Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Week From Hell

This past week was, to put it mildly, awful.

I had my pain management treatment on Monday, and then another doctor's appointment that afternoon.

No, there is no abatement in my pain, so I'm not too hopeful, as things stand.

Following my migraine Saturday, I started to get one Sunday, but staved it off with some medicine (whew!). Monday, I had one in the afternoon. Tuesday, joyfully, migraine free. But then Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I had migraines. All day.

I've begun keeping a migraine journal - er, spreadsheet - so I can track them. I chronicle what I've done to try to stop them (medicine X + medicine Y and sleep, for example) and whether or not it had any effect. If no steps were taken, then why not?

The only reason why no steps will be taken is that there's so many triptans in my body that I'd explode if I had any more, just in case you're wondering.

I have an appointment with my neurologist - a.k.a. my new best friend, because I see her more often than I see any of my other friends - to discuss what the hell we are going to do to get me back to normal.

The guys in the office have been pretty supportive, helping me remove most of the fluorescent lights from my cubicle so that it's now a dark little cave (I still keep my sunglasses on half the time, as the glare from the computer screen is so bright). It's no fun. No fun at all.

And my other doctor's nurse - the one I saw after my appointment with Dr. Pain on Monday - gave me a little lecture because my weight has dropped again. I'm back down to where I was when I was "too thin" in her estimation, when she wanted me to gain at least 5 lbs. at the beginning of August. I told her I hadn't intended to, but that I've been nauseous because of the migraines...

The nurse frowned. And then asked me why I take so much Benadryl.

Fortunately, she forgot all about my weight loss as I regaled her with steps she can take to help combat her recent outbreak of eczema (it's new to her, old hat with me, and the reason for all the Benadryl on the long list of daily medicines: something else my doctor doesn't like).

So my week: awful.

On the up-side, I think I figured out why I almost passed out at the construction site. And why I almost passed out on that date last year. And why I almost passed out during a staff meeting 3 years ago. There is a form of hypotension (low blood pressure) called neurally mediated hypotension that results from your brain failing to send your heart the proper message to step up its game when you've been standing for longish periods of time (30+ minutes), after which blood will pool in your feet, so your heart has to pump harder to keep it circulating properly.

In people with neurally mediated hypotension, your brain doesn't recognize this, fails to send the proper message, your feet become big ole sacks of hemoglobin, and your brain then fails to get enough oxygen. Badda boom badda bing: hey, presto! Unconscious.

Or, at least, pale, sweaty, and scaring the crud out of your construction superintendent.

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