Monday, June 15, 2009

One big pain.... the head.

Literally. A migraine.

A week ago last Saturday, Daughter and I were getting ready to go out shopping. My head was starting to ache, so I took a couple of Excedrin and out we went. I thought maybe the headache was starting because I hadn't eaten yet, so we grabbed some lunch. A couple of hours later, the pain was getting worse, so I took a couple of ibuprofen.

Daughter has a clothing allowance now. She's been saving it to have a good chunk of change to shop with, but she knows that's all she gets. She budgeted her money wisely, made good purchasing decisions, and still have some dough left over. Good girl. Her personal style is emerging, too, and I'm glad to see she has a sophisticated edge that I didn't gain until much older than she is. Again, good girl.

So, we get home, and I start getting ready for Date Night. The one night a week when Ranger and I can go out without anyone bugging us. Unless it's an emergency. The headache was still there, so I popped a couple more Excedrin before leaving.

It only got worse. Ranger and I went to dinner. I took more ibuprofen. Ranger worried over me. He gave me something soft to relax in, put on one of my favorite shows, an darkened the room. He pet my head and let me rest quietly. By the time I headed home at midnight, I'd had two Aleve and no relief.

I woke Sunday to pain. "You have something wrong with you every Sunday," Mom said. Thanks. I'd just been dismissed. Everyone else left for church, and I curled up in a darkened room.

When 10:00 AM came along with nausea, I'd had enough. Only twice before had a headache gotten this bad for me. Each time, I ended up in the emergency room, begging for a shot of Demerol. It was time. I called Ranger, and he drove me to the Urgent Care place that shares my doctor's office.

I kept my sunglasses on the whole time. Even the dimmed room wasn't dim enough. The doctor went over my history and examined me. Yep, I had a migraine. The trouble was that only the hospitals carried Demerol now. These little places were afraid to keep the big-time narcotics on hand because it made them a target for robberies. So, they wanted to try the little guns first. I got two shots, one of Phergan for nausea and one of Toradol for pain.

Twenty minutes later, no one was surprised that I was still hurting.

The strongest thing they had was something called Nubain, a "low-level narcotic." I got another shot, with this medicine and more Phenergan in it. Twenty minutes later, the pain was dulled. Not gone, but close. Keep in mind, Phenergan is the stuff that knocked SC on his ass, the first weekend we met. So, they released me into Ranger's capable hands, and sent me on my drug-induced-merry-way.

I tried to sit on the couch with Ranger at home, but the sleepiness took over. He helped me up the stairs, kissed me goodbye, and went home. I tucked myself into bed and stayed unaware until the next morning. I woke up long enough to leave a voicemail for my boss, explaining that I'd been to the Urgent Care place and would be out of it for a day or two.

While I was awake, I noticed something disturbing. I still had the headache. Not as bad, but still there.

Now, since the last post, my household has changed. My sister has arrived with her kids and dog. All three ADHD kids, ages 7, 11, and 13. While trying to sleep on Monday, I realized something. My sister is a loud person. I mean, LOUD. Louder than the five kids and two dogs running around the house. And Rock Band is a LOUD game.

Ugh. No one really surprised that the headache was back on Tuesday. I called the doctor.

My doctor wasn't in, but her partner was. Ranger took me again. I told this doctor all about the past migraines and how this one was different, in that it didn't go away with the narcotic shot. She checked me out and decided I had a sinus infection. She prescribed Phenergan for the nausea, Azythromycin for the infection, Claritin for the sinuses, and Vicodin for the pain.

Vicodin didn't touch the pain. On Wednesday, about noon, the nausea overpowered the Phenergan. Eight bouts with the porcelain altar, and Ranger put me back in the car for another trip to Urgent Care.

A different doctor frowned at the sinus infection diagnosis. She scolded me for sleeping through two doses of insulin (like I did it on purpose). She said I needed to see my doctor (who I already had an appointment to see on Friday for my diabetes) and get on a migraine preventative. She gave me another shot of Phenergan and a bigger shot of Nubain.


Imagine my surprise when I woke the next day to an even bigger headache. But no more worshiping at the altar, so there was something to be happy about. My sister took the kids to the mall. Another thing to be happy about, until my big white dog came and sat on me. I think she was worried, too.

I had to deal with reality for a little while, though. Thursday morning, I showered and dressed in business clothes. The college president was meeting with my department that morning. We didn't know what he was going to say, but it was going to be about the budget. I had to be there to hear it myself.

I explained to my boss that this was all I was showing up for. Everyone commented on how pale I was. I wanted to lay down in the floor and squeeze my skull, but I kept my composure. At least, I think I did and no one is looking at me funny, so I think I did okay....

They had scones at the meeting. My stomach liked those, so I swiped two. Let's hear it for large purses!

Then, I went home and collapsed. I kept trying the Vicodin, thinking that even if the headache was bad, it could be worse.

Friday morning, Ranger took me to my regular doctor. I told her the whole story. When I got to Wednesday, she said, "OH MY GOD!" She looked. She agreed that the sinus thing needed to be treated first. However, she wanted me to get some relief from the pain. "It's hard to get ahead of it when you can't get a break from it," she said. Agreed.

So, she wanted me out for the weekend. Flat-on-my-ass out. "Don't take the Vicodin with this," she said. "Or you'll do a Heath Ledger and not wake up." She handed me the prescription.


I had dinner with Ranger early. Then, I prepared to be out cold all weekend. I made everyone aware that I would be out cold. I stocked my room fridge with Jell-O, string cheese, and ginger ale. Then, I took my first dose.

The weekend is a little blurry. But not as blurry as I'd hoped.

I remember my mother whistling incessantly. I remember my sister hollering all the time. I remember the front door slamming and slamming, until I shouted downstairs for it to stop. Then, it became hollers of "Don't slam the door!" every time a child went in or out.

And I remember my dear, sweet nephew. He's the middle child. He has some serious psychiatric problems, and I worry for him. But I'm Favorite Aunt in his book. He sends me video texts, and texts, and picture texts all the time. And this time, he wrote me a note. It says, "I'm wrighting this for you especially. I hope you get better soon. I also love you very much. You are the one I'll miss the most, and that's a secret between us." The back of the note is covered with "I love you!"

I didn't know that his frequent visits to me were being reported back to Ranger. My nephew texted him all weekend, with updates on how I was feeling. He was a good little soldier all weekend!

I also remember my niece. Standing in the doorway to my room. With the neighbor girls. Staring at me.

"Hello?" I'd say to her.

"Hi," she'd say. "I just thought you'd want to say hello to the neighbors."

I was asleep under a thin quilt with skimpy pj's because it was hot in my room. My hair hadn't been brushed recently. ", thank you," I said, making sure the blanket covered me. The little girls ran off, until it was time to stare and the drugged lady again.

The headache never went away. I took the Morphine as prescribed, every six hours. Sunday afternoon, I thought my head was about to split open.

I woke at 3:00 AM today, without pain. I went back to sleep for three hours. Took a shower. The pain was hovering in the background, but I avoided the drugs. I called and updated the doctor. Since it's not completely gone, I'll see her again this week. I've finished the antibiotics. So now, we wait.

I'm not good at waiting. Ranger is worried. We'll see how this goes the rest of the week.


Angella Lister said...

Wow, what an ordeal. I get migraines too, but this sounds worse somehow. I find that ibuprofen gives me horrible rebound headaches that last for days. I hope you feel better soon.

Blogget Jones said...

I've never had one last like this! And this is the first time a doctor has told me about "rebound headaches"! So, I'm still learning....

Thank you!

Ronjazz said...

Only happened like this for me once. It was endless. Awful. I have some idea of how you are feeling, BJ. Hang in there. It will end soon...

Blogget Jones said...

Thank you, Ron. I appreciate your understanding! The hurt is worse again today, but I see the doctor tomorrow. I hope an end is in sight because I'm darn sick of feeling helpless to this.

~ellen~ said...

Oh wow. I have gotten migraines periodically ever since I was 12, but I have never had one that bad.

I hope you are feeling better now! Poor thing. :(