Friday, May 26, 2006

A Shot in the Dark

Ok, so I made it through my first of what I have come to find out is a series of shots. So, the first series was put in my neck, which was the second surprise, rather than in my head. I'm kind of glad of that, because it didn't hurt as bad when they put it in. But, maybe I wouldn't have felt it if they put them in my head either, because they doped me up first with Versed. Versed is a sedative with amnestic qualities, which means that it will relax you and make you forget the procedure. They use it on kids alot, so they won't remember their surgeries which can be really traumatic to little ones. I mean, think about it, it's scary enough for adults to have a surgery, let alone a little squirt.

So, as much as I'd like to tell you about the procedure, I really don't remember much. I wasn't in alot of pain beforehand, thankfully. I was having one of my good days, for once and the night before I'd knocked myself out with phenergan, so I could sleep a normal hour. I'm very vampiric in my sleep cycle these days. Sleep most of the day, awake writing most of the night. That kind of thing? So, I was pretty relaxed. But, when they hiked up the gurney with the hydraulic foot pedal, it really bothered my head. It hurt alot and I was at a pain level of about 8 or 9, but it was acute pain and I knew that it would settle down pretty quickly. It's really weird how I can tell the difference between different kinds of pain, now. It's even weirder to know that there are different types of physical pain, let alone different levels.

So, I was waiting for the pain to settle down and they wanted me to move onto another gurney. They were so nice there, too, did I mention that? I mean, these were some of the nicest men I'd ever met in my life. Seriously, I was impressed. Only one or two women, nurses, there that I could see, but they weren't involved with my care which was just fine by me, because my nurse was way cute. Not movie-star/model cute, just man cute, know what I mean? Like the kind of guy who you wonder, "Is he married?" about, but of course, I didn't ask. He'd think I was trying to pick him up, if I did that, and I wasn't. Oh, yeah, so back to the story. lol So, I got on the other gurney and was in this position that was very painful, again, for my neck. I never sleep on my stomach anymore and it's because my neck can't stay in that position. It just hurts too bad, hurts my head, too,a nd that pain takes a long time to go away.

So, I'm like trying to ask some questions about what they're going to do, but the doctor's just talking over me at this other guy that he's teaching how to do this to, I guess, and so I just listened, because I assumed he'd be talkgina bout my case with this student. The nurse next to me, said something like, "Just try to relax, Jessica." And I'm like, yeah, right, my hospital gown feels like it's falling down around my shoulders. Well, it was, and that guy noticed and pulled it up for me and said, "Don't worry, I'll keep you ladylike through this whole thing, ok?" Now, why I'd trust a man I just met to "keep me ladylike" in a room full of men, I don't know, but he seemed sincere, so I said, Ok. And then, I tried to tell him that that position hurt and if they weren't going to get the job done right away, then maybe I could just... And he goes, "We're going to start pretty soon. Just relax. This should help." And I was about to say something else, but he injected the versed right then and I kid you not, but ten seconds later, tops, I felt my whole body turn to jelly. The last thing I remember is him saying, "There you go. Now that feels better, right?" And that's all she wrote as far as the procedure goes. I just don't remember any of it.

Now, afterward, my neck hurt really bad and I thought they were unprepared because they didn't have an icepack ready for me. However, I tried not to act like a princess, because I know I can have that tendency when I'm coming out of sedation. So, I'm on the way home and my neck just hurt worse and worse. It ached, much like I thought my head would be aching, for three days afterward. I alternated between ice and heat and then just heat and it relaxed finally. I couldn't lay flat that first day or night, either. But, like I said, that did pass eventually.

Now, I don't know what I'm waiting for or looking for. I don't know how I'm supposed to tell if it did any good or not. I don't feel much different. I had a good day, but that's just it. I occassionally have those and it's not necessarily related to the shots I received. Today, my head and neck was killin' me, but I can't attribute that to the shots any more or less than I can the good days. So, now it's just another waiting game, I guess, and whether or not getting my nerves burned will do any good is anyone's guess at this point. But, then, I guess that what these "tests" are all about--finding out whether or not that procedure is worthwhile for me.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What do You Think?

I wonder, what kind of questions do you have about migraine and chronic pain? Do you have any questions about occipital neuralgia? Do you have questions about the kinds of treatments available? Please, feel free to ask, no matter how simple or complex the question you may have, I'll be happy to try to find the answer for you, if I don't know it. So, no question is too stupid, so ask away....

Friday, May 05, 2006

Lesson Learned, I think

I screwed up last night. I should've changed my patch. Woke up in agony today, every muscle spasming and in pain. Plus, I was freezing and sweating at the same time. Talk about uncomfortable. I wanted my blankets and electric blanket on, but at the same time, I didn't. Sheer hell.

So, I made my way to the med chest and put on a new patch. Started to feel a little better within half an hour or so. Still really nauseas and freezing cold, but at least my muscles were relaxing.

Took a hot shower and that helped with the cold feeling. Only now, I feel totally weak, like a puppet whose strings have been cut. Even just walking is painful on my legs.

Ok, so hopefully, I've learned my lesson. Next time I'll just change my patch if I think I'm going through withdrawals. And, I'll do it right away, no matter what my head is telling me. Oh, brother. This is just going to be too fun. :/

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Denial. Ain't dat a river in Egypt?

I've been in denial about being in denial these past few weeks. I haven't wanted to admit that the pain's getting worse, again. It means, (if I do admit it, that is), that I'll need to up my dosage of the patch again. I don't want to do that for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is that it makes me really sleepy. Most of the time I can combat that with adderall, sodas, sucking on ice, messing about on the computer to keep my interest level up, (watching tv is the kiss of death if you want to stay awake); but the one that really works is the Adderall. Unfortunately, we can only go so high on that med.

So, I've decided to hold out until I'm taking alot of dilaudid daily as well. Or, maybe I'll even hold out until I'm having to also give myself the narc-cocktail injections every week again. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. I mean, it's nice not to be in pain most of the time, or even just to have such a low degree of it that it's more like a gnat buzzing around, pestering you, than something that you can't get your mind off of. But, life's not perfect and hell, I know I can handle this. I've been through alot worse, right?

Tonight, I'm dealing with being freezing cold again. I have to stop typing every few minutes, because my fingers get stiff and red with cold. It's ridiculous when the weather's been so warm, between 75-80 degrees every day this week, nice and sunny, too. Maybe my medicine has worn out, I dunno. I have a feeling that it has, but I can't change the patch until tomorrow, or it'll mean that I run out early at the end of the month and then I'm SOL. So, I decided, I'll just live with my freezing temperatures, stay under the blankets, and try to live through it until morning, then change my patch as soon as I wake up.

It can be risky, because withdrawals suck, but I think I must have some medicine left, because I've gone through the DT's with this patch before and it was absolute hell with my muscles spasming, constant vomiting, your heart physically aches, (at least, mine did last time, though I'd never tell anyone that, or they'd probably take the patch away from me and it is doing some good right now), total irritation and bitchiness, etc. I really wanted to knock someone out when I went through that. It gave me a good idea of what drug addicts must go through when they're coming down off their highs. Certainly explains their violence, I think, though I don't know how they can hit or punch acurately when their bodies are shaking so hard.

So, anyway, this is my current dillemma. Do I want more drugs and less pain or more life and more pain? Right now, the choice is obvious to me, but it could be anywhere from one to four more weeks, before the choices become narrower and move into the grey area. That's usually my barometer for when I should talk to the doc about upping the dosses: whether or not I'm struggling with the choices, whether or not I'm struggling daily with taking more narcotics, giving myself an injection or what. I'm not there yet, but I do see it on the near horizon.

Still waiting for my appointments to get set up for the "tests". Oy. They were supposed to call with a status report today, so I'll call again in the morning.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Fat Tuesday

Ok, so, you know way more about me than you ever wanted to as it is, so I figure, what's another tidbit of meaningless trivia added to the already overflowing pile of manure I've previously sold you? Here it is, on the house:

My favorite night of the week is Tuesday. Why? Because, no matter what other shit is going on with my life; no matter how badly life sucks; no matter how much my head hurts or how angry and bitter I am with the world, I laugh on Tuesdays.

Two of my most favorite shows are on the tele Tuesday nights and if you've never watched them, you absolutely must, especially if your life sucks like mine and you don't have much to laugh about on a regular basis. It'll make you laugh your freakin' ass off and for a couple hours you can forget all about your sorrows, yeah? Yeah.

(Click on the links for pictures)

First, there's House. House is a brilliant diagnostician with an attitude twenty miles wide who doesn't give a shit about anyone not named House. Ya gotta love a guy who's so self-assured that nothing anyone else ever says, does or thinks makes a bit of difference to him. There's nothing sexier in my book. As a bonus, he is in chronic pain from a leg injury and pops vicodin throughout the show. What's not to love, I ask you? He totally makes me laugh.

If you want to know what my sense of humor is like, or the kind of person I aspire to be one day, it's him. He's the MAN. Not to mention, Hugh Laurie is totally adorable. (Ever see him in a tux? Ooh la la! The pics don't do him justice. He puts the Dash in Dashing!) Just look at those long legs and such a cute little ... well, you know what I mean. In the romantic fantasies department, the British category is a very, very short list. There are exactly five British men on my list, (one woman, tee-hee, jk, but I bet that woke you up, right?). He's the third man down. A total cutie patootie. :) 9pm, FOX

Next, there's Boston Legal. Since I was a teenager, I've loved James Spader, (this pic is how I remember him when I was a kid and he was a teen hearthrob with most of the girls). He's always been able to make me laugh and is a fantastic actor. Pairing him with Captain Kirk, how can you go wrong? It would be like putting Val Kilmer with Spock. Perfect fit. I even have a picture of the boys in their Halloween flamingo costumes on my "mantle". Well, ok, it's not so much a mantle as it is the top of our "entertainment center". The entertainment center isn't so much a center as it is a black painted steel shelving unit, very minimalist. But, it's in a place of honour is my point, where I can see it for "residual" laughs throughout the week when I need them. And, the eye candy doesn't stop with Spader and Shatner, although if you saw them in their flamingo outfits, you'd see some gorgeous legs on those boys. Anyway, there's also, Mark Valley and I'm a huge fan of his. He's a hottie. Used to play Keen Eddie, which was my fave show and also hilarious, for awhile, 'til the network execs took it off the air! (Buttheads on BRAVO think they know what they're doing-psh! Not! Grr. Sorry, random residual rant, comes up every once in awhile. Can't help it.) The show is freakin' hilarious and if you liked Ally McBeal, you'll like this. But, if you didn't like Ally McBeal, then you'll really, really like BL. :) NBC, 10 pm.

Lemme know what you think after you give these two shows a shot. Leave a comment. (I get lonely when you don't.)

Between these two shows, all the pain, angst and trauma stress from the week, melt away for two solid hours. I'm not a huge fan of tv, preferring to read instead, but I love Tuesday nights.