Thursday, July 12, 2012

Headache Part 2

Yesterday started out normal, like any other work day.
I glided to work in the car, autopiloting the traffic.
I was hungry, and had a bit of extra commute-time, so I did something I normally never do (one, I never have even a scrap of a second leftover on the commute, thank you Summer, and two, it's a financial and waistline point of pride of mine--I don't buy morning food 'out'. Or eat it at all really. My morning 'food' is coffee. Period).
But I stopped at Tim Horton's. I bought a coffee (large, with milk) and a muffin (chocolate chip, I hate fruit). Took it to the office, still arriving early (for me), sat at my desk, turned my computer on, dealt with emails, and started working on a fine-print contract.
It was a bright Wednesday. Bright outside, the heat on the way up, and bright in my office.
I lowered the blinds. My right eye, the one that paid such a high price from May's terrible headache-episode was weary. And bothered.
The minutes clicked away. I looked at my calendar, musing inwardly about where the results from my June MRI had somehow ended up. After doing some internet-diagnosing of my symptoms again (and raising my blood pressure a few notches) I called my doctor. I've been lazy on following this up. You know, the old adage, no news is good news? Yea, my fall-back.
The nurse-practicioner/receptionist at my doctor's office answered on the third ring (normally you have to leave a message, it's impossible to talk to anyone). I inquired about my MRI results (it had been over ten days, allowing for the July 1st holiday and each weekend). There was a pause while she checked where ever she had to check for this. Nothing. Nothing in yet. I was to call back tomorrow.
This, I'm sure, fuelled whatever neuro-paranoid thoughts I was already having.

My eye. The irritation and blinking increasing. I noticed that I started to feel really really weird.
Like that time in May when I was running....
My thoughts tunnelled. I felt the back of my head, where there were little nudges of pain. Reminders of May. Of my run that seemed to start the whole thing, my trip to emergency, all the inconclusiveness, the three days, writhing, on the couch.
My consciousness, on hold for about the last couple of years, snapped into focus. I called my back-up doctor, the one who will always see me, same day, who is minutes from my office. It was almost lunchtime. I booked an appointment for 3pm. I had a client coming in at 2.  I had another meeting at 3, one I knew I wouldn't make. If I could time the 2pm perfectly, I'd be good.
I did.
I was.
My head pain was still just in the beginning stages, no visual distortion yet. But there was dizziness.
I forced down some lunch, knowing that skipping a meal would multiply things. Well, not knowing really--but feeling. Much more important.
Doctor's office. Mild panic. My expression of such to him. He was sympathetic, but did inject the knowledge of the power of imagination (in no way was he minimizing my fear of pain, my insight into what might be coming my way...migraine...attack...soon).
He complimented my efforts on retrieving the MRI information, told me to keep on it, and handed me some migraine-med samples. I took them, three boxes of something that could help me.
So far, May to July, nothing's really proven to be a shining ray of hope.

I went back to work, much like that May day when I gathered up files, my coffee cup, work bag, and got myself the hell home. I knew, without reading the monograph, that there would be no way I could drive once I swallowed one of these pills.
I arrive home.
I take out the three packets of samples. I read each monograph, and they are all eerily similar (they all warn that if you are taking one of the others, to never take theirs at the same time). Had I been a virgin-migraine sufferer (if I am a veteran now, if that is, in fact, what this condition is) I would have been too scared to take such a pill.  Having already experienced a pain so severe I can't call it up in memory, I took what I imagined, after my reading, to be the least offensive of the three types of pills.
I had alot of water. I lay down on the couch.
And I woke up two hours later. It was still light out, still day (dusk. Late day. What have you).
I was not writhing on the couch. I was calmly lying there, without pain.
I got up, put my pajamas on, and did all the bedtime-readiness stuff--clean skin, teeth, etc.
I made a quick pasta dinner, some leftover mushrooms, a few handfuls of fresh spinach, whole wheat linguine--it only took about thirty minutes. I knew, again, that not eating might be really bad.
I managed a small bowl, paired with more water, and was in bed reading, by 10 pm.
Next day:
I get up for work, early. I have another big meeting today (which my boss called about last night--no pressure, even in my weakened state--business keeps going). I make it in no time, a hideously bright day again (no clouds for months in this state I'm in) but I'm okay. My eye is bothered but I'm okay.
The back of my head is tender, but I'm not in pain. The tenderness makes me think my body had a whole other plan in mind for me over the next few days. The thought of this scares me.

I participate in the meeting, confidently, consciously, constructively.
While I'm in the boardroom (two-plus hours) my doctor's office calls. Thankfully, they leave a message on my work voicemail.
The MRI is negative.
This is the first message I listen to coming out of my long meeting. I don't have alot of time to digest, I have to run samples to another client, ones they've been waiting for, overdue days ago.
The message continues, telling me they are still referring me to a neurologist due to the force and residual face-eye-stuff from my May headache.
Relief. Gratitude.
I cry on the way to dropping off the samples to the client. I stop, complete the exercise, then keep going.
I get gas for my car, do some banking. Every step feels lighter, even in the wake of my near-miss headache the day before.  The sun in bright, the green is green, but I feel, for lack of a better, more original term, like I've been given a new lease on life.

I get back to my office and happen to answer the call on my work phone of the neurologist's office, whose secretary has all the charm of a drill sargeant but I'm oddly reassured by this--I want order, I want opinions, I want answers.
Why have I started getting these headaches NOW? And what can I DO?  How do I STOP this?

Looking for answers.
Waiting until my appointment to ask the questions.

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