nothing much to report this Tuesday for me. I laid low due to some funky back pain. It only hurts if I move, so I'm okay. I have perfected not moving to an art form. And tomorrow it's going to be 101 degrees, which is way too early in the season for me. Chemo doesn't like the strong sun and high temps of AZ.

But it's very transforming. When I go outside, I turn into a dishrag. Voila!

Sue G said...

Uh Oh. Two pushy Jewish mommas in a row.

Oy vey.

Overflowing Brain said...


Dr. Frim rejected me as a patient earlier this year. I tried to move all the mountains to get there, and somehow got caught in an avalanche instead.

There's supposed to be some great specialists at USC and one at Cedars Sinai, so I'm going to look into that when I find out more about my health insurance plan.

I love all my Jewish mamas. Except, for you know, my Jewish MIL.

Overflowing Brain said...

Er- make that at UCLA. Not USC.

Sue G said...

Of course, I knew that. I read that on your CB page. I just thought since we will both be staying downtown, and it's just a hop, skip and headache to the U of C emergency room, and since he specializes in difficult cases, and since you have a difficult headache of unknown origin...well, did I mention how manipulative Jewish momma can be???

It's really part of our charm. As long as we're not related by marriage.

Breane said...

I never had brain surgery, but I do have migraines. Without meds, I get crippling migraines every day. Have they tried blood pressure meds? I take Inderal and it has halped so much! When combined with an SSRI, I hardly ever get the headaches anymore. I also use a med called Maxalt MLT for when I do get an attack, and the headache is usually gone within 30 minutes

Becs said...

I'm so sorry the headache isn't any better. I think I would be half out of my mind (uh, like I'm not, already) with an unending headache. I'd probably buy a home trepanning kit and use it.

Melissa said...

My day sucked. My friend who has cancer just got a whole lot worse. I thank God every day for my health and can't imagine what it's like to live with pain daily. Prayers for you, too, Katie.