Category Archives: Migraines Suck

Like death on toast.

Both Matt and I are sick, which means that the level of whining in our house has gone up by a trillion-fold. I would like to point out that in this case, the majority of whining is being done by the person who is NOT me, because when a member of the male species is sick that means that the world should stop turning, and little fairies should come from the sky to cater to the man’s every whim. Because, you know, he doesn’t feel good.

I will say in his defense that he has taken care of me many, many times when I have been sick – usually when I have been laying on the bathroom floor in between sessions of violent vomiting. He has gone to the store three different times to try to find something that I can keep down, he has forced me to drink or eat even when we both know that whatever is going down is going to come back up in a few minutes, and even though I have never let him actually witness what happens when my stomach decides to mutiny, I know without a shadow of a doubt that he would hold my hair back if I asked.

This, however, does not excuse his behavior last night, when literally every part of my body hurt, including my eyeballs and my fingernails, and I had a temperature of 102, and I couldn’t sleep, and finally I sat up and stated that I would surely strangle him in his sleep if he didn’t MOVE THE HELL OVER. Because I firmly believe that in a serious relationship, what’s mine is ours, but there are limits to that, including my very own side of the bed. Keep off.

If I can circle back to the previous topic of violent vomiting, can I just say how excited I am to report that it has been over a month since my last migraine? I can honestly say that I feel like a new person. It’s true that sometimes you don’t realize exactly how bad something has been until you are on the other side, and I didn’t know how miserable I had been until I, well, until I wasn’t anymore. So that’s really exciting news.

In not so exciting news, I am here at work today despite feeling pretty amazingly shitty. Yes, I am one of those people who comes to work when I’m sick. I figure since everyone else does, I can basically guarantee that one of my co-workers blessed me with this snot-fest, so it’s only reasonable that I get to pay it forward. I’m thinking of a particularly annoying jerk who I happen to have a meeting with later. I will be mentally sending my germs directly at him as we sit across a conference room table from each other. Take that.

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Filed under Kwit yer bitchun, Migraines Suck, My Sweet Babboo

I don’t think he will use the word ‘essentially’ ever again.

This morning I called the doctor’s office promptly at nine. I wasn’t worried, I mean, not REALLY worried, but maybe just a teensy tiny bit worried. Just worried enough to play the message about 987 times last night to listen to the exact tone and inflection of the word ‘essentially’.

Of course my doctor was with a patient, so the office took my info and said they’d have him call me back. (I made sure they knew to call my work phone. I actually lied and told them that we were getting rid of our house phone, so they shouldn’t call that number anymore.) Dr. B called me back a little while ago, and it turns out that ‘essentially normal’ is actually a pretty good way of describing things, unless you are describing them on someone’s answering machine 10 minutes before your office closes.

It turns out that the MRI shows no cause for the migraines (which is what we expected) but it did show that I have what is called a ‘pineal cyst’. I can’t find a link that has complete enough information to do a concise job of explaining this, but basically the pineal gland lives on the brain stem and controls melatonin. It’s not completely uncommon to have a cyst there  – most people would never know they had one because most people don’t get MRI’s of their brain – and in almost all cases it doesn’t cause any symptoms.

In my case, it is not causing any problems. Mine’s not as tiny as most are (most are under 2 milimeters and mine is around 5) so they will want me to have another MRI in a year to make sure it didn’t grow. But really, it’s not a big deal at all.

Of course when the doctor told me this, I promptly began Google-ing before he could even explain what it was. As he was explaining, he said, “You’re on Google right now, aren’t you.” (Apparently I am predictable.) I tried to pretend that I wasn’t until he said, “I can hear you typing, you know.” Caught red handed.

I was able to get him back though, when I casually mentioned that perhaps his message on the machine was not the best example of bedside manner. At first he didn’t know what I meant, until I explained about that pesky little word ‘essentially’. Then he was horrified. “I said that? I didn’t mean to say that! I’m so sorry!” Haha. I felt a little bad for teasing since I really do like my doctor – he’s a nice guy and he actually treats me like a real person (hence the comments about Google-ing as he knows that I ALWAYS do that).

So, I guess that’s probably all you need to know about my brain (except, of course, that it is large and super-smart). Have a good weekend!

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Filed under Migraines Suck

Subject to Interpretation

What, exactly, do you think it means when your doctor leaves you a message on your machine that goes as follows:

Hi, this is Doctor X calling from X Medical Office. Please call back regarding the results of your MRI exam. Uh, everything was essentially normal. But, uh, we just need to have a quick conversation.

WHAT  THE HELL???

What really gets me is the word essentially. Essentially normal? Is that the same as normal? Or does that mean almost normal, kind of sort of normal, except for that giant hole where your frontal lobe should be???

I repeat: WHAT THE HELL???

And, gee, wouldn’t you know that despite the fact that Doctor X has both my work AND cell numbers (both of which I would have answered at the time of his call) he chose to call the house phone, which I have repeatedly told the office not the use, because we check our messages approximately once a week, and it is only by coincidence that I got his message today and not a week from now. So now I have until tomorrow at 9 to wonder what ‘essentially normal’ is. And that’s really awesome, because it’s not like I’m a total worrywart or anything. (Heavy sarcasm, OBVIOUSLY.)

So, anyway, let’s focus on something that is totally, 100% good news. (Not essentially good news. Just plain old good, nay, GREAT news.) My BFF Liz, who is a chemist, got some kind of super duper results with her lab work. There is no chance of me explaining more than that, but it has something to do with polymers, and it is awesome, and she has worked really (REALLY) hard to make such awesomeness. Go Liz! And if you are feeling particularly sweet and wonderful, might you consider leaving a comment here letting her know how awesome she is? Because everyone deserves to know how awesome they are are sometimes, especially when it is true!

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Filed under Friends, Migraines Suck

Snow Day!

We woke up this morning to a Winter Wonderland; 6 inches of wet, heavy snow already on the ground and another 6 (or more!) to come. It’s pretty snow (the wet kind always sticks to the trees and to everything else, which is pretty) but it’s also realllly heavy and a pain to shovel. Luckily since Round One of shoveling is already done, I can sit and relax until it’s time for Round Two.

I had my MRI on Friday afternoon, and it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, but it was OK. I’m not terribly claustrophobic; I actually would rather be in a teeny tiny place all by myself than in a larger space with a lot of people (which is why crowded elevators and really busy malls make me a bit twitchy). But still, I think my heart was hammering as loud as the machine at one point! Of course you don’t get any results right on the spot, so I’ll be waiting for a call from the doctor sometime this week. I’m not concerned, though, since this was just a precautionary measure.

In my last bit of boring medical news, I started on the preventative medication on Friday night. I was kind of expecting it to just knock me right out, like Nyquil does, but it didn’t. However, on Saturday morning I was a groggy, foggy, dizzy mess. Fun!  I’m going to try to find the “right” time to take this stuff at night – I’m hoping that by taking it earlier in the evening I’ll be able to eliminate some of the morning fog. And since it doesn’t seem to make me all that sleepy at night (not so much that I can’t function) I see no problem with taking it a bit earlier.

I’ve had a few other minor side effects (dry mouth, slower heart rate, both of which I was told would likely happen) but nothing too awful. And I know it’s only been a few days, but so far no migraines! I’m not ready to declare victory yet, but I’m feeling good. Wahoo!

Now the only thing to decide is what to do with my snow day. I’m thinking a Pirates of the Caribbean  marathon is in order, since I got the 3rd movie for Christmas and haven’t watched it yet. A little hot chocolate, a cozy throw blanket, and some Jack Sparrow – what could be better than that?

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Filed under Life in New England, Migraines Suck

Please excuse me while I attend my own personal pity party.

Usually this blog is a good outlet for me. I can whine, complain, or blather endlessly and no one seems to mind. I love getting comments, and love that I have some new bloggy friends to follow and read about. (I can call you friends, right?)

Sometimes, though, I kind of… freeze up. There are so many things going on and so many thoughts swirling around that the effort to put hands to keyboard is just too much. I guess this is just the way I tend to be. When something is overwhelming, I need some time to mull things over before I can decide on a plan of action or talk about them. It’s like all of this thinking overloads the part of my brain that gives me the ability to speak (or write). I’m not sure what this says about the capacity of my brain, but we’ll just ignore that, OK?

Anyway, on Wednesday I went to see the doctor to ask about additional treatments for migraines. I’ve had migraines for a while, and they’ve always been an annoying, but manageable condition. For the last 6 months though, they’ve been steadily getting worse. I’ve been getting them MUCH more frequently, and they last longer and have more severe symptoms. I’ve been sick and unhappy, and I really needed to do something about it.

So, I’ll be starting a new daily preventative medication tonight. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this – according to the doctor and the pharmacist, this medication takes some time to get used to. For the first few weeks I’m likely to be groggy, and as the pharmacist put it, “this medication has the potential to affect your mood negatively.” I think this is code for, “You’re going to be cranky.” When I mentioned this to Matt, he gave me a deer in headlights look and said, “Umm… did she say exactly HOW cranky? AND FOR HOW LONG?” Poor guy.

One of the other side effects (although a rare one) is listed as ‘excessive weight gain’. You have got to be kidding me. If this happens, I will personally guarantee that you have never SEEN cranky like you will see if I experience excessive weight gain. Because first of all, I just worked my ass off to lose twenty pounds, and that is just not fair. And second of all, if I AM going to have excessive weight gain, I would much rather that it be due to excessive doughnut consumption instead of some stupid medication. (Of course, this is a rare side effect, and I’m sure if it happened the doctor would switch the medication to something different, but STILL.)

I also got a stronger anti-nausea drug, and I swear when the doctor looked at me sympathetically when I told him about the never-ending nausea I almost hopped off the exam table and hugged him. I think he might have been freaked out by that, so I didn’t do it, but I was pretty happy that he understood the feeling of ‘please please make it stop’ that comes with nausea.

I’m going for an MRI today (ack they are going to put me in a little enclosed space ack ack ack) “just to make sure nothing is seriously wrong”. (Code for: we want to make sure you don’t have giant brain tumors.) I’ve had them before, and I’ve never had any giant brain tumors, but I do understand the need to double-check since I’ve been getting worse. I also have to see a neurologist in a few weeks, to see if the preventative is working and to see if there is anything else that they can do.

Sorry for the detailed medical information, but I guess that all of this is to say that I feel pretty good about this treatment plan. I’m glad to be actually DOING something to control this condition, and I’m happy that the doctor listened to me and really worked with me, and I’m hopeful that this will all work and I will stop being this miserable person who lays in dark, silent rooms all the time. I’ll be able to go out, and have fun, and I don’t think it’s too strong a statement to say that I really, really want my life back. And I think that I am going to get it.

Why, then, do I feel like throwing a giant pity party? I don’t WANT to be on a medication every day from now until the foreseeable future. I don’t WANT to have an MRI (where they are going to put me a little tiny space ack ack ack). I don’t WANT to deal with any of this. Honestly, I feel like a petulant teenager who is refusing to clean her room. I don’t quite understand it, but I can’t help it. In theory, I should feel great! In reality, I’m kind of… meh.

Last night I kept dreaming that I went to have the MRI and every time they would try start they would ask me if I had any metal on my body, and I would double-check and find something I had forgotten about. I would tell them to wait while I took off the earrings/watch etc and they would sigh very impatiently. In the dream, I finally burst into tears and yelled, “I don’t want to do this! I want to know what is going to happen!”

I usually think that reading into your dreams is a bunch of crock, because usually I dream about having superpowers or fighting crime, and yet I have NEVER been able to fly or read minds in real life, no matter how hard I’ve tried. But I think in this case my subconscious was right. I’m nervous because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if this is going to work or if I’m going to keep having to switch medications and dealing with the side effects in the meantime. I’m nervous that I’m going to keep getting migraines and they’re just going to get worse and worse until I won’t have a life and everyone will hate me because I’m not the same person that I used to be. I’m nervous that even though the chances are incredibly slim, the MRI WILL show that I have giant brain tumors.

I’m trying to give myself a little pep talk, telling myself that at least I am DOING SOMETHING. Everything might go perfectly, and that would be great, but even if it doesn’t, even if it takes me some time to figure out the right treatment plan, that’s OK. At least I will be actively working to find a solution. That’s all I can do right now.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Migraines Suck

A rare Saturday post

I’m not normally known for weekend posting, but since I find myself sitting here surrounded by three (3) computers that are constantly refreshing with the solitary goal of purchasing some Red Sox tickets as a Christmas gift for Matt, who better get me something good AND PREFERABLY SPARKLY to make up for this bullshit.

I’ll just go ahead and admit that I am in one hell of a craptastic mood this fine morning, and if you’re not interested in some mindless bitching and whining (some of it about bodily functions), you probably want to skip this entry.

Somehow my body has decided that weekends! Weekends are the perfect time for head-pounding migraines! Which sucks, because I really, REALLY value my weekends, and would prefer not to be spending a good portion of them wishing for someone to put me out of my misery.

And that is why I have been awake since approximately 3am. Which doesn’t make a person happy, in case you were wondering.

Oh! To add to this fun, my body has also decided that no migraine is complete without a side order of crippling nausea. So yeah, there’s also been that since about 3am, and let me just state once and for all that when you are throwing up your anti-nausea medicine? That is just WRONG. Not fair, body.

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you about talk of bodily functions.) You know how the worst part of throwing up is when you are throwing up but there is nothing in your stomach to actually go… up, usually because you’ve already thrown up about 87 times? Am I the only one who goes into the kitchen looking for something to eat that will be the least awful thing to throw up later, because I can’t stand the thought of throwing up nothing again? Or is this just a sign that I am a Champion Vomiter, a title that I would really rather not hold?

(And trust me, I really would rather not be a Champion Vomiter. There is nothing forced or bullemia-ish about this – I just have a weak stomach and nausea is a known side effect of migraines.)

So anyway, that is how I find myself sitting here, waiting for the three (3) computers to refresh and hopefully let me purchase some Red Sox tickets, while eating Saltines and hoping like hell that they stay down already, so that I can take some medicine and be done with this. Welcome to the weekend. Boo hoo.

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Filed under Migraines Suck, Retail Therapy

Tidbits

I forgot to mention a funny story from last week’s trip to see Wicked. We had parked in a garage near the theater, and like most garages in Boston, this was one where you pay in the lobby before you go to your car. Then before you exit the garage there is a machine that eats your ticket and lets you out. (I think this is pretty common now, right?)

Well we paid and went to my car and and the machine ate the ticket and lifted the bar and then we pulled around the corner to exit the garage… and the gate in front of the exit was going down! It was like something out of 24 and I was half expecting a hijacking except that we weren’t transporting any prisoners or weapons or Jack Bauer so I guess it was just poor timing on the part of whoever puts the gate down to close off that exit.

We sat there for a minute because we didn’t know what to do. There are other exits to the garage, but in order to turn around and go to another exit we would have had to get another ticket and then we would have had no way out at the other exit. I guess we could have gone inside and told the guy to fix our ticket so that we could get back out, but that seemed like a hassle and we kind of assumed that if we sat there for a minute there would be some kind of security camera that would see us and the guy would lift the gate for us.

Eventually we decided that nothing was happening – either there was no security camera or else they didn’t care – and then Matt said, “I see some buttons on the wall over there… I bet they lift the gate!” And so that is how we found ourselves furtively raising the gate, with me quickly pulling the car through to the other side and Matt running under the gate as it closed. Good times.

***

On Saturday we went to a wedding that was held at the NE Aquarium. It was an interesting venue for a wedding, and actually much  better than expected, although we all learned a valuable lesson: if you are going to have your wedding at an aquarium, check first to make sure it will not be during penguin mating season. Because the ceremony was right near the penguin section… and some of the penguins were, ahem, doing it during the wedding vows. I guess the wedding made them feel romantic.

***

Yesterday was a complete waste of time, as I found myself with one of the worst times of migraines… the kind that leaves you sweaty and light sensitive and in a lot of pain and – as Matt would say – vomitado. Very, very vomitado. By yesterday evening I was at the point that even the mere thought of water, crackers or food and drink of any kind sent me reeling for the bathroom. That, my friends, is not a good way to feel – when you know that your body needs SOMETHING, anything in its stomach but you just cannot comply. Argh.

The only good thing about a day like that is that once you can finally eat some glorious, wonderful food again, it is the best thing you’ve ever tasted in your entire life. And your head doesn’t hurt anymore and even though you are still shaky and weak from a day spent puking your guts out, this day will be a fabulous one because you aren’t sick anymore.

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Filed under Family, Migraines Suck, My Sweet Babboo