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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Where Have I Been?!

Where have I been?  Let me tell you!

At the end of January I started having headaches and by headaches, I really mean I had one headache that just never went away.  My vision was fuzzy, I couldn't think straight and I would go to bed but not sleep because it hurt to let my head touch anything.  I would end up sitting up all night crying.  Finally, I was in so much pain that I felt like I couldn't even see.  I went to see my doctor twice.  Each time he tried to give me meds and nothing worked.  He finally gave me a shot of demerol and said to call the next day.  I asked how long it would take to feel better and I was promised 30 minutes tops...

The next day I barely remember.  I drove to work in blinding pain.  I had gotten absolutely no relief from the shot.  That morning the left side of my face felt numb and thick like I had just had a numbing shot wear off from the dentist.  I called my doctor's nurse and described to her that I was confused and disoriented.  She talked to my doctor who told me that I should go to the bigger city hospital ASAP.

I called my husband and he drove me to the hospital (1.25 hours away) and we spent most of the day in the ER...  I was sent for a MRI, blood tests, scans, and a multitude of other tests.  I saw so many doctors   and was pumped full of meds.  I was admitted around 9pm that night.  I sent my hubby home so I could get some sleep.  My head was pounding and it hurt to touch it to anything so I had nurses bringing me ice packs and meds the minute I was allowed to have more.  The MRI showed nothing significant so the next day they did a second MRI on my face.  I then had a lumbar puncture.  Nothing.   A roommate was moved elderly lady who was hard of hearing.  She had had a stroke (bless her heart) and she  was confused and because she was hard of hearing and confused, she SCREAM over and over.  I was so sick from my head hurting that I cried and threw-up around the clock.  Finally, the nurses felt bad for me and were able to have my insurance approve a single room for me.

(EDIT: I re-read this and it sounds so unemotional... I think it happened so long ago now that I've gotten over it so I can't seem to find the words to share it, but while it was happening, it was so surreal to me.  They thought I was having a stroke (face numbness, left side weakness was never explained and eventually went away).  I saw so many neurologist and had 3 different MRIs in a span of 2 days.  I went from running 25 miles a week to not being able to get out of bed by myself in a matter of days.  

This is where I stayed for 6 long days:

For a few days I could barely move without getting sick. I could only stare at the wall.  I couldn't stand to have the TV on or hear anything.  Light didn't bother me, only noise.  I begged to go home, but I couldn't even get up without getting dizzy.  

I saw multiple groups of doctors, all with their own thoughts, but they all came back to migraines.  They finally decided that my continued nauseousness was a result of the lumbar puncture and did a blood patch.  That helped to ease the dizziness right away.  I was also taken in for nerve block shots (yes, on my head.... if you want a painful procedure, there is something to try!)  That did NOT work!  The next few days were just trial and errors of mixing what they call "migraine cocktails" to attempt to stop the headache I still had.  Every vein in my arms and hands had been blown from the IVs and blood  draws.  

I was eventually sent home because I was "better" even though I can't say I was doing well.  My headache was about 70% better.  It took me a good 2 weeks after that to feel decent and get back to work. The doctor told me I had to wait 2 weeks and wrote my excuse note for that.... I tired to go back half days the second week.  I was exhausted.  It took another 2 months after that for my doctor to find the right combination of meds (pills) to keep the migraines at a minimum.  I have, at the most, 2-3 minor headaches a month now.  I consider that a great success.  They aren't as painful, don't last as long, and I don't get the same symptoms (numb face) as I did before.

I had NEVER in my life been a headache person.  I rarely had headaches.  No one in my family had migraines and this completely blindsided me. It was awful and for anyone who has ever experienced them, I'm so sorry that I wasn't a sympathetic person about headaches before.  

Once I was feeling better, I had just over 5 weeks to finish training for the half marathon I had trained for... I was under trained and I knew it was not a great choice to actually run it, but I did it because I know I could run slowly and walk it I had to walk.  
I didn't PR, but I did manage to keep a good pace and run the whole race.  I love the Glass City Marathon and it's where my PR from last year was (in the pouring rain!!) This year it was chilly at the start, but a perfect day for the run and once I was running, it was just right.   

My time was better than I thought it would be, so I finished happy and kept a good momentum going into my Tri training.  

I'm feeling better and with the right meds, I seem to be staying headache free!  Thank the good LORD above that whole ordeal is over.  I don't know why things like that happen to be, but sometimes I think it's a good reminder that I need to slow down and remember that there are more important things to life!


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