Monday, January 23, 2006

Today's Doc Appointment

I was starting to lose my sense of humor, there, is why I wrote those past two off topic posts. I've been having such a painful go of it since Christmas. I swear, I have to pay over and over and over again for having just a little bit of fun. What's up with that? It's like I'm doing constant penance. What is it called that those Holy Men in India do, when they like roll for hundreds of miles to get to some holy monument, or pierce themselves through with hooks and spears and such? That's how I feel, only not so holy and it's not self-inflicted, because God knows that if there was anything I could possibly do to get rid of this pain, I would.

So, I've been dealing with the usual migraines for the past few weeks, but on top of that, I've also been dealing with about 3-5 cluster headaches on top of that. That kind of pain goes off the richter scales. I can't even label it with a number, so on my diary, well, I just haven't been keeping it other than to put down when I dutifully change my patch. I have to write it down, because I lose track of time so easily and that helps me keep track so I don't put on another one too early or wait too long to change it.

Normally, when I get cluster headaches, I'd be banging my head with any hard object I could find, preferably a cement floor, cement wall or the phone. Well, our phone is brand new, so that's out, because it cost a pretty penny. Then, there's our walls. Well, I think if I banged my head against the wall, it would go right through, and then we'd just have to fix a big, ugly hole in the wall, which in the meanwhile, would let in a nasty draft. Hmmm. On second thought, I probably should do that. I'd catch my death of hypothermia and thereby end this living hell. Anyway, the last option isn't possible, because it's all dirt and wood around here. No sidewalks or patios. Don't even have a fireplace, for that matter! So, that's out, too.

The good thing is that the drugs do take the edge off, maybe because they help alot with the migraines, so then "all" I'm dealing with is the clusterhead. Yeah. That's all. The fact is, though, that the meds only do so much and I really need something better. I told the doctor today that it's painful to make any kind of effort like getting up or sitting down, walking, turning my head, bending over, turning over in bed, etc. The pain increases exponentially if I walk to the bathroom, versus just sitting perfectly still all day long. No kidding! It's ridiculous.

The doc increased my duragesic dosage today and we're going to try out 100mg rather than 75 and see how I tolerate it. It made me extremely tired the last time and I was sleeping my life away, back then, but I think the Adderall will help with that. Then he asked if we've heard from some doctor he's contacted about getting a surgery! Holy shit, no we haven't heard from Dr. B! Sure would be nice if this surgery is actually going to help me out. At this point, I have no faith left in any form of treatment or anyone for that matter. I just always pray, "God, Please let this med do what it's supposed to do and don't let it kill me or screw me up any worse than I already am". That's my prayer when I take my medicine. I probably should pray that over my food, too, but it might offend my husband, The Chef, so I won't. lol

Oh, yes, so back to this surgery. I can't remember what he called it, but basically this guy's going to burn the nerves in the base of my head and top of my neck where the pain starts, I think. So, the idea is that when the nerves are burned, the pain will go away. He said maybe for a year to a year and a half. I don't even remember what it's like to be completely pain free. That seems like a long time ago. Anyway, the surgery may or may not work. We won't know until we do it. But, it works for lots of people. Sometimes it just reduces the pain and then the medications do the rest. Sometimes it completely alleviates the pain. Just depends on the patient, I guess. Well, actually, my guess would be that it depends on how good the doc's aim is.

Then, I talked to him about the dilaudid that I can take. I asked him if I should be tapering it off every time I take it and he said I didn't have to, because I won't go through withdrawals because I have the duragesic patch. That's good, because I'd rather not take it unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm really worried that I'll grow tolerant of it and then I'm really going to be stuck up a creek without a paddle! I'm allergic to morphine, codeine and demoral. I'm not sure how many more narcotic painkillers are available once I can tolerate dilaudid. That's a big reason I always wait until it's almost too late to take it. That and I must be a li'l sadomasochistic or something. Not!

Part of the problem recently is that I was taking it so much more than usual, every single day, a few times a day, that I was scared that I'd be addicted to it. Then, my daughter complained that I was really cranky with her, so I felt horribly guilty about that. So, I stopped taking it at all last week. Well, I didn't miss it a bit, so I'm not addicted to it. I don't think about it, except when my pain's really bad and sometimes, that's how I know my pain level is getting really bad, because I start thinking about, "Maybe it's time to take a dilaudid?". But, the clusters did slow down last week and I haven't had one in three days, so that's really good. Now, I'm just dealing with high pain levels on my migraines, about an average of 7-8 right now with meds. I took some today so that I could make it to my appointment without killing my hubby, myself, or some innocent passerby out of sheer frustration and agony.

All in all, I think it was a good appointment. I really like this Dr. R. He listens and asks me what I want. I always defer, politely, and say, "Well, I'd just like to know what you suggest." Of course, when I say that, I really mean that I want to know what he thinks and know that he understands where I'm coming from and then if I disagree I'll let him know. lol He's a good partner. He is very wise and sensitive and I think that he really tries to understand. The best thing about it, though, is that I always leave his office, still feeling like a human being. He's never made me beg for help; he doesn't look down on me like I'm a druggie out for a good time, (ha! I could think of alot better ways to have fun!); and he treats me like he's my partner, ready and willing to assist me in reaching a goal of adding some quality, any quality, to my life. I think that's how it should be, don't you?


At 2:22 PM, Blogger Penelope Marzec said...

Your doctor sounds great. It is nice to have one who will listen to you and treat you as a partner.

I will pray for you. I hope the doctor can find something that will alleviate your pain.

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Angel said...

I'm glad you have found a good doctor :)

I just have to say what a blessing your blog is to me ((((((Hugs)))))))

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Kim said...

Dang, hold onto that doctor for as long as possible!!!! He's definitely a keeper!

How much you wanna bet that somewhere down the line he has known what REAL pain is? It makes you very compassionate very quickly.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks, guys. Yeah, I'm hanging onto him for dear life. It's my guess that he experiences chronic pain in some capacity, or has some kind of physical problems, too. He's very obese and there's something about the way he moves that just makes me think that he's got something serious that he deals with, himself. But, yeah, he's very cool.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Colin said...

I hesitate to post this, first because I have grown weary of people bringing me their favorite off-beat health strategies, second because I have no idea if it could help you, and third, because it is expensive and probably impractical for you, but, given all that, have a look at

Anyway, sorry I haven't been reading your blog for a bit. Nice to see you again.

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have migraines,
I believe the pain
is coming from your back.

Before you start burning
off nerves which are only
indicators of other
complications in your
body...try figuring out
what's going on with your
back muscles.

I have suffered from migraines
for more than 20 years and
I am only now discovering what
is really happening with my

At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out this new documentary at


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